Initiative hosts reverse upfront, pitching clients to media sellers



Media agencies are receiving a barrage of pitches from TV networks and digital publishers as this year's upfront parties and pitches start in earnest. But Initiative, turning the tables, hosted its second annual presentation on Tuesday to a room of media sellers.

The IPG-owned agency provided about 700 sales executives from TV networks and digital publishers like NBC Universal, CBS and Google, among others, guidance on what its clientsincluding Amazon, Lego, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Arby'sare looking for from media sellers during the spring bonanza.

In 2017, after several years of few new business wins and employee turnover, Initiative kicked off a revamp of the agency. This included hiring Mat Baxter as global CEO and Amy Armstrong as U.S. CEO. It also appointed regional presidents in the U.S. and set out to help brands become cultural leaders. Since then it has won global media duties for Carlsberg Group and Lego, and retained Amazon's business after a competitive review.

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jpoggi@adage.com (Jeanine Poggi)