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Interpublic

Aaaand, McCann CEO Nick Brien is Out, Diamond is In

Well, Noreen at Adweek‘s trigger-finger was admittedly faster than ours at day’s end as she is indeed reporting what tipsters have been telling us since around 5-ish, that McCann Worldgroup CEO Nick Brien is no longer with the agency. As Adweek, George Parker and others have been buzzing about, Brien’s job status (along with Draftfcb boss Laurence Boschetto‘s) has been in doubt as of late, and recent comments made by Michael Roth, chairman/CEO of parent company IPG, didn’t really soothe matters. Brien had held his title as Worldgroup chairman/chief exec since April 2010 after serving as CEO of IPG’s Mediabrands.

Replacing Brien as McCann Worldgroup’s CEO is Harris Diamond, who most recently served as chairman/CEO of IPG’s Constituency Management Group. Says Roth in a statement, “Harris understands the business needs of global CEOs, across a range of industries. He has a proven track record of effectively managing a portfolio of agencies and growing the top line. He has created a strong culture of collaboration, which is increasingly key in a marketing landscape that requires integration of services. And he brings a deep knowledge of McCann in light of the alignment between Worldgroup and a number of the agencies within CMG, such as Weber Shandwick and FutureBrand.”

Along with Diamond’s appointment, IPG has given Luca Lindner and Gustavo Martinez, McCann Worldgroup president, Americas and Worldgroup president, Europe, respectively, more responsibilities with the former adding Middle East and Africa responsibilities (something he’s familiar with)and the latter, Asia-Pacific.

GM Taps GS&P + McCann to Lead Global Chevy Biz

Odd, but interesting turn of events as rival holding companies Omnicom and IPG earlier joined forces to create “Commonwealth,” which will now serve as global AOR for Chevrolet. Specifically, the Chevy business will be jointly handled by Goodby and McCann Erickson and based in Detroit. Guess our tip from yesterday afternoon stating verbatim that “GSP is going to win the Chevy business” was pretty spot-on.

GM’s VP, global CMO Joel Ewanick explains in a statement, saying, “This is the first time that two large marketing communications holding companies have come together to form a single company. Commonwealth will be based right here in Detroit, and its only focus will be on strengthening and growing Chevrolet into an iconic global brand.” The four creative execs at Commonwealth will consist of creative chairman/GS&P namesake Jeff Goodby, Washington Olivetto, McCann London/New York CCO Linus Karlsson and Prasoon Joshi.

We suppose the alignment of two major agencies, following a six-month review, shouldn’t be too far-fetched considering Goodby has been working on domestic advertising while McCann has handled a fair amount of global work. Responsibility for global efforts, according to the announce, will be transitioned by Commonwealth, save for China, India and Uzbekistan, which will continue handling regional efforts assigned to their specific agencies. We’ve been told China and India were not part of the RFP, though McCann has been leading the ad accounts for Chevrolet in said countries.

 

Well, Here’s One Agency That Appears to Be in the GM Media Mix

It’s been over three months since General Motors set its $3 billion media agency review in motion (as part of its larger global agency consolidation plans), and as the shops get whittled down (or so it seems), sources familiar with the matter tell us that one of those still in the mix is IPG Mediabrands. We’ve been told that Mediabrands, which is led by Matt Seiler, the PHD/Universal McCann alum who took over as head of the Interpublic unit in January, is “currently engaged” in the new biz pitch for GM’s media business. We just have to wonder if this will affect Mediabrands’ relationship with Hyundai.

Here’s the Full Memo Regarding Thom Gruhler if You Were Wondering

By now, you probably know that Thom Gruhler has moved up from the McCann NY ranks to a global managing partner role at McCann Worldgroup. Anyhow, here’s a memo regarding the promotion of the fine-dining aficionado, who succeeded Lori Senecal in 2009, from Worldgroup CEO/chairman Nick Brien:

“To all McCann Worldgroup Employees,

As we continue to embark on our transformation together, our global leadership must have a blend of product excellence and leadership vision, delivered with passion, commitment and consistency.

To this end, I am pleased to announce that Thom Gruhler will be elevated from a New York-centric role to a new global post of Global Managing Partner, Telecommunications & Technology, while continuing to partner with the McCann New York-based team on our important Verizon account. As a new and critical role within the organization we plan to expand to other categories in the coming months.

In his new post, Thom will help our agencies around the world further develop their telecommunications and technology expertise, which is an area of explosive global growth. We are delighted Thom has agreed to assume this significant new role, which reflects his deep experience in marketing and advertising, as well as a passion for the sector.

As many of you know, Thom joined McCann in 2004 as head of the Verizon Wireless business, an account he had helmed since 2002. Three years later, he added the post of Director of Account Management for the agency, and later was named Worldwide Account Director of McCann Erickson. In 2009 he was named President of the New York agency. Prior to focusing on telecommunications and technology, Thom’s experience included managing such accounts as Chevrolet, DaimlerChrysler, Hilton and Salomon Smith Barney.

Thom is a proven leader in the fiercely competitive and growing telecommunications and technology category, and he also understands how to leverage the capabilities and power of McCann Worldgroup.

