WPP Group is set to emulate Interpublic and Aegis by melding the buying power of its two global media operations MindShare and MediaEdge:CIA.

The new hybrid, reportedly branded G-MEC, will be jointly led by the chief executives of the two media shops, Irwin Gottlieb of MindShare and Mediaedge:CIA’s Charles Courtier.

Says the latter: “We are working on an organization that allows the collaboration between Mediaedge:CIA and Mindshare on volume negotiation where there is benefit for our clients. The structure is being worked on at the moment, but it is likely to be announced imminently.”

Although there would be “similarities” between G-MEC and Interpublic’s Magna Global (which last summer integrated over $40.7 billion of worldwide ad-buying muscle on behalf of Universal McCann and Initiative Media clients) there are also differences, says Courtier. “For WPP … it is likely to be more than that, including back office efficiencies.”

Omnicom Group is also said to be mulling a similar move [WAMN: 03-Jun-02].

The trend is not entirely welcomed by lesser satellites orbiting the media-buying sun. “Advertisers will continue to become smaller fish in a larger pool,” warns The Billett Consultancy director Tony Squires, “with only the [clients] who put performance guarantees in place alongside independent and impartial evaluation getting the best results.”

By coincidence, “independent and impartial evaluation” is one of the services offered by The Billett Consultancy.

Data sourced from: Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff