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MPG (struggler)

Agency restructures top tier, works closely with sibling media contacts

Published on .

After gaining steam in 2005, MPG's energy in the past year leveled off. Its five new accounts were mid-sized (billings between $50 million and $100 million) or small; losses were few and small, while organic growth was modest. North American CEO Charlie Rutman, hired in 2005 from Carat, continued to hone the agency's offering. He restructured the duties of 's eight top executives to ensure a more efficient sales group, assigned communications planners to major clients to provide state-of-art thinking, and hired six new executives in areas from research and new business to communications strategy.

Despite changes, MPG has yet to gain the girth necessary to compete head-to-head with its larger rivals. Its efforts to leverage a closer alignment with direct, data and digital sibling Media Contacts have yet to deliver a significant return on investment. Still, a McDonald's effort created by MPG and Media Contacts featuring an advergame "BBoy Battle" showed innovation and helped increase awareness and purchase intent. Industry wags continue to watch closely the moves of French financier Vincent Bollore, chairman of MPG parent Havas and the largest shareholder of London-based Aegis Group, who hopes to orchestrate some kind of marriage between the two companies-a move that would be a blessing for MPG in the U.S.
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