Shandwick/Weber in IPG global merger

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

Burson-Marsteller.



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

personnel.



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.



Leader, p10.



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