Initiative Initiates A Spin-Off, New Company To Focus On Analytics, Channel Planning

Initiative is initiating a new media services company focused on sophisticated research, analytics and so-called channel planning. Details of the new company, which could be announced as soon as today, have been kept under wraps, but executives familiar with the plans say it will be a new, standalone unit reporting to Stacey Lynn Koerner, executive vice president-director of global research integration at Initiative, and long regarded as one of Madison Avenue's media research gurus.

The new company, which had been using the working title Heroics, has been recruiting senior-level researchers and statistical modelers from other big media shops for four director-level positions. The name Heroics was rejected when parent Interpublic could not clear the trademark, but Initiative has also recently registered names including "MAP," "Marketing Accountability Partnership," and "MAP Marketing Accountability Partnership."

The Initiative spin-off unit comes as Interpublic has been reorganizing its burgeoning media enterprises under a new corporate-level operation dubbed Interpublic Media, which last year recruited former MTV Networks honcho Mark Rosenthal as CEO. Rosenthal is expected to unveil a new structure of Interpublic Media, which includes Magna Global, Universal McCann, FCB Media, Initiative, as well as the new spin-off.



The moves come as other big agency media networks also are restructuring, repositioning and spinning off new, high-level and strategically-oriented media operations. On Wednesday, Interpublic rival Publicis unveiled Denuo, a new operation focused on developing future media and advertising opportunities through a high-level strategic analysis, new ventures and even invention.

The fact that the new Initiative unit has been recruiting executives with experience in channel planning suggests that the unit will look beyond conventional ad-supported media to include other forms of marketing services that can deliver a brand message to consumers.

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