By LEXIE GODDARD, campaignlive.co.uk, Monday, 26 June 2000 12:00AM
The media industry was buzzing last week with talk of a tie up
between Zenith and Optimedia, which would create a dollars 13
billion-plus global media player.
The news followed the announcement of the pounds 1.24 billion proposed
takeover of Saatchi & Saatchi by Publicis. The deal would produce the
fifth biggest communications group in the world.
Paris-based Publicis 100 per cent owns Optimedia, while Saatchis has a
50 per cent stake in Zenith, the UK’s biggest media agency.
However, John Perriss, the chairman of Zenith Media Worldwide, told
media watchers ’not to hold their breath’ for further news on the
Perriss will sit down with Publicis and Cordiant in the next few weeks
to discuss how the two companies could work together.
Perriss said the target date for the completion of the deal between
Saatchis and Publicis would be in September. He added: ’I only found out
the news on Monday. Apart from the massive legal and financial issues
involved, we are not sure whether it is desirable for our clients.’
Simon Lloyd, Optimedia’s chairman, said Zenith and Optimedia would
retain their separate brands.
’If we merged the two brands tomorrow, we’d lose a hell of a lot of
business,’ he said. However, Lloyd conceded they could work together
’We are very strong in Europe while Zenith is strong in Asia and North
America. Zenith is also a volume buyer whereas we are more involved in
strategic campaigns - it’s a good fit all round.’
Campaign reported last week that Zenith was dropped from Renault’s
pan-European media review because its continental network was not strong
Optimedia is the incumbent on the Renault business and is believed to
have held on to its place on the pitch-list.
Both companies work on Hewlett Packard and Allied Domecq.
Zenith has ten offices in the Americas, 25 in Europe, the Middle East
and Africa and 20 in Asia Pacific. Optimedia has 22 offices in Europe
and 21 worldwide.
Optimedia is run by Simon Mathews in the UK, while Simon Marquis heads
Zenith’s UK office.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk