InterPublic Group (IPG) is fixing its accounting problems and focusing
on its competitive position, according to remarks by CEO Michael Roth
at today's AdForum Worldwide Summit 2005 session. Roth reported that
IPG expected to file its financial statements next week, "absent any
unusual event between now and then" and assured the group that the
company's people and brands had not been neglected while the accounting
issues were being addressed.
"Are our networks getting the resources they need to be competitive?
'Absolutely!'" Roth said. Sharing part of his presentation to banks,
Roth explained that IPG's problems were a matter of process, not
performance, and the firm's financial position remains strong even
though its revenue growth has lagged the industry recently. Cost
containment plans to improve profit margins are now being executed. The
company is recruiting top talent who embrace vision of providing
clients with integrated service. "The number one criterion for new
hires is their ability to work well with others," Roth commented.
After reviewing management changes at McCann, Lowe and FCB
(Foote, Cone & Belding), Roth highlighted some recent wins at these
agencies. He explained how the combination of Initiative and Universal
into the new IPG Media would benefit clients and spotlighted several of
IPG's unique assets such as Draft, Jack Morton, R/GA, Octagon and
strong independents. "Integrated offerings are essential to compete
today," Roth said, "and all our networks have all these resources
available to them."
Roth emphasized IPG's commitment to transparent business
practices for all clients worldwide. "You can't win with a business
model where you make money from things your clients don't know about,"
The CEO summed up his action plan in four points: "Fix the
financials and get more competitive. Promote internal collaboration for
the benefit of our clients. Improve profit margins and organic growth.
Invest in talent."