NEW MEDIA - IPG consolidates with single new media unit

Interpublic Group (IPG) is to pull together seven of its core new media operations under the umbrella brand, Zentropy Partners.

Interpublic Group (IPG) is to pull together seven of its core new

media operations under the umbrella brand, Zentropy Partners.



The move follows the merger of Lowe Howard-Spink and Ammirati Puris

Lintas in October. It aims to create a new internet services company to

compete against consultancy firms that are moving into new media

territory.



IPG is pouring dollars 50m (pounds 30m) into the company, which it is

billing as the ’largest-ever new entrant in the internet services

market’.



The new agency brings together US-based agencies Zentropy, Hill-Holliday

Interactive, Digital Cafe and the interactive arm of Anderson &

Lembke.



Internationally, it will incorporate Shand- wick Interactive,

McCann-Erickson-owned Thunderhouse and French new media house MDEO - as

well as almost all the key staff from APL Digital in London.



Zentropy Partners’ UK clients will include Compaq, Alta Vista, Shell,

UPS and Fidelity Investments.



A major exclusion is Unilever - its interactive business is likely to be

serviced separately by Head New Media, part-owned by Lowe.



Alastair Duncan, formerly head of APL Digital London, will run Zentropy

Partners’ UK operations together with joint UK managing director, Simone

Barratt, who has been head of Shandwick Interactive in London since

1996.



It is likely to incorporate 26 staff from APL Digital and 20 employees

from Shandwick Interactive.



The company is positioning itself as a full-service new media company,

offering web marketing, ads and site-design services and expanding into

e-business consultancy.



’Our brief is to create a new kind of company, offering end-to-end

services to help companies become e-businesses,’ said Duncan.



’This is about contributing to clients’ bottom line, to help them

benefit from the digital economy and bring dot.com businesses to market

quickly.’



Zentropy Partners’ international clients will include Coca-Cola, Johnson

& Johnson and General Motors.



The new organisation will have 500 employees spread across five

countries.



It will be headed by chief executive John Connors, former managing

director of Hill Holliday Interactive, and president Ryan Magnussen, who

co-founded Zentropy in 1995.



The positioning of the new company is to counter the range of new

players in the new media services market.



The past year has seen a range of management consultancy, systems

integration and technology firms looking to exploit their existing links

with clients and expand into selling new media services.



The traditional agencies’ rush into new media has left parent companies

with a diverse range of new media interests and sometimes uncoordinated

approaches.



Earlier this year, WPP group announced the creation of WPP.com, a

similar though looser umbrella brand to co-ordinate its digital

interests.



Omnicom has kept the interactive arms of its traditional agencies, such

as DDB, within their respective units and established a division called

Communicade.



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