THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Worst kept secrets

1. Leo Burnett's Nick Bell talks with Lowe Lintas



Secrets don't come much more open than Lowe Lintas' attempted seduction

of Nick Bell to fill the creative directorship left vacant by Charles

Inge's departure to Clemmow Hornby. Leo Burnett's joint executive

creative director resisted the siren call - although his decision is

said to have been eased by a few extra noughts on his paycheque.



2. Charles Inge quits Lowe Lintas for start-up



Inge's intent to leave the Lowe Lintas powerhouse for something smaller

and more comfortable was the talk of advertising luvvieland well before

the parting of the ways. So no surprises when his name was added to the

door of the fledgling Clemmow Hornby.



3. Sir Martin Sorrell's attempt to wriggle out of buying Tempus



Much industry schadenfreude at the ill-disguised discomfort of WPP's

chief executive in failing to find an escape route allowing him to back

out of the £432 million takeover of the media specialist. The

Takeover Panel ruled that the agreement had to be honoured.



4. The collapse of Leagas Delaney's takeover by Envoy Communications



It never looked like a marriage made in heaven and the cries of "told

you so" reached a crescendo when a fall in the Canadian marketing

group's share value cut its ability to pay the price for one of the UK's

few remaining independent creative jewels.



5. Mars' crumbling relationship with D'Arcy Europe



Within the space of a few weeks the giant multinational put the

pan-European assignments for Mars Bar and Uncle Ben's rice up for pitch.

D'Arcy lost them both. "Somebody has pissed them off," a network source

declared. You can say that again!



6. Interpublic sidelines Sir Frank Lowe



Ever since the lamenting by John Dooner, Interpublic's chairman, of the

time when the ad industry "was held hostage by crazy creative

personalities", it seemed obvious which way the wind was blowing. Lowe's

rather modest place in Interpublic's new managerial pecking order

confirmed it.



7. Richard Eyre's resignation from RTL Group



The former ITV chief executive's professional frustration was common

knowledge and when he quit as the director of content and strategy at

RTL after just 15 months few were surprised.



8. Bartle Bogle Hegarty's X-Box win



After BBH's split with Sega at the end of last year, word was that

Microsoft would soon fill the void. It assigned lead status to the

agency for the $75 million pan-European launch of its X-Box video

games console, confirming four months of speculation.



9. True North's shunning of Havas to join the Interpublic stable



Having divorced so acrimoniously from one French partner - Publicis -

True North was never likely to fall for Havas' Gallic charms. No

surprise, then, when it consummated a £1.47 billion marriage with

its erstwhile US rival, Interpublic.



10. Independent agencies' desire to 'do the deal'



Our last worst kept secret is a catch-all concerning the proprietors of

the last few independent agencies in London. As we all know, the sense

of achievement becomes more limited for them as time goes by. After all

that hard work they are left sitting on a moderately successful,

medium-sized agency that is in danger of losing its edge. So the desire

is to sell to a docile bigger agency and reverse in to the management

with the newcomers ending up on top of the heap. Anyone who tells you

otherwise is lying.



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