The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG) is one of the big four global advertising holding companies (the others being Omnicom, WPP and Publicis). It is headquartered in New York City and is the parent company of Universal McCann media agency and McCann-Erickson, one of the largest agency networks in the world.
IPG was created in 1960 as the first marketing services management holding company, with McCann-Erickson and McCann-Marschalk as its two subsidiaries. Since then, it has grown tremendously, with over 185 companies purchased in a two-year span from 1999 to 2001. Comparisons have been made to AOL Time Warner, as both are media conglomerates that have trouble managing their holdings. The advertising firm Campbell-Ewald is also a subsidiary of IPG.
In 2002, IPG suffered a precipitous drop in its stock price and reputation in an accounting scandal that was an epidemic among American companies (such as Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and Adelphia) during that period. As of January 1, 2008 (taking into account stock splits), IPG's stock was selling at approximately the same price it was on January 1, 1991.
Interpublic in April 2007 announced its first acquisition since 2004: It agreed to buy Reprise Media, a search engine marketing firm. Reprise was to remain a stand-alone unit as part of Interpublic's Futures Marketing Group. Reprise had offices in New York, Boston and San Francisco.
Interpublic, working to simplify its structure after its overload of deals in the '90s and early this decade, did not complete any acquisitions in 2005 and 2006. It disposed of 51 businesses in 2005 and 2006, primarily outside the U.S. Specifically, Interpublic said it exited 23 "loss-making international affiliates" in 2006.
Two U.S. ad agencies—Stein Rogan + Partners, New York, and Howard, Merrell & Partners, Raleigh, N.C.—bought themselves back from Interpublic in 2006. In 2006, GlobalHue, a U.S. multicultural agency, bought back the 49% stake owned by Interpublic. . In Europe, the team of U.S. government relations firm Cassidy & Associates left Interpublic to form EU lobbying law firm Alber & Geiger beginning of 2007.