Between the lines: Interpublic returns to form

Interpublic Group finally seems to be trying to get its media act together (page 1). But if the way this week's events have been handled by head office is anything to go by, it will not be a smooth transition.

First, instead of taking the opportunity to present the departures of Universal's chief, Robin Kent, and Initiative's Marie-Jose Forissier as part of a coherent strategy, it was handled piecemeal.

Kent's seemed little more than a knee-jerk response to GM's US media review (page 5). Forissier's seems to have wrong-footed her staff, many of whom apparently only learned the news from the news wires.

Meanwhile, IPG is also in the market for a global media head at holding company level to pull together the twin forces of Initiative and Universal into a coherent partnership. It's a sound strategy, but one that has not yet been sold into the local management.

The end result of all this shuffling should be a clearer media strategy with a better-defined relationship between the sibling brands. But for now - and so characteristic of IPG at its worst - confusion, rumour and fear reign.

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