The Interpublic Group of Companies

The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG) is an American publicly traded advertising company. The company consists of five major networks: FCB, IPG Mediabrands, McCann Worldgroup, MullenLowe Group, and Marketing Specialists, as well as a number of independent specialty agencies in the areas of public relations, sports marketing, talent representation, and healthcare.[3] It is one of the "Big Four" agency companies, alongside WPP, Publicis and Omnicom.[4] Michael Roth is the company's CEO.[1]

The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.
Traded asNYSE: IPG
S&P 500 Component
IndustryAdvertising agency
PredecessorMcCann-Erickson, Inc.
Founded1930 (1930) (as McCann Erickson)
1961 (1961) (as Interpublic Group)
Headquarters909 Third Avenue
New York City, New York 10022
United States
Key people
Michael I. Roth, Chairman, CEO, & President[1]
Revenue US$9.71 billion[2] (2018)
US$1.01 billion[2] (2018)
US$637.7 million[2] (2018)
Total assetsUS$15.62 billion[2] (2018)
Total equity US$2.43 billion[2] (2018)
Number of employees
54,000[2] (2018)


On October 2, 1930, IPG was founded in New York City as McCann-Erickson, when H.K. McCann Co. (founded in 1911) and Erickson Co. (founded in 1902) merged.[5] At the time, it was the largest agency in the ad industry.[6]

In 1960, McCann was restructured into four operating units, each reporting to a new holding company. The four units were McCann-Erickson Advertising (U.S.), McCann-Erickson Corp. (international), McCann-Marschalk and Communications Affiliates. The latter consisted of diversified communications agencies.[6] In January 1961, McCann was renamed Interpublic Group (IPG) and created the first marketing services management holding company with McCann-Erickson as a subsidiary.[7]

In Fall 1973, as clients began focusing more on international strategies, McCann-Erickson combined its domestic and international branches into a single worldwide agency under IPG.[6]

In 1997, the McCann-Erickson World Group was formed with several of IPG's different units. [8]

In December 2000, Deutsch Inc, reported by the New York Times at the time to be the largest and last independent agency, was acquired by IPG to be an autonomous unit.[9]

In 2001, IPG acquired True North Communications, the holding company for Foote Cone & Belding.[10] By then, in addition to True North, Interpublic's primary holdings included two wholly owned global advertising agency networks, McCann-Erickson Worldwide and the Lowe Group; five global specialized-services networks, Initiative Media Worldwide, Draft Worldwide, NFO Worldwide, Octagon, and Zentropy Partners; an Internet-services company; and Allied Communications Group, which managed Interpublic's specialized communications companies.[11]

In 2003, IPG agreed to pay $115 million to settle class action lawsuits brought by its shareholders. The shareholders had sued Interpublic after accounting irregularities led to restatements of financial results, causing the company's stock to fall.[12]

In March 2004, IPG renamed its McCann-Erickson World Group as McCann Worldgroup.[13]

On September 15, 2005, IPG announced plans to restate earnings for fiscal 2000 through 2004, due to problems in accounting for revenue, acquisitions and lease expenses.[14] On March 22, 2006, IPG posted a loss for the fourth quarter and restated results for the first three quarters of 2005, which reduced revenue by $14.1 million. It also announced its controller and chief accounting officer was leaving the company.[15]

IPG disposed of 51 businesses in 2005 and 2006, primarily outside the U.S.; the company said it exited 23 "loss-making international affiliates" in 2006.[16] IPG in April 2007 announced it agreed to buy Reprise Media, a search engine marketing firm.[17] In July of that same year, FCB-Ulka Advertising Private Limited, a subsidiary of IPG, was renamed DRAFTFCB+Ulka Advertising Pvt. Ltd.[18]

In July 2008, IPG formed a media buying and planning unit called Mediabrands (later IPG Mediabrands).[19]

In March 2014, IPG draftfcb was renamed as IPG's international network FCB.[20]

In January 2016, the merger of IPG groups Mullen in the US and Lowe and Partners worldwide was renamed as MullenLowe Group.[21]

In July 2018, IPG announced they were buying database marketing company Acxiom's Marketing Solutions business for $USD2.3 billion.[22]


IPG consists of dozens of businesses organized into six groups. There are three global networks: Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB); McCann Worldgroup; and MullenLowe; a media services company, IPG Mediabrands; a marketing services group, Marketing Specialists; and several independent domestic digital agencies.[2]


FCB is one of IPG's three global networks. Its companies include the following:

  • FCB, the former Draftfcb, formed by a merger between Draft Worldwide, and Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide. Currently owned by Syed Gousul Alam Shaon. MD and country head of Grey Dhaka.
  • FCB Health, a healthcare-focused agency formed by combining three healthcare agencies: ICC, Trio and Pace.[23]
  • HelloComputer, a Cape Town-based digital agency, which merged with Mesh Interactive in 2012.[24]
  • New Honor Society, a St. Louis, Missouri-based marketing agency, formerly known at Rivet/US, itself formed with a merger between marketing agency Zipatoni Company and Toronto-based FCB Direct.[25]

