IPG considers merging online operations

- The Interpublic Group is understood to be considering a move to merge its various interactive operations into a single publicly listed company.

- The Interpublic Group is understood to be considering a move to merge its various interactive operations into a single publicly listed company.

The plan, which has met with some internal resistance, is thought to be at the instigation of IPG chairman Phil Geier, who recently brokered the holding company's acquisition of a 20 per cent stake in European new-media network, Icon MediaLab.

Any such move would mean the consolidation of the interactive units of Ammirati Puris Lintas (APL Digital), McCann-Erickson WorldGroup (Thunder House), Nicholson NY; and Boston-based Hill, Holliday Interactive.

However, the role Icon MediaLab would play in the proposed mergers has yet to be resolved.

IPG agency executives are thought to be concerned that any such mergers would strip individual agencies of the ability to offer clients interactive services.

However, the idea of a publicly quoted, single interactive resource has already been adopted by some IPG rivals, including True North Communications, which spun off Modem Media.Poppe Tyson to service both the FCB and Bozell networks.

Snyder Communications, which owns Arnold Communications in the US and Partners BDDH in the UK, has also indicated that it is likely to follow suit. Its interactive units operate under the Circle.com brand name.





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