Initiative (US)

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Initiative is the smaller 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 2014 with billings of $15.55bn. 

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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. Subscribers may access the following website links:

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Worldwide

Initiative UK Initiative Germany
Initiative Australia Initiative Netherlands
Initiative Czech Republic Initiative Russia
Initiative South Africa Initiative Romania

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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 7th Jan 2016: Interpublic announced the merger of its local media agency M2 into sister Initiative. UM will continue to operate separately. The closure of M2 follows IPG's recent acquisition of indie Media Experts, which will continue to operate as a standalone unit focused mainly on local rather than international clients.

Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Nov 2015: As rumoured last week, Unilever has indeed concluded its global media review, reappointing the incumbents without any significant changes. Main account holder Mindshare retains all its current markets, but added some Eastern European countries previously managed by PHD. However, the latter retained China and Initiative kept hold of Russia (and also Greece). PHD had already been awarded Australia and New Zealand during the summer, while Initiative's Latin American assignments were not under review.

Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Apr 2015: Tesco confirmed plans to move its substantial media account to MediaCom after more than two decades at Initiative. That move seemed virtually inevitable once Tesco announced the pitch list, pitting the UK's biggest and best media agency against one of the weakest. The loss is a serious blow to Initiative: Tesco was its biggest client by far. It was MediaCom's second big win this week, following on from its capture of the Subway restaurant business across the Asia Pacific region.

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

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