Draftfcb Shifts Media Ops To Mediabrands, Enhances Client Services

Laurence-Boschetto-AInterpublic Group’s Draftfcb is undergoing a major reorganization, with its media operation shifting to sibling organization Mediabrands, the company has confirmed. The move, which comes amid a search for a new CEO, will enable Draftfcb to refocus its practice on core competencies, including creative, strategic planning, data management, CRM and digital.
 
Mediabrands manages most of IPG's media assets, including its two big media shops, UM and Initiative, start-up media agency network BPN, research and negotiation unit Magna Global and various specialty firms.

But the media operations of some of IPG’s full-service agencies like Draftfcb and Mullen have remained outside the purview of Mediabrands. Draftfcb has estimated total revenues exceeding $1.1 billion although the media business that is shifting from Draftfcb to Mediabrands amounts to less than $10 million in revenue.

Now the Draftfcb media team of about 50 staffers, led by chief media officer Rich Gagnon, will be housed organizationally within Mediabrands. Gagnon, who had reported into Draftfcb, will now report to Shane Ankeney, managing director Initiative U.S.

The reorganization is a work in progress. Still to be determined is how the Draftfcb media assignments will be divvied up among the three main media shops: UM, Initiative and BPN. Eventually, the Draftfcb media specialists will migrate to one of those agencies, depending on which client brands they work on.

Draftfcb’s media clients include Merck, Boeing, Dow, Amtrak and Microsoft.

Initiative already does buying for Merck and is expected to inherit Draftfcb's planning-focused media assignment for that client. Earlier, the two shops had shared the MillerCoors business, although the entire assignment migrated to Initiative last year.

The basic idea behind the realignment per executives is to facilitate easier access by Draftfcb media clients to the full portfolio of Mediabrands tools and resources, such as the IPG Media Lab, trading desk Cadreon, Shopper Sciences and other specialty services. The realignment has been ongoing outside the U.S.

In a memo to U.S. staffers today, Draftfcb Laurence Boschetto wrote the move would "formalizing our existing alignment between Draftfcb and IPG Mediabrands to further leverage the full power of Mediabrands’ resources for the benefit of shared clients. In effect, that means our media people at Draftfcb will continue to work on our integrated brand teams, but will operationally become part of IPG Mediabrands.”

In the same memo, IPG CEO Michael Roth stated: “Since the creation of IPG Mediabrands, we've looked to deliver the benefits of media scale and innovation ... This move is an evolution of that strategy, which will allow the insights and expertise that IPG Mediabrands and Draftfcb bring to clients to be combined into an even more integrated set of offerings and capabilities.”

The media realignment is the latest in a series of steps the agency is taking to bolster its offering. Last week, the agency announced that Javier Campopiano had been named chief creative officer at the shop’s New York office. The company confirmed in November that a search was underway to find CEO Boschetto’s successor.

This story has been updated.

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