EDITORIAL: IPG move should help Golin/Harris

If it walks like a cost-cutting drive and talks like a cost-cutting drive - it is a cost-cutting drive. Just what other conclusion observers can come to when assessing Interpublic Group's latest agency shake-up is not clear. With all of the firm's UK PR interests now in the same building, the company gets what one insider calls 'economies of scale combined with network brand integrity'.

Time will tell if the second half of this prediction comes true, but - happily for IPG - there is a sound brand management case for attempting to breathe fresh life into the Golin/Harris brand.

Weber Group has long punched above its weight - this, after all, was the logic behind keeping that stand-alone brand alive in 2000, when the rest of Weber reversed into Shandwick International.

Meanwhile, there has clearly been an acknowledgement in Chicago that - to put it politely - the Golin/Harris brand has lost its way. Attempts to boost the business across Europe through an acquisition drive under ex-EMEA MD Sue Farr came to nought and, despite some decent clients on the books, the firm has been bleeding staff and income for at least a couple of years. Using one successful brand to buff up the image of a failing one makes sense.

IPG may or may not be undertaking the latest moves for the right reasons, but if it succeeds in turning around the slightly fusty image of one of the industry's greatest historic names, nobody will much care about the cost-cutting drive.

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