DIARY: IPG's problems are all sorted with Bell memo

It's the talk of the town and for all the wrong reasons. What is going to happen at IPG?

Some cloudy accounting at McCann-Erickson in Europe combined with US neurosis in the post-Enron era has helped the holding company's share price tumble, and tumble.

But fear not. David Bell, its new chief executive and the man charged with restoring confidence among shareholders, staff and clients, has charged in and sent "The Organization" a memo to allay its members' many fears.

That'll do the trick.

The memo explains that Bell has been asked repeatedly: "Does the holding company model make any sense any more?" And guess what? He "emphatically believes that it does".

After outlining some word-heavy raisons d'etre for the holding company structure, he delivers his powerful endline: "Somewhere down the line, the answer to 'Does the holding company model make sense?' will once again be, 'Sure, just look at Interpublic.'"

Word has it that recipients of the memo had their first good night's sleep for months after reading his convincing words: gone are their fears of global client reviews, job losses and law suits.


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