INTERPUBLIC IN TALKS TO MERGE BOZELL WITH LOWE

Client Conflict, Management Changes Need to Be Resolved

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NEW YORK (New York) -- Interpublic Group of Cos. is in talks to merge its ailing agency Bozell with sibling Lowe & Partners Worldwide, which is poised to handpick staff and clients.

An Interpublic executive confirmed that once conflict issues and management changes have been worked out, Lowe will present its case to Interpublic's chairman-CEO, John Dooner Jr., who will make the final decision in weeks.

Client conflict
The executive said: "It's something we've been talking about on and off for some time. There are a number of issues to be resolved, such as client conflict and who does what, so it isn't a done deal."

Among the areas of potential conflict are the agencies respective banking and personal care clients. Lowe represents both HSBC and Johnson & Johnson while Bozell counts Bank of America and The Andrew Jurgens Company.

Bozell employs a staff of 300 at its single office in New York, while Lowe operates in 82 countries around the world.

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