IPG sells Hill Holliday and Deutsch New York to NZ challenger Attivo

2024 could see more creative agencies finding new homes

Interpublic (IPG) has sold two of its creative agencies, Hill Holliday and Deutsch New York to New Zealand-based challenger marcoms group Attivo. Deutsch LA is staying in IPG.

Attivo acquired a majority stake in IPG’s 303 MullenLowe Australia in 2021 and also has a stake in Mediahub Australia. Attivo was founded in 2020.

Attivo says it has an “affiliate relationship”with IPG.

Hill Holliday CEO Chris Wallrapp and Attivo CEO Cam Murchison

IPG CEO Philippe Krakowsky says: “Since 2020, Deutsch LA and DNY have been operating as separate brands and businesses, so this particular move as relates to DNY is a natural progression in that process, as Deutsch LA continues to be one of IPG’s wholly-owned creative agencies, and we’ll support their ongoing evolution and growth.”

All the big ad holding companies, with the arguable exception of Accenture Song, are struggling with the many creative agencies they’ve acquired over the years. Growth is minimal even though some of their independent competitors seems to be doing very nicely. Last year WPP merged Wunderman Thompson (itself an amalgam of Wunderman and JWT) with VMLY&R, another such construct, into one VML.

IPG has problems of its own. It fell into negative territory last year and the wheels seem to have come off R/GA, its one-time flagship digital agency, with redundancies and office closures.

It’s likely that all the big ad holding companies would be willing to unload some of their creative agencies should the right offer come along.

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