New Endeavor for Interpublic

Division reps American Express, Entertainment Weekly

Interpublic Group will acquire a minority stake in Endeavor Marketing Solutions, the 4-year-old marketing arm of Endeavor.

Last month’s negotiations between Endeavor and communications conglom Omnicom Group failed to yield a deal (Daily Variety, Dec. 12).

Headed by former Interpublic exec Mark Dowley since late 2003, Endeavor’s marketing division reps American Express and Entertainment Weekly and has maintained one-off relationships with companies such as America Online, Ferrari and Maserati.

The publicly held Interpublic employs about 43,000 people across hundreds of advertising, marketing, public relations and other communication firms. These include PMK/HBH, Rogers & Cowan, Bragman Nyman Cafarelli and McCann Erickson Worldwide.

The Endeavor-Interpublic deal was enabled by the 2002 expiration of the Screen Actors Guild’s franchise agreement, which barred any connection between talent and advertising agencies. This will be the first test of the alignment, which hopes to build brand awareness in entertainment products. However, it remains to be seen whether such expectations might also yield resentment from Endeavor clients such as Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck.