Interpublic Unveils New Structure

Dooner Says Dramatic Reorganization Is 'Just the Beginning'

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CHICAGO ( -- Offering a first view into the workings of its new organization, Interpublic Group of Cos. late today unveiled a new corporate structure following the completion of its acquisition June 19 of True North Communications.

While much of the announcement lent truth to some rumors circulating around the industry, it also included a few surprises about the future look of the $7.2 billion New York-based entity.

Interpublic Chairman-CEO John Dooner told that the moves represent a "significant migration of the needs of clients from advertising solutions to total communications solutions ... on a global basis. We have three models to do that."

Four divisions
As was expected, Interpublic will comprise four operating divisions, each with its own management. Three of the units are modeled to provide a wider combination of integrated marketing and advertising services. The fourth entity is a network of specialized marketing services that includes public relations, multicultural communications and training.

Most surprising was the parceling of True North's Bozell network, with some units being absorbed by its new siblings, and Interpublic's handing FCB Worldwide an auto account after its crushing loss of the $1 billion-plus DaimlerChrysler account. Mr. Dooner expects the new structure will enable the three units to both collaborate and compete with each other.

"We're trying to provide environments that will enhance everybody's capabilities," Mr. Dooner told

The new structure, he said, "broadens" rather than restricts collaboration among the different agencies, where "one or more component parts can work with any number of other component parts."

"Siblings, by the way, are the biggest rivals in the world," he said.

Familiar names
Two of the three operating divisions bear familiar names. McCann-Erickson WorldGroup will be headed by Jim Heekin as chairman-CEO. Much of McCann's holdings will remain unchanged, including MRM Partners Worldwide, Torre Lazur Healthcare Worldwide and Universal McCann Worldwide.

But some additional shops will shift under the McCann umbrella. In a surprise move, Bozell's Chicago operations will move to McCann, giving it a long-absent Windy City presence. As earlier reported, True North's Temerlin McClain will be aligned under McCann, as will Avrett Free & Ginsberg and Lowe Group's Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos.

The second unit is Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, which will operate as the hub of the FCB Group. It will be led by Brendan Ryan as chairman-CEO. Former Lowe Lintas unit Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., is now aligned with the FCB Group, which gives Foote, Cone access to that shop's auto-related accounts, which includes General Motors Corp., filling the void left by DaimlerChrysler.

Strategic dilemmas
The third operating unit, the Partnership, is a microcosm of Mr. Dooner's larger strategic dilemmas in creating the new Interpublic structure. He needed to pare an unwieldy collection of more than 20 independent operations to four, without sacrificing the separate identity of each, limiting their collaborative potential or bruising the egos of each agency chief. Split into two groups -- Senior Partners, made up of global agencies, and Member Partners, an assembly of far-flung domestic agencies -- the new unit will be overseen by David Bell, the former chairman and CEO of True North and now vice chairman of Interpublic.

Shops Deutsch, New York; Bozell, New York; Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis; Howard Merrell & Partners, Raleigh, N.C.; Tierney Communications, Philadelphia; Delaney Lund and Springer & Jacoby make up the Member Partner group.

One issue Mr. Dooner put to rest was the future role of Deutsch Chairman-CEO Donny Deutsch. He will serve as a senior partner representing the Member Partners.

Senior Partner agencies include Lowe Lintas & Partners, DraftWorldwide, Golin/Harris International and Initiative Media, of which their respective CEOs, will have senior partner status. In addition, Michael Sennott, Lowe Lintas' deputy chairman, was also named a senior partner for the Partnership. Sir Frank Lowe will continue as chairman of Lowe Lintas and chairman-CEO of Octagon.

The fourth unit, Advance Marketing Services, will be led by Chairman-CEO Larry Weber, who is also CEO of the public relations unit Weber Shandwick Worldwide, which has now merged with True North's BSMG Worldwide to create a $500 million agency. The group includes marketing intelligence unit NFO Worldgroup, training shop Jack Morton Worldwide and multicultural network New America Strategies Group.

Barry Linsky, Interpublic's executive vice president of planning, told that a number of former True North companies are being aligned with existing Interpublic operations. For instance, Bozell Kamstra, Boston, will merge with Mullen, while Bozell Silicon Valley will align with Foote Cone, San Francisco.

Mr. Linksy said some of the changes were made to better assign chains of command "to another operating company who shares their professional outlook and expertise."

Just the beginning
Mr. Dooner said the moves are just the beginning.

"Now we have an organizational structure that is competitively strong and arguably superior," he said. "But there is plenty of work to be done."

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