Hedge Fund Investment In Interpublic Fans Flames Of Sale Rumors

Activist hedge fund Elliott Management has taken a 6.7% stake worth about $570 million in Interpublic Group, in what could be a precursor to a sale. The $24 billion hedge fund, run by Paul Singer, made a regulatory filing on Thursday indicating that IPG's shares "are undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity." The firm said it wants to "engage in a constructive dialogue" with the company's board of directors. A source familiar with Elliott's stake in Interpublic said it is gearing up to push the company to the auction block with hopes of attracting IPG's larger competitors as buyers. Pivotal Research Group Analyst Brian Wieser, as do many others, believes Japan's Dentsu is the likely buyer.

Right in step with the ad industry's penchant for inventing new buzzwords and job titles, CP+B has crowned account management staffer David Corns, VP director of product & brand invention. It's part of the agency's effort to grow its product innovation group headed by EVP Executive Director of Product Innovation Neil Riddell. All of this is part of a larger industry trend -- agencies getting into the business of developing products rather than just developing ad campaigns to help sell products. Which, itself, is an acknowledgement of an even bigger trend; the fact that most advertising has become pointless and agencies best do something (anything) to keep themselves afloat.

eBay has finally decided who it will work with to update its image, an effort the online auction giant began this spring. eBay has chosen WPP's MediaCom for media and Omnicom's Goodby Silverstein & Partners for creative. Of the selection, an eBay spokeswoman said: "As our brand evolves, we're constantly looking for new ways to inspire and engage our buyers and sellers around the world. We have recently engaged Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Mediacom as one of our agency partners to help us explore how to continue telling the story of eBay."

Netflix is looking to do big things in Europe. After having worked with Fallon since last September for work in the UK, the brand is gearing up for expansion into Germany, France, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg this fall. Netflix, which just hired former Starbucks VP of Marketing Jenny Dennee McCabe as director of marketing for Europe, is in discussions with several un-named agencies for this pan-European efforts.
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