INITIATIVE (struggler)

Must solidify leadership and fix European issues under its next CEO

Published on .

It's been a bleak few years for , but in 2006 the agency began to reap the benefits of some strides on the new-business and talent fronts. The Interpublic Group of Cos. media network recruited Richard Beaven, a former MediaVest executive, to head its North American region, and brought in business from CBS, Showtime, Lions Gate and Gateway. However, urgent tasks for Interpublic include finding a successor to Worldwide CEO Alec Gerster after a few years of quiet searching. also must sort out its overseas performance, especially in Europe, where it took hits on Unilever and General Motors Corp. To be sure, hasn't been helped out by the lack of stability in Interpublic's corporate-media operation.

In Interpublic's revamp, a move back toward the creative agencies appears to make sense. The setup should only help to facilitate the kind of creative thinking is known for. Last year, it did some innovative work for Showtime's sitcom "Weeds" that included a scent-strip in Rolling Stone that smelled of marijuana.
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