15-JAN-2007: Weber Shandwick Appointed As PR Agency

Communications Shift Up a Gear --

Weber Shandwick Worldwide Appointed As PR Agency

for World Car of the Year Awards

Year-long initiative culminates with international awards presentation
on April 5, 2007

TORONTO, January 15, 2007 – Weber Shandwick Worldwide, one of the world's leading global public relations firms, has been appointed by the World Car of the Year ( WCOTY) Awards association, to raise its profile, develop communications and manage its public relations activities .

The non-profit WCOTY program is initiated by, organized by, and conducted by automotive journalists from around the world for the purpose of recognizing automotive excellence on a global scale. Now in its fourth year, it has become one of the most prestigious and credible programs of its type in the world.

The 2007 World Car of the Year awards will be presented at an international media conference at the New York International Auto Show on April 5, 2007. At that time, the 2007 World Car of the Year will be announced, along with the World Green Award, World Performance Car and World Car Design of the Year.

“World Car of the Year is an exceptional awards program with an impressive track record,” said Kerry Harris, Executive Vice President, Weber Shandwick. "The 45 jurors represent the world’s most influential and highly respected automotive journalists, making the program a distinctive enterprise. We're now preparing to shift it up a gear."

Beth Xenarios, Executive Manager of WCOTY said that choosing a PR firm meant finding an agency with strong global capabilities. "We're an organization with representatives from, Europe, North and South America, Japan, China and Australia to name only a few regions. So finding an established firm that understands how to work successfully in a global environment was very important for us -- we've found that in Weber Shandwick."

The annual WCOTY calendar begins each May when the jurors are confirmed and consideration of eligible vehicles begins. Between September and January the list of World Car eligible vehicles is evaluated. Voting begins early in the new year to develop a short-list of finalists, with final decisions made in early March. Voting is by secret ballot and the results are known only to the accounting firm that compiles them, KPMG, until the awards ceremony at the New York International Auto Show.

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About Weber Shandwick
Weber Shandwick is one of the world's leading global public relations firms with offices in major media, business and government capitals around the world. The firm specializes in strategic marketing communications and media relations programs, public affairs issues and provides corporate communications counselling. Weber Shandwick also provides specialized integrated services including Web relations, advocacy advertising, market research and visual communications. Find out more at www.webershandwick.ca.

Weber Shandwick is a unit of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), which is among the world's largest advertising and marketing services organizations.

About World Car of the Year Awards
World Car of the Year (WCOTY) is a program initiated by, organized by, and conducted by automotive journalists from all over the world. From the outset, those involved in making it a reality have done so in the context of one over-riding priority -- ensuring that it is carried out with the utmost objectivity, credibility, and integrity. The World Car of the Year Awards reflect the truly global nature of the automotive industry in the 21st-century while recognizing and rewarding automotive excellence on an international scale.

WCOTY has no affiliation with, nor is it is any way influenced by any publication, auto show, automaker, or other commercial enterprise. It is administered by a non-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of distinguished automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. Find out more at www.wcoty.com.

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Ian Roberts, 416-642-7906