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Marion Harper Jr., who went from Yale to McCann-Erickson as an office boy in 1939, this week in 1963 found himself boss of the world's biggest marketing/communications combine -- thanks to the acquisition of Erwin Wasey, Ruthrauff & Ryan.

The deal, biggest in the history of the agency business, saw EWRR become a wholly owned subsidiary of Interpublic Inc.

As proprietor of a gargantuan, decentralized setup unique in advertising, Mr. Harper has achieved the front-runner's spot, with his several marketing organizations billing $496.5 million altogether.

Technically, Mr. Harper presides over a group of separate agencies. Thus, in connection with the acquisition of EWRR, Interpublic said it would "welcome an examination of the separateness of EWRR by any client or prospect."

Messrs. Harper and chief EWRR executive David Williams seemed confident that once clients were faced with a fait accompli, they would raise no serious

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