The Interpublic Group has made one of the largest investments in
new media by the advertising industry, spending dollars 20 million to
acquire a minority stake in the Swedish new-media agency, Icon
Icon will now form a strategic alliance with IPG’s McCann-Erickson
network, the most immediate effects of which will be the merger of the
two companies’ operations in Norway.
At a later date, Icon may also work with IPG’s other agency brands,
Ammirati Puris Lintas and Lowe & Partners Worldwide.
The deal gives IPG just short of a 20 per cent stake in Icon and makes
it the company’s largest single shareholder. IPG has an option to
increase its stake over time to 43.9 per cent.
IPG has been in talks with Icon for the past year and made a failed bid
to acquire the company last spring before Icon floated on the Swedish
The deal allows Icon, which has ten offices around the globe, to expand
in the US, where it will work with McCanns as its preferred new-media
Franco Fedeli, the chief executive officer of Icon, said: ’We needed an
American partner. It’s a win:win with IPG. They have the clients but not
the skill or the capacity. They could get the capacity, but this is a
Icon’s UK office has 30 staff and its clients include Fujitsu, the
Financial Times and BP.
David King, Icon’s UK managing director, said: ’We will have a strategic
alignment with McCanns. This will have number of implications for our
ability to increase our market penetration and our profile in the UK.’