NEW YORK: Interpublic Group, the world's third largest marketing services conglomerate, has again revamped and regrouped its media services under a new umbrella: Mediabrands. Holding the gamp is Interpublic's Great White Hope Nick Brien (pictured), formerly ceo at Universal McCann.

Brien (46) recently headed an IPG task force charged with making the group's media operations more effective and efficient. Mediabrands is the outcome of that study.

He assumes responsibility for all IPG media operations, including Initiative, Magna, Magna Trading, J3, Universal McCann and Wahlstrom.

Supporting Brien is newly recruited Michael Hudes (47), ex-global director for digital media at Clear Channel Outdoor. He will oversee such areas as strategic development and diversified media services.

Also included in Brien's remit is the Emerging Media Lab, a 'skunk works' unit, so called after a mysterious place deep in the forest featured in Al Capp's newspaper comic strip, Li'l Abner. It was there that a strong beverage was brewed from skunks, old shoes and other exotic ingredients.

Unlike IPG's short-lived earlier attempt at media integration in 2005 – Interpublic Media Group – the media shops will remain autonomous and aligned with advertising and marketing agencies.

Says IPG chairman/ceo Michael I Roth: "The moves we are making today are part of an ongoing evolution in our approach to media as an increasingly strategic and high-value marketing service."

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff