Bungey reveals plans for the future of Bates

The Cordiant name will die along with the company when it demerges its agency networks, Saatchi and Saatchi and Bates Worldwide, and its media network, Zenith Media, at the end of this year.

The Cordiant name will die along with the company when it demerges

its agency networks, Saatchi and Saatchi and Bates Worldwide, and its

media network, Zenith Media, at the end of this year.



Suggestions that the name could be adopted by a newly created Bates

holding company were confounded this week - because Bates will not be

establishing one. Instead, Michael Bungey, the Bates chairman, has

declared his intention of operating a streamlined structure in which the

heads of the operating companies will report directly to him.



Bungey told Campaign this week that the only debate would involve

whether or not there should be a new name for the enlarged company,

which will include not only the Bates network but the US-based Rowland

Worldwide PR consultancy and the National Research Group.



’But the Cordiant name won’t be retained,’ Bungey added. ’It carries too

much historical baggage and has come to be associated with the company

that was born out of a problem.’



He added: ’There’s no current need for a holding company although there

may be in the future as we grow larger through acquisition. I don’t know

of another network that runs with so few people and I like that as an

operating philosophy.’



Bates’s first major acquisition could come next year in the US, where

Bungey admitted he was looking at ways of bolstering the network’s New

York operation, which bore the brunt of the pounds 270 million Mars loss

two years ago.



Bungey, who was rumoured to have been involved in recent talks with

Bozell, said: ’We aren’t doing as well in the US as I would like and I’m

determined to make the New York agency stronger.’



At the same time, he has quashed speculation that he and his senior team

might try to engineer a management buyout. He said: ’It’s never been

discussed and I don’t see that it would be in the interests of

shareholders.’



Figures released this week revealed that Bob Seelert, the Cordiant chief

executive, earned pounds 920,000 in pay and benefits last year. Bungey

received pounds 881,000 and Ed Wax, the head of Saatchi Worldwide,

earned pounds 872,000.



Bungey interview p 14.



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