IPG Creates Magna Global

LOS ANGELES — The Interpublic Group of Cos. has formed Magna Global, a new advertising media negotiating company which will deal with media companies on behalf of all Interpublic agencies worldwide.

The new entity, opening its doors on Sept. 1, will negotiate prices, value-added programs and programming opportunities with the media on an aggregate basis for the almost $40 billion in total media billings handled by IPG through its two global nedia networks, Initiative Media Worldwide and Universal McCann, as well as all other IPG agencies. Media buying, planning and research for IPG clients will remain housed at their respective media or brand agencies.

The intent is to “leverage all of our clients’ [media spending] assets in a consolidated market,” said Bruce Nelson, IPG evp/chief marketing officer. “We already have two powerhouse media organizations. Now we’re looking to move up to the next level.”

Media negotiation companies already exist in Europe, but Magna will be the first such effort in North America, and the first on a global scale. It is built upon the experience of an existing IPG media negotiating unit, Hamburg-based Intensive Media, through which both Initiative Media and Universal McCann have conducted media negotiations in Europe for the past two years.

Magna Global debuts with offices in New York, London and Hamburg. The company will become part of IPG’s newly re-branded Advanced Marketing Services group, which is headed by Larry Weber, its chairman and CEO. Weber will interact with a global board comprised of top executives from Initiative Media, Universal McCann and the FCB Group.

Heading Magna Global USA will be Bill Cella, Universal McCann evp/director of national broadcast and programming, who assumes the role of U.S. chairman.

At the onset, the U.S. operation will negotiate IPG’s $8.6 billion in total U.S. national TV spending, with remaining media to be added later. Eventually, the company plans to add non-proprietary services such as programming, research and modeling.

Mick Perry, Universal McCann vice chairman, will be chairman of Magna Global UK. Intensive will be renamed Magna Global Germany, and will continue to be headed by CEO Dominico Madile.