Is IPG’s Michael Roth planning to replace top agency bosses Nick Brien and Laurence Boschetto?

The rumour mill says he is, on account of his supposedly less than fulsome references to either in recent analyst calls.

Back in March my colleague Stuart Smith reported that Nick Brien, head of McCann Worldgroup, would be on his bike following a ruckus with big client L’Oreal which declined McCann’s invitation to be lumped in a new beauty and fragrance agency.

But then McCann emerged as the leading power in former GM CMO Joel Ewanick’s new Commonwealth agency and also landed Sony’s Experia smartphone. The fact remains, though, that Brien’s McCann has lost far more than it’s won.

As for Laurence Boschetto (left), DraftFCB has been an even bigger disaster area, losing $1bn SC Johnson among numerous others. The agency is also currently pitching for Oreo’s 2013 Super Bowl ad against all-conquering Wieden+Kennedy, not one you would fancy it to win but you never know in adland. Boschetto has implied that he’d looking for a partner, which may mean successor.

Boschetto divides opinion, as they say. On one side of the divide (guess which one) is my friend George Parker of Adscam.

So we’ll see. IPG CEO Michael Roth has turned round the financial performance of the business (and Brien is supposed to be good at extracting profits from his client base). But ‘client base’ says it all: all the astute financial management in the world won’t help much if the revenue starts to dry up.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.


  1. Both Brien and Boschetto are proven wankers with a horrendous record of driving their respective agencies into the ground. However, as I have asked many times on AdScam, the big question is why Michael Roth continues to liposuction the big bucks out of Interpublic. He’s the guy who appointed both these clowns… Ergo… The buck stops on his gold plated desk. Never forget, the disastrous decision to merge a once great agency – FCB, with a bunch of coupon clipping hacks in Chicago – Draft, to create “The Agency of the Future” has proven to be a total fiasco… Not to mention, a perfect illustration of how the “bean counter” management of the Big Dumb Holding Companies, has turned the ad biz into a festering pile of shit. Wow, I feel better now… Time for a cocktail. It’s only seven in the morning here in the Fourth Reich, but fuck it… I deserve it.
    Cheers/George “AdScam” Parker

  2. Foote Cone & Belding was never a “great agency.” It was nine levels of packaged goods hell run by a series of toxic (and often toxified) personalities. Now it’s not even that.