Why IPG Is Selling Hill Holliday and Deutsch NY

I was reminded earlier today after word that Interpublic announced the sale of Hill Holliday and Deutsch New York that all of the holding companies prune their portfolios from time to time to keep assets aligned with current growth strategies.  

That’s essentially why IPG is selling. HH’s and DNY’s capabilities—good as they are--are duplicated at other shops within the company.  

And it’s no secret that neither was leading the charge profit-wise at the holding company. CEO Philippe Krakowsky said as much during a Q3 2023 earnings call when he noted that “decreases among tech & telecom sector clients and a more cautious macroeconomic environment continued to weigh on our performance, notably at our digital specialists and most of our creatively led agencies.”  



As to growth drivers, he added, “We had strong growth at our media offerings, followed by increases at our Sports and Entertainment, Experiential and Public Relations disciplines.”   

What’s striking about the HH and Deutsch NY sales is that they are so well known. But they’re just the latest U.S.-focused agencies that IPG has sold in recent years. 

In 2020 Dave Fitzgerald bought back the Atlanta-based agency he founded thirty-some years ago, Fitzgerald & Co. IPG owned it for two decades.  

LA-based Dailey Agency bought itself back from IPG in 2017 as did Dallas-based TM that same year.   

Both Fitz and Dailey are still going strong although sadly TM shut its doors a few years back after a number of client losses. 

IPG still has a number of agencies that do business primarily in the U.S. including Deutsch LA, The Martin Agency, AF&G, Campbell Ewald, Carmichael Lynch and EP + Co.   

Are they potential candidates for divestiture? My guess would be some but not all. I think it’s a safe bet the firm will be hanging on to its global networks, including FCB, MullenLowe and McCann.  

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