Please join me in congratulating Thom on his new responsibilities.”

Another CD Opts for Freelance Life

Guess it’s that kind of week. A day after Publicis & Hal Riney confirmed that it’s losing three creatives to the freelance world, sources familiar with the matter let us know that creative director Paul Caiozzo is also leaving his full-time agency gig at fellow Bay Area operation twofifteenmccann (formerly agencytwofifteen which was formerly T.A.G.) and heading into self-employed mode.

Caiozzo spent the last two-and-a-half years at twofifteenmccann, where he was a CD on campaigns including the “Journey” experiment for Microsoft’s now-dead-and-buried Kin and most recently served as art director on the Halo 4: Awakening effort that saw the return of Master Chief. Prior to twofifteenmccann, Caiozzo spent a few years at CP+B, where he was an ACD on a handful of Burger King projects including “Whopper Virgins.”

Stoller Hops from Omnicom to IPG

Nearly two years to the day that he left Organic for the second time to join up with sister Omnicom agency BBDO as EVP, director of digital strategy for North America, Chad Stoller is once again moving on and assuming a role at rival holding company, Interpublic. Stoller actually put in his resignation at BBDO a few weeks back and from what we’ve been told, he’s taking on a post at IPG’s Media Lab. We’re getting specifics on his new title, etc., but if you need some resume material, Stoller kickstarted his career at Arnell, where he spent nearly 15 years and last served as director, communication solutions.

BBDO tells us that they’ll continue to bolster their digital strategy capabilities but there are no immediate plans to replace Stoller.

Update: Scratch that. BBDO tells us that the agency is looking to replace Stoller and “currently finalizing candidates.”

Momentum Officially Launches Entertainment Group

It took six months after the initial announcement, but Deadline.com is reporting that IPG’s Momentum is finally launching its new “future-generation content studio” dubbed Momentum Entertainment Group. As we noted back in January, the leadership will be toplined by Momentum chairman/CEO Chris Weil and Tribal DDB co-founder Steven Marrs, who will serve as president/managing partner of MEG and work out of New York.

According to Deadline, Momentum Entertainment Group will also have offices in Hollywood and New Orleans. Marrs says in a statement, “In creating Momentum Entertainment Group, we are building an innovative way of providing the Hollywood creative community with unique financing and packaging models to connect with broadcasters and brands worldwide.” You can read Weil’s original memo regarding MEG here.

IPG’s Initiative Evolves Digital Offering, Makes Dave Rosner King

IPG-owned agency Initiative is making some notable changes, merging its Digital, Innovations and Amphibian units into one entity and promoting Dave Rosner to head of the integrated group.

Rosner, whose official title is now EVP and director of Digital & Innovations, has served as head of Initiative’s Innovations unit since 2009. Despite the bump-up, he will maintain his old post while also spearheading the East Coast Digital team as well as Amphibian, which will focus on digital video content extending into TV.

Just like Captain Planet brought together the powers of Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Heart, Rosner (whose superhero-worthy jawline can be peeped above) is tasked with bringing together the Innovations, Digital, and Amphibian teams to create one cohesive communications force. Ok, maybe, it’s not that dramatic.

Anyhow, Rosner and his team are self-identified “pop-culture addicts” (join the club) who are passionate about what they do, so let’s see what kind of adventures they’ll embark on in the coming months.

IPG Joins Other Holding Firms in Reporting Q2 Success

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Like Omnicom before it, Interpublic Group is reporting a solid Q2 as the agency holding company announced that for the quarter ending June 30, earnings rose almost 200% to $82.5 million, compared with earnings of $27.8 million in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, IPG revenue was up 9.7 percent in the second quarter of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009 with the tally hitting $1.62 billion. In a statement, Interpublic chairman/CEO Michael Roth seems optimistic enough, saying, “With revenue stability and growth back in the picture, we feel we are very much on track to deliver on our operating margin objective of better than eight percent for 2010. Combined with our commitment to put the cash on our balance sheet to work on behalf of shareholders, we believe our financial performance positions us well to enhance shareholder value going forward.”

Roth added that thanks to economic recovery, IPG will be able to get back on a positive margin trajectory and even increased its margin outlook for the year to better than 8 percent.

More: “IPG CEO: The Worst May Be Over

IPG Makes Brazilian Investment

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Interpublic Group (IPG) announced the acquisition of Sao Paulo-based CUBOCC, a digital agency that’s self-described as a “Monster Whatever Hotshop” on its Web site. Founded in 2004 by Roberto Martini, who we’ve been told has been a part of the digital marketing industry since 1995, CUBOCC currently houses 106 employees and counts Unilever as a major client. Case in point, check out the shop’s work for Axe including “Dark Temptation” as well as Rexona’s “Men Tuning Race”.

In a statement, IPG chairman/CEO Michael Roth says the CUBOCC investment will give the holding company greater foothold in the South American region. “They’ll add local expertise and great digital credentials in a dynamic market to the IPG roster and further strengthen our various agencies’ ability to service clients and provide best-in-class digital strategy in an increasingly important part of the world.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

More: “IPG Picks Nick Brien to Succeed John Dooner as McCann Worldgroup CEO, Launches Creative Technology Unit

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