IPG Aligns Reprise with Media Unit in Bid for Search Dollars

Search and social marketing agency Reprise Media will no longer operate as a standalone unit within Interpublic Group (IPG).

IPG, which acquired Reprise in 2007, has decided to house the firm in its Mediabrands media management unit. There it will be aligned with media planning giants Universal McCann and Initiative, along with IPG’s Emerging Media Lab, supporting their work for clients including Microsoft and Hyundai.

As with all such agency alignment changes, the reporting change is all about synergy and pitching new business. IPG hopes McCann and Initiative will capture a larger share of clients’ search and social marketing budgets, and in turn, that Reprise’s search clients will become digital media clients of Initiative and McCann.

Reprise previously resided within IPG’s Futures Marketing Group, the now defunct digital marketing unit which also contained mobile agency Ansible and Emerging Media Lab. The Futures Group was set up partly as a support unit for IPG’s various global agencies, but the synergy never kicked in. So the holding company dissolved Futures and created Mediabrands, intending to integrate reporting structures of digital specialists with its biggest agency networks.

Mediabrands will keep its branding as a media management hub, despite its expansion to include search and social — two capabilities decidedly outside the traditional definition of media. Reprise spokesperson Anthony Iaffaldano said the new alignment suits the search firm’s vision of its role in the marketing mix.

“The way people seek information is more and more filtered through the search results page,” he said. “We view ourselves as a conduit between different media.”

Reprise Media will also maintain independent relationships with its own stable of brands, and offer them media planning services courtesy of Initiative and McCann.

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