IPG Outlines Sweeping Reorganization

NEW YORK–The Interpublic Group of Cos. today unveiled its long-gestating plans for a sweeping reorganization of its agencies under four global operating divisions, including a new entity known as The Partnership.

The others are McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, FCB Group and Advanced Marketing Services. Each will offer a wide array of marketing services, from traditional advertising and media buying to direct marketing and promotional services.

The reorganization, which was expected (Adweek, May 28), had been in the works since last year and recognizes that client marketing needs extend far beyond TV spots and print ads. The planning for it began long before Interpublic’s $1.6 billion acquisition of True North Communications–a deal that closed last month.

“Even before the True North acquisition, we were rapidly moving in this direction, which is why adding True North made so much strategic sense to us,” said John Dooner, CEO of IPG, in a statement. “Now with the addition of their companies, we have expanded our leadership positions in many key diversified marketing communications areas . . . We can better align, connect and enhance our entire offering across the full marketing spectrum.”

Dooner also cited benefits such as the opportunity for more organic growth and improvements in productivity.

Anchoring The Partnership, which will be overseen by IPG vice chairman David Bell, is Lowe Lintas & Partners. Other key units include Draft Worldwide, Golin/Harris International and Initiative Media. Six agency executives within the group will play leading roles, each in the capacity of senior partner: Draft CEO Howard Draft, Golin/Harris CEO Rich Jernstedt, Lowe Lintas CEO Jerry Judge, Initiative CEO Lou Schultz, Deutsch CEO Donny Deutsch and Michael Sennott, who most recently was worldwide deputy chairman of Lowe Lintas. Specifically, Donny Deutsch will represent domestic Partnership shops such as Carmichael Lynch, Tierney Communications and the New York office of Bozell.

Frank Lowe, worldwide chairman of Lowe Lintas and CEO of sports marketing agency Octagon, was said to be in line for the title of chairman of The Partnership (Adweek May 21). But IPG, in a release, said simply that Lowe will be “contributing to The Partnership overall via his commitment to and passion for the creative product.”

Four agencies will be added to WorldGroup: Temerlin McClain; Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos; Avrett Free & Ginsberg; and the Chicago office of Bozell. Jim Heekin remains chairman and CEO.

The FCB Group, which will be headed by chairman and CEO Brendan Ryan, will force a “global strategic alliance” with Campbell-Ewald.

Advanced Marketing Services is a new name for the former Allied Communications Group. Its chairman and CEO is Larry Weber.

Separately, IPG plans to merge Weber Shandwick Worldwide with the former True North’s BSMG Worldwide, creating a global public relations firm with about $500 million in revenue. The merged entity will operate under the Weber Shandwick name.