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We Hear: IPG Wins Chrysler Social Media Account; Activists Invest in Interpublic

IPG_MEDIABRANDS_Black_LargeWhile we can’t confirm this report, we hear from several sources that Chrysler–which signed Ignite to handle its social media in 2011 after experiencing an unfortunate misstep involving the f-bomb that led the company to dump its agency–has awarded that account to Interpublic’s IPG Media Brands.

Chrysler did not announce an official review; updates as they arrive.

Another piece of Interpublic news is definitely accurate: this morning, the New York hedge fund Elliott Management confirmed, via SEC filing, that it had acquired a 6.7 percent interest in the larger holding group. This news follows earlier speculation that Elliott aimed to play the role of “activist investor” by scooping up a stake in the group (which includes McCann, Weber Shandwick and FCB among “almost 100 different firms”).

What does the shift mean for the agencies under the Interpublic umbrella? From The Wall Street Journal:

“Elliott’s confirmation of its interest will put pressure on Interpublic Chief Executive Michael Roth…One reason an activist may want to shake up Interpublic is that the company has failed to meet its margin targets over the last two years…Results have been hampered by the poor performance of some of its largest agencies, such as McCann Worldgroup, the biggest unit by revenue…Still, over the past year, McCann has begun to rebound under new leadership, winning new business from companies such as GM and Microsoft.”

Something of a mixed message.

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