Initiative Hangs on to Six Flags Media

LOS ANGELES — Initiative Partners, a unit of Interpublic Group’s Initiative Media North America based in L.A., has successfully defended its $50 million-plus Six Flags media account and will see spending increase to as much as $80 million, sources said.

The incumbent retained the business, which it has handled for eight years in partnership with Six Flags creative shop Ackerman McQueen, Oklahoma City, against co-finalists WPP Group’s MindShare, Aegis Group’s Carat, and Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Media, all New York. Ackerman evp/corporate media director Peggy Howard said Initiative will continue to handle media buying domestically and in Europe. The agency that will handle buying in Mexico and Canada has not yet been determined, Howard said. Theme park operator Six Flags is also based in Oklahoma City.

“We expect to be doing more for them than in the past,” said Initiative Worldwide CEO Alec Gerster. “It will involve a wide array, including local media.” Gerster noted that the client and Ackerman McQueen, which managed the review, “put us through the paces with a thorough and deep process.”