Andy Polansky builds centralized strategy team at CMG

The unit is intended to be additive to firms such as Weber Shandwick, Jack Morton and Golin in holding company Interpublic Group’s PR and specialty marketing agency portfolio.

CMG CEO Andy Polansky.
CMG CEO Andy Polansky.

NEW YORK: Constituency Management Group chairman and CEO Andy Polansky has assembled a small group of executives within Interpublic Group's PR and specialty agency division to offer cross-discipline support to clients.

The central team comprises Cathy Calhoun as chief growth officer, Margenett Moore-Roberts as chief inclusion and diversity officer and Will Nikosey as SVP, brand integration and growth. Chief healthcare officer Laura Schoen will split her time equally between the new CMG role and existing responsibilities as president of global healthcare at Weber Shandwick.

“It’s a small team that works alongside me,” explained Polansky. “We’re not building a huge central team, but we will have some important resources in the center.”

Calhoun was formerly chief client officer at Weber; Nikosey was corporate communications practice lead at talent and media agency holding company Endeavor and, prior to that, MD at Kwittken; Moore-Roberts was chief inclusion and equity officer at Golin.

“We’re leaning into diversity and how it drives business impact moving forward,” said Polansky. “It’s central to what we’re doing as a team.”

He added that many client briefs now ask for multidimensional support across disciplines. The central CMG team would be responsible for developing those opportunities with both new and existing clients.

“We won’t dilute the equity of the individual agency brands,” said Polansky. “It will be additive to what’s already in the portfolio. It’s an opportunity to come to market with an offer that is timely and compelling.”

CMG comprises IPG’s PR firms Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries Global, Current Global, Rogers & Cowan/PMK and The Axis Agency. The unit also includes specialist agencies in sports, event, experiential and brand marketing such as Jack Morton, FutureBrand and Octagon. Other Interpublic PR firms, such as Carmichael Lynch Relate, operate outside CMG.

Polansky became chairman and CEO of CMG in July last year, reporting to IPG chairman and CEO Michael Roth. He had been CEO of Weber since 2012 and was replaced in that role by Gail Heimann, who still reports to Polansky. He remains executive chairman of the agency.

In financial results released last Wednesday, CMG posted revenue of $307.6 million in Q1 2020, up 3.7% organically from last year. The PR firms within the group registered low-single-digit growth on both an organic and as-reported basis in Q1, according to Polansky.

In 2019, CMG posted full-year organic revenue growth of 2.3%, achieving revenues of $1.3 billion. Its PR firms grew low single digits.

Healthcare, technology and food and beverage were big growth sectors, with Rogers & Cowan/PMK, Current Global and Weber subsidiary ReviveHealth posting double-digit growth.

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