The acquisition of True North by Interpublic will solve the
problems faced by the former in establishing a strong global media
network, while the latter may decide to add a third network to its
international media presence.
In the UK, the deal throws into doubt the status of Banks Hoggins
O'Shea/FCB's recently acquired media operation MBS Media, which is
headed by Glenn Burton. MBS, the largest remaining independent operator,
was annexed to Banks Hoggins' in-house media division late last year as
part of True North's plans to build a European media network.
Observers say MBS, whose largest account is Norwich Union, may be
absorbed into Universal McCann, which would bring it closer to Norwich
Union's creative agency, McCann-Erickson.
It is unlikely that Initiative Media would acquire MBS since it is in
the process of merging with its sister media agency, Western. However,
IPG may choose to keep MBS as a separate entity in order to handle
David Bell, the chairman and chief executive of True North, said it was
too early to comment on how the deal would affect the media operations
of the merged companies.
Senior industry sources suggested that the IPG/True North merger will
see the world's largest advertising body move closer towards MindShare's
'house of media' proposition.
IPG's chairman and chief executive, John Dooner, has shied away from
this model, but it is understood that he is now considering it for
The merger will not affect the acquisition of True North's remaining
stake in BJK&E by Tempus Group.