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Interpublic reorganises operations globally

LONDON - The Interpublic Group of Companies is to reorganise globally, introducing a new structure which will include four global operating divisions.

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The four divisions will be an expanded McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, an enhanced FCB Group, a new global marketing resource called The Partnership, and the Advanced Marketing Services Group.

The reorganisation echoes changes at rival groups, where marketing services are being increasingly seen as the new drivers.

John J Dooner Jr, chairman and CEO, said, "Five years ago, our clients looked to us to provide marketing solutions that were driven primarily by advertising. Now, while advertising is still the major cornerstone in the global brand communications mix, clients also want us to offer more types of marketing services and communications expertise of the highest quality and on a worldwide basis."

Each of the four groups will be able to offer their clients a full range of marketing services.

Dooner added, "Other major benefits of our new organisation include increased organic growth opportunities and measurable improvements in operating productivity. By opening the doors to more collaboration, we expect to provide each individual component company with more new-client opportunities from sister companies, as well as new system clients. By consolidating into four powerful operating groups, we also expect to achieve real improvements in productivity."

While McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, the FCB Group and The Partnership will each have a similar mix of advertising and marketing communications offerings, the structures will vary, based on the different histories and operations of the groups.

Each will retain the heritage and positioning differences that have fuelled its success in the marketplace. Importantly, through the new organisations, each Interpublic unit will now be linked to a full complement of global marketing and marketing communications services.

Additionally, Interpublic announced the merger of its Weber Shandwick Worldwide PR operation with the recently acquired True North unit, BSMG Worldwide. The merger will create the world's largest public relations firm, with approximately $500m (£353.2m) in revenues. The firm, which will be known as Weber Shandwick Worldwide, will offer services in areas as including technology, financial services, government relations/public affairs, lifestyle/consumer/entertainment and healthcare.

The merger will be completed by September 30. Current BSMG chairman Jack Leslie and CEO Harris Diamond have been named chairman-elect and CEO-elect, respectively. They will report to Larry Weber in his role as head of Interpublic's Advanced Marketing Services.

The new Interpublic operating divisions

McCann-Erickson WorldGroup: McCann-Erickson WorldGroup will include McCann-Erickson Worldwide, MRM Partners Worldwide, Momentum Worldwide, FutureBrand, Torre Lazur Healthcare Worldwide, Universal McCann Worldwide, Nationwide Advertising Services, and an Aligned Agency Group consisting of independently branded general advertising agencies having conflict-free access to those marketing resources. New agencies joining this Aligned Agency Group include: Temerlin McClain (Dallas); Hill, Holliday (Boston, New York and San Francisco); Bozell (Chicago); and Avrett Free & Ginsberg (New York). Additionally, Weber Shandwick Worldwide is aligned globally for public relations, a continuation of a long-standing affiliation. Jim Heekin remains chairman and CEO of WorldGroup.

FCB Group: The FCB Group will expand its capabilities and operate as a single global integrated communications network. At its centre is FCB Worldwide, which includes advertising and then direct marketing and digital delivered through FCBi. The balance of the FCB Group encompasses more specialised services, including: ANALYTICi, database marketing; Marketing Drive, integrated marketing; Luxon Carra, design and branding; The Hacker Group, customer acquisition direct marketing; R/GA, web design and development; and FCB HealthCare. Media will be planned by FCB Media Services and bought on a worldwide basis through an alignment with Initiative Media.

The Partnership: The Partnership will offer collaboration across a global group of independent networks. Senior partners include Lowe Lintas & Partners, DraftWorldwide and Golin/Harris International, as well as Initiative Media. The Partnership will also include a group of member partners which will now have easy access to global capabilities and increased marketing services. This group will include the Lowe Group; independent agencies, as well as new partners including Bozell-NY, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Howard Merrell & Partners and Tierney Communications; and minority international partners Delaney Lund and Springer & Jacoby. Media will continue to be planned by each of the individual agencies and will be bought on a worldwide basis through the alignment with Initiative Media. David Bell, who has been named vice-chairman of Interpublic, will oversee The Partnership. Sir Frank Lowe will continue as chairman of Lowe Lintas & Partners and chairman and CEO of Octagon.

Advanced Marketing Services: Advanced Marketing Services succeeds the Allied Communications Group and will include NFO WorldGroup (for marketing intelligence services), Jack Morton Worldwide (for specialised marketing services including corporate events, meetings and training/learning), and New America Strategies Group (for multi-cultural marketing and communications). AMS also includes the ISO Healthcare Group, a strategic healthcare consulting practice. Additionally, Interpublic's public relations networks Weber Shandwick Worldwide and Golin/Harris International will continue to be based administratively within AMS.

AMS is also charged with expanding the Interpublic charter into new marketing intelligence, services, and communications areas. Larry Weber is chairman and CEO of AMS.

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