Interpublic to Acquire Stake in HUGE
Holding Company Adds Leading Creator of Online Businesses
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 30, 2008--The Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) announced today that it has reached agreement to acquire a strategic interest in HUGE, a leading independent interactive agency that takes clients beyond online marketing campaigns to the creation of sustainable online businesses. Terms of the transaction are not being released.
Founded in 1999, HUGE has 130 employees across four offices in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and London. Online businesses designed and developed by HUGE generate more than $3.5 billion in annual revenue and enjoy over 120 million visitors per month for clients including IKEA, JetBlue, NutriSystem, Scholastic and The Warner Music Group. HUGE will continue to operate under the leadership of its four partners, David Skokna, Sasha Kirovski, Gene Liebel and Aaron Shapiro.
"Marketing services in the interactive space has evolved well beyond site development and interface design. As a result, our clients no longer think of digital as just a messaging medium - they view it as a proven tool which provides users with experiences and functionality that drive their businesses," said Interpublic Chairman and CEO Michael I. Roth. "These are the areas in which HUGE excels. This is clear when you consider that, every month, one in four Americans interacts with an online business created by the agency. We are very pleased that the team at HUGE has chosen to become a part of IPG." Steve Gatfield, Interpublic EVP, Strategy and Operations, added that "A significant part of time online is spent with the objective of achieving an outcome - be it a purchase or inquiry. HUGE will have immense opportunities to partner with many of our clients and agencies to build brands into businesses grounded in experiences that are not only engaging, but also useful and productive."
"We're excited to take this step," said David Skokna, Partner and Executive Creative Director at HUGE. "Our success has been an outgrowth of the fact we were among the first agencies to organize itself around the creation of meaningful user experiences and large scale, sustainable online businesses. IPG recognized this and offered us the opportunity to operate on a larger stage, while maintaining our company's unique culture and process." HUGE Partner Sasha Kirovski added, "IPG's support will prove extremely valuable as we expand our footprint here in the US, as well as internationally. I'm more excited than ever about our future and I look forward to continued success with everyone at HUGE--they're the ones who made this big step possible."
To learn more about HUGE, please visit www.hugeinc.com.
Interpublic is one of the world's leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies. Major global brands include Draftfcb, FutureBrand, GolinHarris International, Initiative, Jack Morton Worldwide, Lowe Worldwide, Magna, McCann Erickson, Momentum, MRM Worldwide, Octagon, Universal McCann and Weber Shandwick. Leading domestic brands include Campbell-Ewald, Campbell Mithun, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, Mullen, The Martin Agency and R/GA. For more information, please visit www.interpublic.com.
CONTACT: The Interpublic Group
Tom Cunningham, 212-704-1326
Jerry Leshne, 212-704-1439
SOURCE: The Interpublic Group