Friday, June 02, 2006


Opinions differ on how things will pan out for Interpublic’s merger of Draft and FCB, but you have to feel for Steve Blamer.

He waits for months to join FCB and after a short run at the top he finds his network dissolved and himself a casualty. Maybe Grey will take him back.

It really is the case of the old man of advertising, 130-plus-year-old FCB, being snapped up by the young DM whippersnapper – okay a 28-year-old whippersnapper, but you get the drift.

You can guarantee that many above-the-line creative types have greeted the DM takeover with something less than jubilation.

Interpublic chairman and CEO Michael Roth is, of course, right with all of his sound-bite comments. Like, totally right:

"This is a modern offering, a total offering."


"This is what clients are looking for.”

Opinion is divided if it’s the right move, with Credit Suisse analyst Debra Schwartz telling the New York Times:

"We believe the key to the story is IPG's ability to return to growth, and initiatives like this give us confidence it is making progress."

But not all are so convinced, with another analyst, Lauren Rich Fine of Merrill Lynch, being quoted in the paper pointing out the risks of client conflict and the loss of top staff (see you Steve).

"We are not averse to IPG's attempt to rationalize its agency brands, but recognize the significant risks near term while the upside would take time to materialize."

It looks like there was an effort to keep Blamer, but either they had nothing quite tempting enough to offer him or they didn't try very hard. Personally, I reckon it’s the former. Blamer wants an agency to run.

The NY Times quotes from a memo to FCB staff where Blamer says he had discussed posts inside Interpublic with Roth but decided to move on.

"I run agencies; I'm an operations guy," Mr. Blamer said. "I'm not a staff guy, a headquarters guy."

Ultimately Blamer lost out to a more powerful Howard Draft. Draft wanted one merged agency and Blamer wanted to keep the FCB brand under the Draft umbrella, but looks like Draft wasn't expecting rain.


At 2:44 PM, Anonymous dm lover said...

envelope stuffers, really, tut tut tut...

At 3:50 PM, Anonymous the online wizard said...

I heard Draft won because FCB didn't want to be known as draft excluders.

ho ho ho

At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Bill Clinton said...

Mah Fellow Americans...the reason Howard Draft won was because FCB aren't draft dodgers....

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Gordon said...

envelope stuffers

Whoops, that slipped in - and has been removed.

At 3:52 PM, Anonymous the barclays brothers said...

Why is everyone talking about this still? We're so over this story. In fact we're specialists in Over Drafts.

At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Direct Male said...

so what's your beef with DM mr Blog? ain't it fancy and techno weckwo enought for ya.

At 4:44 PM, Anonymous big bill broonzy said...

DM actually gives a guaranteed return on investment and is very handy. when i'm out on the road singing popular blues classics like 'hey hey' i love a bit of DM


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