Initiative overhauls European line-up with four new roles

LONDON - Initiative, the Interpublic media network, has finalised a new structure for its EMEA operations, with the creation of four senior roles.

The network has hired Thomas de Buhr as its first European buying director. He joins from IP Germany. De Buhr joins three other senior Initiative executives. They will all be reporting to the joint chief operating officers, Jerry Hill and Dirk Wiedenmann.

Howard Smith, the former Carat planner and head of Initiative's European planning unit on Unilever, takes on the role of European strategic officer. James Gover, the former managing director of Initiative Tokyo, has been appointed as the European director of client management, and Florence Siebert, the network's director of international client operations, becomes the European business development director.

De Buhr's appointment, Hill said, reflected the changing nature of media buying: "We're in an era where we're not just buying spots and space."

Hill said talks with Draft/FCB over ways of working together had not yet been held. The two networks are expected to explore ways of co-operating after an announcement from IPG that Initiative would align with Draft/FCB.

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