UM’s Brien Tops IPG Media

NEW YORK Universal McCann global chief executive Nick Brien has been promoted to oversee all of Interpublic Group’s major media assets, the New York-based agency holding company said today.

Brien has been named CEO of a new media umbrella arm called Mediabrands, under which IPG is folding UM, sister media network Initiative, negotiating and research arm Magna, media barter shop Magna Trading, dedicated Johnson & Johnson arm J3, diversified agencies NSA, OSI and Wahlstrom, marketing accountability expert MAP and IPG’s Emerging Media Lab.

Matt Seiler, who joins UM from PHD, where he headed the Omnicom media shop’s U.S. operation as CEO, is replacing Brien.

“The moves we are making today are part of an ongoing evolution in our approach to media as an increasingly strategic and high-value marketing service,” said Michael Roth, IPG’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. “The creation of Mediabrands will allow our media companies to share and leverage resources as required to meet the needs of our clients in a highly complex and rapidly changing media landscape that’s being transformed by digital and the proliferation of content and media platforms.”

“I am excited by this opportunity to lead an extremely talented, diverse and collaborative leadership team to imagine new approaches for delivering our clients the greatest business impact through media and marketing excellence,” said Brien, who joined UM as global CEO in 2005. “Media’s contribution to delivering marketing breakthrough has never been greater and we are committed to doing what is necessary to reinvent the media agency model as we know it.” 

The company also said Michael Hudes has joined IPG to lead the diversified media services and strategic development for Mediabrands. Previously, Hudes was global director of digital media for Clear Channel.

PHD will take its time looking for a Seiler replacement, said Mike Cooper, worldwide CEO, PHD. In the interim, Cooper will spend significantly more time in the U.S. A handful of Seiler’s direct reports will now report to him, including Jenn Neal and Susan Taylor, respectively the East and West Coast heads of PHD U.S.; the shop’s top buyer, John Swift; and Fred Forster, who runs the Canadian operation.