IPG NAMES NICK BRIEN PRESIDENT-CEO OF UNIVERSAL MCCANN

Move Follows Ouster of CEO Robin Kent

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Interpublic Group of Cos. today named a president-CEO for its media buying and planning agency Universal McCann.
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Nick Brien joinds the agency five months after the ouster of former CEO Robin Kent. Mr. Brien is the first appointment made by Mark Rosenthal, who in May joined Interpublic as chairman-CEO of the company’s media operations, a new role within the holding company.

A Publicis veteran
Mr. Brien, 43, a veteran of Publicis Groupe-owned agencies, was most recently CEO of Arc Worldwide, the umbrella entity overseeing various Publicis marketing services operations.

Murray Dudgeon, who replaced Mr. Kent at Universal McCann on an interim basis, is returning to his former role as chief operating officer.

He joins Universal McCann during a particularly difficult time for the agency. In May, longtime client General Motors Corp. moved its $3.5 billion national media-buying business to Publicis Groupe’s Planworks. In 2004, Universal McCann lost more than $400 million in billings after Nestle consolidated its global media account with Publicis agencies.

In addition to Universal McCann, Interpublic’s media operations include Initiative Worldwide, the negotiating unit Magna Global, and other specialty agencies. Interpublic has said it intends to keep Initiative and Universal McCann independent of each other and that Magna will continue as an aggregated negotiations unit. But the holding company has said it needs to better align its media agencies to compete with Publicis Groupe, with media networks ZenithOptimedia and the Starcom MediaVest Group, and WPP, parent of MindShare, Mediaedge:cia and MediaCom.

Staying aligned with McCann WorldGroup
“Universal McCann is a natural partner for McCann WorldGroup; its heritage has been closely aligned with the WorldGroup. I’m going to collaborate with them," Mr. Brien said, adding: “What appeals to me without a doubt is the scale of this opportunity.”

Prior to being named CEO of Arc Worldwide in February 2004, Mr. Brien was president of corporate business development for StarcomMediaVest Group. He helped to develop SMG’s specialized communications companies, which range from mobile-phone marketing to yellow pages advertising. A British citizen, he was for a time CEO of Publicis' Leo Burnett London, which he joined in 1992 as media director.

Mr. Brien is moving from Chicago to New York and expects to start by October. A precise date has not yet been determined.

Arc Worldwide
Meanwhile, Marc Landsberg, president Arc Worldwide and Arc North America, is taking on Mr. Brien's duties, an Arc spokeswoman said. He will not be taking on the title CEO, however.

"We don't foresee replacing Nick and Marc, as president of Arc Worldwide, will absorb his responsibilities," the spokeswoman said.

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Jim Arndorfer contributed to this report.

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