Graham Duff, the Universal McCann president for EMEA, is set to take an expanded role overseeing the region’s operations for Interpublic Group sister agency Initiative. It follows IPG’s decision to align the media networks more closely.
Duff, who was appointed in January 2006, is thought to be remaining president for EMEA region but across both media agencies. It is not clear how the changes will affect the roles of Initiative EMEA joint chief operating officers Jerry Hill and Dirk Wiedenmann.
Nick Brien, the worldwide chief executive of Universal McCann, is set to take a global role across the two networks, while Initiative North America chief executive Richard Beaven is expected to oversee US media operations. The three, together with IPG executive vice president of strategy and network operations Steve Gatfield, will be charged with delivering and shaping the holding company’s global media strategy.
IPG, which disbanded its media unit IPG Media a year ago, is rumoured to have been considering merging the networks, although chief executive and chairman Michael Roth is thought to favour keeping both brands separate P&Ls in most markets.
Insiders claim the move signals an intention to work more closely together, sharing expertise and possibly creating a single buying point, while saving money and cutting down on back office functions.
Duff joined Universal McCann, replacing Chris Shaw, five months after leaving ITV Sales, where he was managing director.
Previously, he was chief executive of Zenith Media and chief executive of Granada Enterprises.
IPG and Duff were not available for comment as Marketing Week went to press.