Changing Of The Guard: Wieser Succeeds Coen As Interpublic's Chief Forecaster

After more than six decades as the ad industry's leading forecaster, and de factor scorekeeper, Bob Coen is stepping back to an advisory role to Brian Wieser, who has been anointed Interpublic's lead global forecaster. Wieser, a former Wall Street analyst who has played second fiddle to Coen since joining Interpublic's Magna unit, has been named global director of forecasting.

The changing of the guard is symbolic beyond the ages of the two men (Coen is 86 and Wieser is 34). It also reflects a push to account for a variety of rapidly emerging media and new technologies that didn't always fit neatly into Coen's classic definition of adverting in recent years.

That was increasingly evident during Interpublic's semi-annual forecasts, when Coen would provide a general overview for the advertising economy, and Wieser would give his take on so-called emerging media, such as online search, social networks, mobile, interactive TV, and digital out-of-home media.

In an announcement made early this morning, Interpublic's Mediabrands unit did not say how Wieser's and Coen's benchmarks and methods for forecasting might be integrated, but Interpublic's estimates have served as the Madison Avenue's unofficial scorecard for more than half a century.

Interpublic, however, said Wieser would be interviewing Coen in a series of video presentations on advertising over the decades. A preview has been posted on Mediabrands's new site.



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