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WPP Group has formed The Channel, a global "coordination unit" that will oversee the activities of MindShare, the Media Edge and other media businesses within the company. Mandy Pooler, the former CEO of MindShare U.K., was named to the post of CEO of The Channel. Ms. Pooler's role will be to act as chief strategist, developing proprietary media planning and analysis tools for MindShare and The Media Edge. Ms. Pooler will also act as a consultant to Media Edge in the U.K.

Industry speculation about the relationship between the two influential media agencies has been running hot ever since WPP last year purchased Young & Rubicam, the Media Edge's legacy shop. WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell discounted suggestions that he would merge the two shops into a larger venture, indicating that his preference was to have two media agency brands that consult with each other. This arrangement, which is the current status quo, allows WPP to retain competing media clients.

Executives at MindShare, the Media Edge and WPP could not be reached for comment at press time.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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