Thursday, September 23, 2004

Weber Leaves IPG

In today's New York Times:

Larry Weber, a founder of Weber Shandwick Worldwide who was most recently a consultant to the Weber parent, the Interpublic Group of Companies, opened the W2 Group, Waltham, Mass., a marketing services agency. W2 has acquired the Racepoint Group, Waltham, for undisclosed terms and has opened a unit called the Digital Influence Group.

I checked out Racepoint Group; the agency is a group of former Weber Group people, and they have Redhat. Not a bad client to build a new Weber empire upon. It will be interesting to see what Larry does with the W2, as he has built one powerhouse and merged it into becoming the largest PR firm in the world.

Developing story, I'm sure...

And, it has developed - updated at 10.45 AM PDT.

O'Dwyer's had posted the story at about 8.45 AM PDT, and PR Week has followed up at 10.30 AM PDT.

The PR Week story is here, and highlight's from the O'Dwyer story are below.

Digital Influence Group ... will focus on "constituency management" within emerging technology and digital channels. He (Weber) told O'Dwyer's he is interested in the Weblog arena also and is looking to make acquisitions and mergers down the road to build W2.

...

Weber said he is bullish on the tech sector with the caveat that it will never be close to what it was for PR in the late 1990s and 2000. Weber pointed out that a little less than half of marketing went to PR during the tech bubble, but as the sector regroups and grows again, that percentage would probably peak at around 25-27 percent of budgets.

After tech, Weber said W2 would focus on healthcare, noting that now encompasses lifestyle PR and analytics in sectors like food and the environment.

"You didn't expect me to sit on a beach for the rest of my life, did you?" Weber asked.


Like I wrote earlier, I expect the W2 Group to do well, and it will be interesting to see if lightning will strike twice.
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