network management

The imminent absorption of Bozell Kamstra’s local office by Mullen underscores the growing stature of the Interpublic Group of Cos. in the New England agency community.

Some have gone so far as to suggest that the Boston marketplace—which five years ago had virtually no big-network representation—has essentially become an “IPG town.”

Between Mullen, the Advanced Marketing Services/Weber holdings and Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, IPG claims perhaps 1,500 employees in and around Boston. That number could increase dramatically if Digitas, recently in talks with IPG, joins the fold.

Some executives bemoan the loss of local ownership and decry agency decisions that are increasingly made based on what’s best for a holding company’s share price.

Chris Colbert, president of Boston independent Holland Mark, however, isn’t overly concerned. “The holding company model … in terms of real importance, doesn’t change our world,” he said.

Arnold, Boston, the region’s largest traditional ad agency, is owned by Paris-based Havas Advertising. Brodeur Worldwide, also in Boston, a global public relations shop, is part of the Omnicom Group.