WPP launches media buyer MindShare in U.S. under Gotlieb

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WPP Group, London, announced that MindShare, the combining of the media operations of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and J. Walter Thompson Co., is officially launching in the U.S. under Irwin Gotlieb, who's been named chairman-CEO of MindShare in the U.S. and worldwide chairman-CEO of MindShare. Mr. Gotlieb, 50, resigns as president-CEO of MacManus Group's MediaVest Worldwide, and begins his MindShare post Sept. 13. He will be based in New York.

The move has huge ramifications for the world's largest advertiser, Procter & Gamble Co., as well as MediaVest. P&G is MediaVest's largest client, having parked its billion-dollar U.S. TV account there, and now that agency's top executive is defecting to a major media player for archrival Unilever.

Furthermore, Rino Scanzoni, Media-Vest's chief national TV buyer, earlier announced he's leaving by yearend. There's some speculation that Mr. Scanzoni eventually may rejoin Mr. Gotlieb at MindShare.

To stabilize MediaVest, MacManus is bringing Mike Moore, its former exec VP-director of media development, out of retirement to run MediaVest on an interim basis.

WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell has been trying to bring MindShare to the U.S. for a number of years, and it's been an open secret that WPP has been actively looking to fill the worldwide and U.S. posts.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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