Press Release


Austin Kelley Advertising of Atlanta Acquired by Interpublic Group

December 17, 1998 at 12:00 AM EST

NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 1998 (NYSE:IPG) -- The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE: IPG) has acquired Austin Kelley Advertising, a leading Atlanta advertising agency. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Austin Kelley Advertising, which was founded in Atlanta in 1975, has billings of more than $85 million. Its key clients include the Georgia Lottery Corporation, Churchs Chicken, HoneyBaked Ham Company, Mercedes-Benz Credit Corporation, Rio Bravo Restaurants, Bass Hotels & Resorts, Arvida Company and Media One.

Following the acquisition, Austin Kelley Advertising will retain its identity, and continue to be headed by Geoffrey R. Nixon, its President and CEO, and his management team. Like other independently branded Interpublic agencies, Austin Kelley Advertising will be able to offer its domestic clients access to the leading international resources provided by Interpublic and its global networks.

Commenting on the agreement, Nixon said, "Interpublic has a most impressive track record in acquiring independent agencies and providing them with the necessary financial and professional support to grow. As a result, we fully expect our clients to benefit from the additional global resources that Interpublic is famous for."

The Interpublic Group of Companies, one of the largest advertising and marketing communications organizations in the world, is comprised of McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, Ammirati Puris Lintas, The Lowe Group, DraftWorldwide, Western : Initiative Media Worldwide, International Public Relations, Allied Communications Group, Octagon and other related companies.

More information about the Interpublic Group may be found on its website at

Michael Sennott

Austin Kelley
Geoffrey Nixon