IPG’s Mediabrands Puts Pieces Into Place, Taps UM’s Seiler As CEO

After a year of looking for a CEO at the IPG’s Mediabrands buying and planning unit, the ad holding company has turned in-house and chosen Universal-McCann’s Matt Seiler for the leadership role. The announcement came almost a year after Nick Brien, the founding head of Mediabrands, was named CEO of IPG’s largest agency network, the McCann Worldgroup.

For months, industry speculation was whether Seiler or Mediabrands Ventures CEO Matt Freeman would be selected for the CEO role. Freeman will remain in his post.

Mediabrands, which was formed in July ’08 as IPG’s media buying and digital services hub, has added a number of high-profile executives over the past few months. After joining the company late last summer, former Publicis Groupe exec Tim Hanlon was named CEO of Mediabrands’ investment arm Velociter (fka Greenhaus). More recently, another media buying veteran, Sean Finnegan, left Publicis to become CEO of Mediabrands’ hyperlocal unit, Geomentum.

Seiler joined IPG as Global CEO of UM in August 2008. Before that, served as President and later CEO of PHD North America which he joined in 2004.

The introduction of so many seasoned executives is meant to convey that IPG is trying to be serious in its approach to bringing media buying and digital closer together. The idea is that by installing figures who command a good deal of respect from marketers and the industry at large, IPG can be viewed as creating a new model that can exist in an advertising environment that is increasingly populated by online ad exchanges, the use of DSPs and interactivity in general as part of the ad placement process throughout the company. Release