Geier Has Advice for Gov't: Give Consumers Checks

IPG Chairman Emeritus Takes Out Full-Page Ad With Spending Proposal

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Philip Geier, chairman emeritus of Interpublic Group of Cos., offered his answer to the nation's economic woes today via a full-page print ad in the New York Times.

Mr. Geier, who dug into his own pockets for the media buy, said he decided to take out the Times ad because "we've got a new government, they're looking for fresh ideas and this is the way to communicate it quickly."

The ad was not approved by Interpublic, which declined to comment on the matter.

"The economy is tanking, the housing bubble has burst and consumer spending threatens to fall through the floor. If the consumer doesn't spend, the economy will not improve," states the ad, which appears in the form of a lengthy open letter to readers. The letter -- signed by Mr. Geier, who is identified by both his Geier Group and Interpublic titles -- urges them to contact their elected officials to support his plan to boost the economy.

Mr. Geier is chairman of New York marketing consulting company Geier Group and sits on the board of directors of several companies including Foot Locke.

The action proposed in the ad by Mr. Geier is a three-tier, across-the-board tax cut sent to consumers in the form of a government-certificate checks. The book of checks may be used for discounts against certain purchases including cars, computers, household appliances, restaurant meals and grocery store items. Alternately, they could be combined for a large purchase or a lease or down-payment commitment.

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