Interpublic set to pick new global boss

Interpublic is preparing to appoint a head of global research and analytics – the latest move in a fundamental re-tooling of the troubled advertising giant's media operations.

Word that the company would be creating the new worldwide research position came after the first meeting of all the key players in IPG's media operation.

At the meeting, Mark Rosenthal, Interpublic's recently appointed global head of media, signalled that he planned to move fast to shore up the company's planning and buying business, which has suffered a series of major account losses over the past year.

One of the conference attendees, Chris Shaw, Universal McCann's chairman for Europe, Middle East and Africa, explained that since Rosenthal's appointment, the pieces of the Interpublic restructuring jigsaw had begun to drop into place.

"We can now move forward with some of the people we have been talking to," said Shaw, adding: "There are lots of positions to be filled at a global level and locally we have been hiring like crazy."

Shaw added that one of the clear messages that came out of the meeting was that now the network's restructuring plan had been laid out, everyone needed to get on with the job at hand – and that those not onboard with any necessary changes wouldn't be welcome as passengers. "It's good. It's what needed to happen," said Shaw.

Rosenthal also clarified that he wants to see a more efficient sharing of resources and tools across the global network.

Shaw said sharing of resources is already happening in the UK with Universal McCann and Initiative, but added that there are parts of Interpublic's global buying operation, Magna, that need to be developed within Europe.

The IPG summit, which took place in Florida, brought together around 25 bosses from across the IPG network including, Universal McCann, Initiative, Brand Connection and Magna as well as representatives from creative agency Foote Cone & Belding. As well as announcing the head of global and analytic research, Rosenthal is also due to name a chief executive of Universal McCann to replace Robin Kent who along with Initiative's worldwide chairman, Marie-Jose Forrissier, left the company in March.

Interpublic's restructuring comes amid rocky times for the global network, which has yet to state its 2004 financial results.

The company recently lost the £2bn General Motors account in the US to Starcom Mediavest, and also lost the European Unilever business and parts of the Nestle brief near the end of last year.

Another major piece of business held by Interpublic, the £1bn L'Oreal account, is up for pitch.

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