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International: Interpublic unveils new corporate structure

16-July-2001
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International: Interpublic unveils new corporate structure

Interpublic Group of Cos. unveiled a new corporate structure. Interpublic will comprise four operating divisions, each with its own management. Three of the units are modelled to provide a wider combination of marketing and advertising services. The fourth entity is a network of specialized marketing services that includes public relations, multicultural communications and training.

Two of the three operating divisions bear familiar names. McCann-Erickson Worldgroup will be headed by Jim Heekin as chairman-CEO. Much of McCann's holdings will remain unchanged, including MRM Partners Worldwide, Torre Lazur Healthcare Worldwide and Universal McCann Worldwide.

Some additional shops will shift under the McCann umbrella. Bozell's Chicago operations will move to McCann, giving it a long-absent Windy City presence. The second unit is Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, which will operate as the hub of the FCB Group. It will be led by Brendan Ryan as chairman-CEO. Former Lowe Lintas unit Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., is now aligned with the FCB Group, which gives Foote, Cone access to that shop's auto-related accounts, which includes General Motors Corp., filling the void left by DaimlerChrysler.

The third operating unit, the Partnership, is a microcosm of Mr. Dooner's larger strategic dilemmas in creating the new Interpublic structure. He needed to pare an unwieldy collection of more than 20 independent operations to four, without sacrificing the separate identity of each, limiting their collaborative potential or bruising the egos of each agency chief. Split into two groups -- Senior Partners, made up of global agencies, and Member Partners, an assembly of far-flung domestic agencies -- the new unit will be overseen by David Bell, the former chairman and CEO of True North and now vice chairman of Interpublic.

Shops Deutsch, New York; Bozell, New York; Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis; Howard Merrell & Partners, Raleigh, N.C.; Tierney Communications, Philadelphia; Delaney Lund and Springer & Jacoby make up the Member Partner group.

One issue Mr. Dooner put to rest was the future role of Deutsch Chairman-CEO Donny Deutsch. He will serve as a senior partner representing the Member Partners.

Senior Partner agencies include Lowe Lintas & Partners, DraftWorldwide, Golin/Harris International and Initiative Media, of which their respective CEOs, will have senior partner status. In addition, Michael Sennott, Lowe Lintas' deputy chairman, was also named a senior partner for the Partnership. Sir Frank Lowe will continue as chairman of Lowe Lintas and chairman-CEO of Octagon.

The fourth unit, Advance Marketing Services, will be led by Chairman-CEO Larry Weber, who is also CEO of the public relations unit Weber Shandwick Worldwide, which has now merged with True North's BSMG Worldwide to create a $500 million agency. The group includes marketing intelligence unit NFO Worldgroup, training shop Jack Morton Worldwide and multicultural network New America Strategies Group.

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