IPG's Rally not competitive to PR, says division head

NEW YORK: IPG's Universal McCann media agency introduced a social media division this week, Rally@UM, highlighting the continuing battle among marketing disciplines for control in social media.

NEW YORK: IPG's Universal McCann media agency introduced a social media division this week, Rally@UM, highlighting the continuing battle among marketing disciplines for control in social media.

Rally will be led by Heidi Browning, EVP and global digital officer for UM. It combines a "boutique social media experience" with the agency's  current offerings, she added.

"There is so much fragmentation in the social media space and everybody is kind of grabbing at it and gravitating to it for different reasons: PR, marketing, media, product," Browning told PRWeek. " It's becoming so siloed and fragmented across all these agencies that there is no connection to really understand how the activities of social media are truly impacting your paid and earned [efforts]. We saw that need to connect those pieces for our clients."

UM, which provides media buying, planning, and content development, is approaching social media from a strong measurement and analytics point-of-view, but Rally@UM will also offer influencer outreach, produce social media campaigns, and offer consumer relationship management, Browning said.

She added that she doesn't see this as direct competition for PR and other IPG agencies, as each agency—advertising, PR, or otherwise—approaches social media from its own perspective.

Harris Diamond, CEO of Weber Shandwick and IPG's Constituency Management Group, agreed, adding, "Every marketing discipline is going into the social media space. Everybody approaches it from a slightly different perspective."

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