Initiative (US)

Initiative is one of Interpublic's two media services operations (alongside UM). Formed in 1999 from the merger of Western International and Initiative Media, it was traditionally aligned with the Lowe and FCB (now DraftFCB) agency networks. However performance was undermined by a series of major account losses in the first decade of the 2000s. That steady decline appeared to have been halted by 2009, and morale was boosted by a few important account gains. Nevertheless Initiative remains the smallest of the major global networks, with every big account gain matched by an equally sizeable loss. Despite widespread speculation, Interpublic has repeatedly denied any plans to merge its two media brands, but many of their respective network operations as well as several management roles have been consolidated into shared parent IPG Mediabrands, which now represents both agencies in less profitable "world markets". Initiative was ranked by Recma as the #10 media specialist worldwide in 2013 with billings of $13.7bn. 

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Dec 2013: The final working week of the year provided another rollercoaster ride for ZenithOptimedia, which has endured a turbulent few months of new business activity. Reckitt Benckiser signed off on its global media review, adding IPG and Aegis to the roster. Previously the business had been divided between Havas Media and ZenithOptimedia. It's unclear as yet if Havas Media has lost any markets; however Zenith has surrendered duties in the US to a newly created Aegis team working out of Vizeum New York and RB's substantial India business moves from ZO to IPG's Initiative. One consolation was that ZenithOptimedia's hard-pressed London office retained the UK account. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Nov 2013: Hasbro consolidated global media in all markets except Latin America with OMD, already its agency in several major European markets. The losers here are Initiative in the US and ZenithOptimedia in smaller Euro territories. Partly offsetting that loss, Initiative picked up media for Serta mattresses in the US

Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Oct 2013: Initiative captured what is reported to be its biggest win for a decade in the form of value hotel chain Travelodge.

Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Oct 2013: Draftfcb and Initiative won the business of US investment broker MFS

Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Sep 2013: Tax software developer TurboTax moved media from Initiative to Wieden & Kennedy, which already handles creative

Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Aug 2013: Carat notched up another major gain, taking the consolidated British Airways and Iberia global media accounts, from ZenithOptimedia and Initiative respectively. 

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Adbrands Company Profiles provide a detailed analysis of the history and current operations of leading advertisers, agencies and brands worldwide, and include a critical summary which identifies key strengths and weaknesses. Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets.

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Initiative website


Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Aug 2013: Initiative beat OMD to take over media for Sea World and Busch Gardens entertainment parks.

Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd May 2013: Interpublic's Initiative media network scored a huge and much-needed victory with the capture of Amazon's global media budget. Mindshare was the unlucky loser. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Jun 2013: Burger King handed European media to Starcom MediaVest (out of Initiative). 

Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Mar 2013: Kao Brands, which markets John Frieda, Biore and other personal care products, shifted digital creative with Digitas and moved media from Initiative to Publicis Groupe's fast-growing Spark Communications network. 

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