Initiative to Shift $300 Mil. Print Group to N.Y.

Initiative Media North America is moving its entire print division, which spans five cities and controls $300 million in billings, to New York.

The transition is scheduled to start this week. The goal: to gain greater leverage and develop a tighter focus in creating client marketing programs.

The consolidation is part of a series of moves Initiative has made in the last two months to streamline operations. In April, The Interpublic Group of Cos. media network said it was taking a “holistic approach” to its corporate structure, moving from leadership divided along geographic lines to a national structure based on business disciplines [Adweek, April 16].

“The benefits to our clients?not only in price but in developing marketing programs?are significant,” said Jim Bell, president and COO of Initiative’s IM121, who is overseeing the transition. “You can imagine the leverage and clout that we would get out of that by having the negotiations done through one source.”

Part of the impetus for consolidating its print services in New York came from clients’ suggestions, said Steve Greenberger, evp and director of IM Convergence, Initiative’s media-integration unit.

“When you have consolidation, you have clout, you have the ability for a dedicated group to operate with a broad focus,” he said. “Instead of crafting a specific idea for a specific client in a specific region, you can develop an idea that works across 10 different clients anywhere.”

The move will not result in layoffs, Bell said. He said the print group’s 40 staffers have been asked to transfer to the New York office from those in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Chicago?or will be placed elsewhere in the company if they choose to remain where they are. Initiative also plans to hire senior-level print specialists in the next few weeks, Bell said.