The Interpublic Group is to merge its three global PR brands into
two next year in a move which will see the full merger of Shandwick and
the Weber Group.
Just two weeks after announcing the merger of Shandwick's UK operations
into those of co-IPG-owned McCann-Erickson Public Relations, the company
has gone a step further with its international networks.
From January next year, Weber Shandwick Worldwide will be run as one
group and Golin/Harris International as another. Fourteen Weber offices
in Europe will change their names to Golin/Harris. Golin/Harris will now
have 24 offices worldwide and total fees of more than pounds 70 million.
It also becomes a top ten US PR firm for the first time.
The remaining Weber and Shandwick offices will merge to ensure that IPG
once again owns the world's largest PR agency network's overtaking WPP's
Larry Weber, currently chairman and CEO of IPG's Allied Communications
Group, will be the first CEO of Weber Shandwick Worldwide. Weber
director Marijean Lauzier will be president and chief operating officer.
William Davies, also of Weber, will be chief financial officer,
reporting to Lauzier. This raft of appointments means that since the
departure of deputy CEO Michael Murphy - who was based in London - all
the top management posts at the new group are taken by New York-based
Meanwhile, Lutz Meyer, the Bonn-based former MD of Shandwick in mainland
Europe, has been promoted to CEO of the whole of Europe, with
responsibility for the UK. He is expected to work closely with Philip
Dewhurst, who remains CEO of UK operations.
Shandwick UK is close to signing a lease which will see its four London
offices merge into one building for the first time.