IPG Mediabrands

The IPG Mediabrands group is IPG's data management and media buying arm. Its companies include the following:

  • Stickyeyes, a digital marketing company acquired by IPG Mediabrands in 2016, provides creative search and content marketing, and video production.[26]
  • Cadreon, IPG Mediabrands' ad-tech network which is involved in programmatic advertising.[27]
  • Ensemble Worldwide, a creative agency set up as part of IPG Mediabrands' Malaysia network.[28]
  • Healix, an agency focused on global life science and healthcare brands.[29]
  • Identity, formerly Diverse Communications, is an Australia-based agency focused on multi-cultural communications.[30]
  • ID Media is IPG Mediabrands' direct response planning and buying agency.[31]
  • Initiative, a media buying network which includes the former network BPN.[32]
  • IPG Media Lab, a digital marketing agency that studies digital technology for advertising programs, platforms and products.[33]
  • MAGNA, IPG Mediabrands' intelligence, investment and innovation unit. The group tracks and measures pricing and savings of the agency's media investments.[34]
  • Media Experts, a Canadian subsidiary that provides advertising media services for businesses.[35]
  • Orion, IPG Mediabrands' barter agency, which helps brands sell unsold products in exchange for advertising.[36] Orion's holding company includes the agencies NSA Media, OAG, Rapport and Wahlstrom.[37]
  • Promoqube, a Turkish social media agency.[38]
  • Reprise, IPG Mediabrand's agencies' digital and social media services provider, which was formed by combining mobile agency Ansible and social agency Society with search agency Reprise in 2018.[39]
  • UM, also known as Universal McCann, a global advertising and media agency, which includes agency J3.[32]

Marketing Specialists

IPG's Marketing Specialists group offer marketing services across a range of disciplines. Its companies include the following:

  • Current Global, a midsized communications agency formed when Chicago-based Current Marketing merged with multimedia production house Creation.[40][41]
  • DeVries Global, a media communications agency.[42]
  • dna Communications, a healthcare agency.[43]
  • FutureBrand, a branding agency, which includes Amsterdam-based FutureBrand UXUS, formerly UXUS, and design and innovation company Hugo & Cat.[44][45]
  • Golin, an agency specializing in public relations, digital marketing and content development.[46]
  • Jack Morton Worldwide, a brand experience agency.
  • Octagon Worldwide, which includes Rogers & Cowan, a global marketing and public relations agency.
  • Weber Shandwick, a public relations firm.

McCann Worldgroup

Formed in 1997, McCann Worldgroup is IPG's global marketing services organization, with reportedly over 24,000 employees in over 100 companies as of November 2017.[47] Its companies include the following:

  • Avrett Free Ginsberg, stylized as AFG&, a full service advertising agency.[48]
  • Commonwealth//McCann, a Detroit-based advertising agency.[49]
  • Casanova//McCann, formerly Casanova Pendrill, a Hispanic-focused advertising agency based in Orange County, California.[50]
  • Craft, an international adaption and production network of agencies.[51]
  • Fitzco, also known as Fitzgerald & Co., is an Atlanta-based agency.[52]
  • FP7, an agency in the Middle East.[53]
  • McCann (formerly McCann Erickson), an American global advertising agency network.[54]
  • McCann Health, a healthcare focused agency.[55]
  • MCN, or Middle Eastern Communication Network, an agency with 60 offices in 14 countries clients in the Middle East and North Africa.[56]
  • Momentum Worldwide, a New York City-based experiential marketing agency, which includes shopper marketing agency ChaseDesign and its subsidiary 10RedDesign.[57][58]
  • MRM//McCann, a direct and digital marketing agency based in New York City.
  • PMK*BMC, a Los Angeles-based entertainment and pop culture-focused agency that connects celebrities with brands seeking talent for content collaboration.[59]

MullenLowe Group

MullenLowe Group is one of IPG's three communications networks, formed in 2015 by the merger of IPG's U.S. agency Mullen with IPG's global creative network Lowe and Partners.[60] It consists of the following components:


IPG also has several independent marketing agencies.

  • Acxiom, a database marketing company.[67]
  • Big Family Table, a creative agency.[68]
  • Campbell Ewald, an advertising and marketing communications agency.
  • Carmichael Lynch, a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based creative agency.[69]
  • Deutsch Inc., a New York City-based marketing communications agency, which includes an in-house production company Steelhead.[70]
  • Elephant, a Brooklyn, NY & SF based digital marketing agency.[71]
  • Hill Holliday, a Boston, Massachusetts-based marketing and communications agency.
  • HUGE, a Brooklyn, NY-based digital marketing agency.
  • IW Group, formerly Imada Wong Communications Group, a West Hollywood, California-based agency.[72]
  • The Martin Agency, a Richmond, Virginia-based advertising agency.
  • R/GA, a New York City-based marketing and advertising agency.
  • Tierney, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based agency.[73]


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