The discontinuation is carried out only for the Hong Kong market and not globally, according to a spokesperson, who added that the company has other locations where it does not use the Initiative brand, including Korea and the Philippines.
UM has long been the company's focus in Hong Kong, with IPG handling its clients, entering awards and paying its employees under the UM name exclusively. Discontinuing the brand amounts to a formality, the spokesperson argued.
UM will be the key agency delivering media planning and buying to Hong Kong clients within the Mediabrands’ structure. It will also become the sole agency for industry scores and awards entries.
UM will be supported by its hybrid planners and buyers and digital specialists from its specialist outfits such as Rally, Reprise, Cadreon and Ingenuity.
The "streamlined" agency structure, according to a press release, is effective immediately.