Initiative Media and Draftworldwide Form Direct Response Media Venture

NEW YORK — Promising to build the industry’s largest direct response media unit, Interpublic Group of Cos. shops Initiative Media North America and Draftworldwide, both New York, have created ID Media though a joint venture engineered by IPG’s The Partnership group.

The intention behind ID Media, which begins its existence with $400 million in billings, is to leverage the collaborative strength of companies in The Partnership, including Initiative Media and Draftworldwide, as well as Lowe Lintas & Partners, Bozell-NY, Carmichael Lynch, and Deutsch.

ID Media offers media buying, real-time media tracking, media analytics, and database capabilities to brands such as American Express, Verizon and Johnson & Johnson, among others, sources said.

Under the Partnership’s plan, Draftworldwide, an integrated marketing company that specializes in direct response, will merge its U.S. media services with Initiative Media’s direct response media operation IM2. Lynn Fantom, the former president of Draftworldwide’s New York office, will serve as chairman and CEO of ID Media.

The ID Media leadership team also includes Gaye Sussman, head of media services for DraftWorldwide New York, who will serve as president of ID Media, overseeing operations across the United States. Desiree Dumont, former president and chief operating officer of IM2, will consult through the transition period. All other senior DraftWorldwide media and IM2 executives will join ID Media.

The IM2 and DraftWorldwide media teams will consolidate offices in New York in mid-January 2002. The Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Phoenix operations of ID Media will continue operating in their current office locations.