Changing gurus at MAGNA


Brian Wieser has been named Global Director of Forecasting at MAGNA, succeeding Bob Coen, who is cutting back his responsibilities after seven decades that made him the most closely watched ad forecaster anywhere. Wieser was a Wall Street analyst before joining the forecasting arm of Interpublic Group, one of the world’s largest ad agency holding companies, in 2003.

“Brian has been operating in the emerging space for MAGNA for quite some time, during which he has built a solid reputation for accuracy while creating high demand for his forecasting work,” says MAGNA president, Elizabeth Herbst-Brady.  “Brian’s unique analytic style and refined understanding of the complexities of emerging technology will make him an unmatched strategic guide for our industry,” she added.

MAGNA is a division of IPG’s Mediabrands focused on analysis and forecasting. It also
provides global negotiation services and audience and media industry analysis to IPG’s media agencies. Mediabrands, in turn, was created by IPG to manage all of its global media-related assets, Mediabrands employs 6,500 communications specialists operating in 90 countries and manages $30B in global media billings. 

With a global view, the company said Wieser will lead the aggregation of local market intelligence across regions to further enhance Mediabrands’ global clients’ efforts to drive returns on media investment, cost savings and revenue generation. Wieser, it said, will build upon Bob Coen’s pioneering work over the past seven decades to provide broader and deeper analyses of the industry.   
Coen, who began his forecasting work in 1948, will continue to play a key role at MAGNA which will enable him to work with the MAGNA team as a lead advisor, which is described as “pulling from his decades of experience to provide counsel and guidance.”  Wieser will also interview Coen for a series of video presentations on advertising through the decades. 

Wieser joined IPG in 2003 from Deutsche Bank Securities, where he was a member of Institutional Investor’s #2-ranked Cable and Satellite sector equity research team.  Prior to Deutsche Bank, he worked for Lehman Brothers in the firm’s Communications and Media Group, providing a range of investment banking advisory services. Wieser is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter holder.

RBR/TVBR observation: Bob Coen isn’t retiring yet, just cutting back, but he certainly leaves big shoes for Brian Wieser to fill. We knew this day would come, since Coen was forecasting back before we were here to report on his forecasts. As difficult as it is to predict anything, Coen was the best of the ad gurus – thorough and precise – and always willing to admit when he was wrong. We will miss you, Bob.