Interpublic has created a media holding company structure called Mediabrands that will include its two media agencies Initiative and Universal McCann. When Campaign India spoke to Lynn de Souza, chairman and CEO, Lintas Media Group (pictured), about the implications of the move in India, she said, "In time, yes, the creation of the new management entity Mediabrands would have implications for the Indian market as well. I cannot share any details with you at this point, though."
Probed further as to whether this pre-supposes a merger going forward at any point for the two IPG media networks, Universal McCann and Initiative, Lynn de Souza emphatically said that was not the case. A source from within IPG though did indicate that the complexity of Interpublic's media networks in India would make such a move in future, if ever considered, quite untenable.
The new entity will have Nick Brien as president and chief executive while Richard Beaven who is the chief executive of Initiative will remain in that position. Michael Hudes, the global director of digital media for Clear Channel will also join Mediabrands as president for its diversified media services and strategic development.
In a statement issued by IPG, the holding company has stated that this did not in any way indicate plans to merge the Initiative and Universal McCann brands in future.
IPG's press statement reiterates that it has no plans to combine its global media networks and says that it will continue to manage the Initiative and Universal McCann brands as independent entities, each aligned where appropriate. (This would imply McCann Worldgroup for Universal McCann and Draftfcb for Initiative).