In McCann Erickson, IPG has a powerful engine as well as some other eye-catching accessories. The problem lies in the complex way in which the vehicle is constructed. Would-be buyers, alerted by IPG's slumping share price, must weigh the rewards against the risk. Private equity companies may decide IPG cannot be made roadworthy quickly enough. Will Publicis Groupe's Maurice Levy or WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell see the potential for cost saving as worth the price of the ignition key?
Running the rule over Interpublic has been compared to sizing up a used car. You can kick the tyres but, until you are in the driving seat, you cannot be sure what you have bought.