Are Interpublic’s top level changes a sign of a further cull of creative agencies?

As we approach the end of the year it’s time executive departures – often announced over the holiday season when companies hope no-one will be looking – and Interpublic seems to have commenced an early start with changes at the top of FCB and Deutsch in the US.

At FCB Chicago CEO Michael Fassnacht is leaving at the end of the year in a number of changes with Tyler Turnbull promoted to FCB North America CEO.

At Deutsch North America chairman and CEO Mike Sheldon (left) is leaving at the end of the year in what seems to be an amicable move. Sheldon has been there 22 years. The new regime at Deutsch will report to Interpublic’s newly-annointed COO Philippe Krakowsky who will surely oversee a further round of trimming at IPG, even though the ad holding company has outperformed its rivals recently.

Publicis agencies can expect some changes too as the French-owned giant struggles to turn what seems to be a reasonable run of business wins into growth across the piece.

One fears for BBH as its “constitution,” negotiated by Nigel Bogle and guaranteeing a degree of independence for a period, approaches its ten-year mark.

CEO Arthur Sadoun’s much-trumpeted ‘Power of One’ has yet to produce any big agency mergers in traditional markets.

Sadoun, unlike his oppo Mark Read at WPP, may take the view that plonking two or more agencies together is a recipe for disaster, preferring to combine back office and other functions with the “agencies” being names on the door with a few top execs.

However it happens, it looks certain there’ll be fewer people in creative agencies by the turn of the yeqr, especially handsomely paid long-serving suits.

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About Stephen Foster

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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.