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NEW YORK ( -- On the heels of a massive and complex re-organization following its acquisition of True North Communications, Interpublic Group of Cos. is now launching a new media company, Magna Global.
The new unit is being described by Interpublic as a $40 billion stand-alone media-negotiating company that will handle "aggregate" national broadcast media negotiations for its media buying and planning companies Universal McCann and Initiative Media.

New Magna chief
Bill Cella, currently executive vice president and director of national broadcast and programming at Universal McCann,

will leave that position to become chairman of Magna Global USA. Donna Wolfe, executive vice president and director of broadcast at Universal, will replace him. Mick Perry will leave his current post as vice chairman of Universal McCann to become chairman of Magna Global UK. The new company will begin operations Sept. 1.

"The individual buying heads at Initiative and Universal will be dealing with the detail aspects of the buy," said Mr. Cella, describing his job duties, "while I go out and negotiate with an aggregate amount of money. I don't know what clients are looking for what. I just go out with this daypart dollar amount and negotiate. I won't have any proprietary information on clients needs. That's what separate us from buying, where you know the client strategies, GRP levels and so forth. Once I negotiate the deals, that information goes back to the agencies, and they execute the deals."

Against the grain
Interpublic's recently announced reorganization appears to go against the grain in terms of organizing its media companies.

Two of its main competitors, Bcom3 Group and WPP Group, have organized their media giants under single entities, Starcom MediaVest Group and a soon-to-be-announced merger between MindShare and Media Edge.

Interpublic, in contrast, is keeping its media giants separate with Universal McCann falling under the jurisdiction of the old McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, Initiative fitting into the new Advanced Marketing Services silo, and FCB Media tucking in under the FCB Group blanket. Interpublic is also keeping another foot firmly planted in the past by keeping media planning operations firmly entrenched within creative shops.

As if to make up for this notable lack of media integration, Magna Global now surfaces as a kind of third leg to stand on. It will apparently function as a kind of super-agent for all Interpublic media companies, negotiating deals backed by the clout of a consolidated client list. All this and no messy mergers between agencies.

The concept behind Magna was based on Intensive, an Interpublic company based in Hamburg, Germany, that pooled together Universal McCann and Initiative resources to consolidate media negotiation clout for both agencies under Intensive CEO Dominico Madile. Mr. Mandile will continue to head the Hamburg unit when it is renamed Magna Global Germany, effective in September.

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