ATHENS, Greece & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 1, 2004–The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE:IPG), one of the world’s leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services, played an integral role in producing several successful marketing programs during the Athens Olympics.

Octagon, one of the world’s leading sports and entertainment event marketing companies, represented more Olympic athletes and corporate sponsors than any other agency. Octagon represented 49 athletes in Athens, including the top performers in swimming, sprinting and soccer. Led by gold medalists Michael Phelps, Justin Gatlin, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Mia Hamm, Octagon clients earned 22 gold medals.

Jack Morton Worldwide, one of the world’s preeminent experiential marketing agencies, produced the August 13th and August 29th ceremonies that marked the opening and closing of the 2004 Olympic Games. Seen by an estimated 4 billion viewers worldwide, the opening ceremony was among the most ambitious in Olympic history. Jack Morton is the first non-indigenous company to produce the ceremonies.

‘No one has the aggregated resources in events, sports and entertainment to match Interpublic,’ said IPG Chief Executive Officer and President David Bell. ‘Our agencies combine passion for the business with superior content to deliver custom programs that raise the benchmark in the industry.’

Among achievements by Octagon clients, Michael Phelps became the first Olympian since 1980 to win eight individual medals and the first since Mark Spitz to win four individual gold medals. Justin Gatlin earned the title, ‘World’s Fastest Man’, capturing gold in the 100m run. Jennie Finch of the USA Softball team won gold as did the world’s #1 women’s tennis player Justin Henin-Hardenne, and swimmers Ian Crocker and Lenny Krayzelburg. Other Octagon clients include France’s Amelie Mauresmo (silver, tennis singles), Australia’s Michael Klim (silver, swimming) and Spain’s Conchita Martinez (silver, tennis doubles). With the success of these athletes, Octagon and its clients are positioned to be the leader in developing post-Olympic marketing programs.

Octagon’s Consultancy Group worked with Olympic ring sponsors during the ceremonies to leverage their partnerships, as well. In Athens, Octagon represented five of the Grand National Sponsors and managed leveraging programs for several U.S. Olympic Team sponsors.

Jack Morton produced the 2004 Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies with a team of over 850 in Athens as well as international expertise drawn from its London, Los Angeles, Sydney and Hong Kong offices. Jack Morton also managed the team of over 8,500 volunteer performers and supporters.

Jack Morton spent nearly two years preparing its production of the opening and closing ceremonies following its January 2003 appointment by ATHENS 2004, the Athens organizing committee. Upcoming public events include the opening and closing ceremonies of the Ryder Cup in Bloomfield, Michigan, on September 16 and September 19, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

CONTACT: Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.
Philippe Krakowsky, 212-704-1328
Chris O’Neill, 212-841-7026
Jack Morton Worldwide
Liz Bigham, 212-401-7212