Philip Geier was the chairman of the Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG), an advertising agency holding company, while it was riding high in the 80s and 90s. A cigar-chomping, Ben Benson’s Steakhouses-eating executive, Mr. Geier oversaw some of the top agencies in the world, including McCann and Lowe. He is a brilliant business man. When a huge bank account was up for grabs and the final decision to be made between McCann and another agency, Mr. Geier (it is my belief) offered the bank all of IPGs global banking business. Winning idea!
If anyone knows about the power of advertising, the power of the consumer spending, it is Mr. Geier, so his full page newspaper ad yesterday to Timothy Geithner, the Obama team, and other financial opinion leaders to issue American families stimulus checks with a twist was worth reading. Unlike bail-out checks, Mr. Geier wants to issue money that “can be used only for consumer purchasing over a short period of time.” It’s a bit complicated, but doable. Certificate checks will be issued which must be spend quickly and must be paired with real money to make a purchase. The solution will jump start sales and build consumer confidence.
Glad to know that Mr. Geier (The Geier Group) is still chomping. I think it’s time to get him back to IPG and allow Michael Roth to take a sabbatical.