EDITORIAL: Unanswered questions on IPG deal

Interpublic's plan to merge Weber Shandwick Worldwide and BSMG -

instead of merging the latter with Golin/Harris International - seems an

odd choice. Certainly, the BSMG name will not be missed. Despite growth

- quadrupling fees to pounds 100m in five years deserves recognition -

the BSMG brand does not have the desired level of recognition.



And yet this was not the only option for IPG. Merging BSMG with

Golin/Harris would have given it a second Top 5 global network. Instead,

it went for the largest in the world - creating a dollars 500m firm was

a grander plan, with some clear advantages in forging brand

recognition.



One item on IPG's recent agenda is known to have been merging WSW,

Golin/Harris and BSMG's UK financial PR operations, including Square

Mile. This would enable the company to compete with City giants such as

Brunswick and Financial Dynamics. But folding WSW's financial PROs into

Broadcast and Interactive last week leaves a question mark over that

sort of bold move. Indeed, whether IPG has the stamina for the bruising

move of Golin/Harris's financial team into the new structure must now be

in doubt.



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