Best of the bust ups: David Ogilvy v Sir Martin Sorrell (1989)

A business full of mountainous egos andvaulting ambition has seen more than its fair share of vendettas. JohnTylee reveals Campaign's pick of advertising's fights and stand-offs

This was as much a clash of generations as a personal one. David Ogilvy was one of the few advertising titans entitled to a place alongside the industry legends. His creation, Ogilvy & Mather, was the personification of his "gentlemen with brains

philosophy. Sorrell was the manifestation of the changing communications scene - global, consolidated and financially driven - Ogilvy railed against.

And when Sorrell's WPP moved in on O&M, the old man couldn't contain himself.

Whether or not Ogilvy said of Sorrell that "the idea of being taken over by that odious little jerk gives me the creeps

will never be known for sure. In the end, though, the pair made up and Ogilvy was named WPP's non-executive chairman. Indeed, following Ogilvy's death in 1999 Sorrell payed glowing tribute to his old adversary: "No other Briton has made or will make such an impact on our business as David did."


Maurice Saatchi was one of the most famous men in the world of advertising. David Herro was an anonymous Chicago fund manager. How could such a person have turned a ripple of discontent into the tidal wave that would sweep Saatchi from power in the biggest agency bust-up ever known? He could and he did. Using his company's 10 per cent shareholding, Herro sparked a campaign that would successfully evict the man he dubbed a "toffee-nosed Brit". The mutual contempt was evident from the moment they met over lunch when Saatchi is said to have cringed at Herro pronouncing his name "Mo-reees". It reached full flower in Maurice's condescending reply to the board over its conciliatory invitation to become chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising. "Please tell Mr Herro I do not accept his offer. It was kind of him to consider me for the position."


Few industry sackings have involved so much public mud-slinging as that of Paul Simons, the Ogilvy & Mather chairman. Or shown so graphically what can happen when a top manager is transplanted into an alien culture. The chasm was personified in the characters of Simons and Mike Walsh, O&M's European chairman. "There have been many attempts by me and by Ogilvy regional and worldwide leadership to influence Paul Simons' view of Ogilvy and his role as leader of our brand in the UK,

Walsh told his staff. "To no avail."

Nonsense, Simons retorted. "When I walked in, the place had no culture - it was dead from the neck down. If one person has been walking around flying the flag for Ogilvy, it's been me."


In the late 80s, the Saatchi & Saatchi group hired Anthony Simonds-Gooding as its communications chief with a brief to bring tighter control and cohesion to its global empire. A clash with autocratic Jack Rubins, the chairman of the Saatchis-owned Dorland Advertising (now Bates UK), whose fiercely independent line had a habit of getting up some influential Saatchi noses, was inevitable.

Enraged by Simonds-Gooding's proposal to affiliate Dorland with its Ted Bates network, soon to be commanded by Carl Spielvogel, Rubins ended a 40-year association with the agency. He's said to have told Maurice Saatchi: "I won't report to Carl Spielvogel - or any other Vogel!"


The collapse of the global alliance between France's Publicis and the US-based True North was encapsulated in the mutual dislike and mistrust of Maurice Levy and Bruce Mason, their respective chairmen.

Levy, the charismatic gallic charmer, and Mason, the plain-speaking Chicagoen who epitomised mid-Western moral values, played out their bitterness in a string of lawsuits. "Mason thinks we come from the Third World,

Levy famously told Campaign. "We are good enough to choose the wine for his table but not to sit at it."


The tale of how Ed Carter, a BT marketing consultant, allegedly lashed out at Jeremy Miles, then an Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO board director, over an argument about strategy has entered agency folklore. Witnesses watched open-mouthed as the 17-stone Carter - described as "quick-witted and quick-tempered

- squared up to Miles as he defended a new "It's good to talk

ad. The incident stunned Miles' colleagues. "He's a nice bloke,

one declared. "Quite refined compared with some of the yobs in the industry."


She was known variously as the Duchess of Paddington and Baroness Walker. But when Christine Walker, the chief executive of Zenith, the UK's biggest media agency, gobsmacked everybody by quitting, her erstwhile employer resorted to the law to keep her ambitions in check.

John Perriss, Zenith's chairman, initiated the action - eventually settled out of court. It climaxed what was said to have been a perpetually difficult relationship between the pair. Walker, it was claimed, had little positive to say about her boss. However, Perriss insisted there was "no vendetta

and that Zenith was merely carrying out its duty to shareholders.


Tim Delaney is no pussy cat to work with - just ask his recently departed chairman, Bruce Haines. Better still, ask Ron Leagas. The founders of Leagas Delaney are said to have barely spoken since the mid-80s. The clincher came when a planned move on to the Unlisted Securities Market revealed that the agency, instead of making cash, was haemorrhaging it. "Tim didn't receive this news in too forgiving a spirit,

an ex-agency manager recalls. Leagas' exit followed.


A truly vintage luvvie falling-out was sparked by Barker's Private View column in which the BMP DDB creative chief delivered a damning verdict on a BTinternet commercial from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. Comments such as "old pants

and "like You've Been Framed without the laughs

were among the kinder remarks.

It was all too much for Peter Souter, his AMV counterpart. He fired off an all-staff memo headed "Barking Mad

acidly reminding his fellow Omnicom toiler that "he has never won a Pencil and wouldn't know a good ad if it bit him on his ample arse".


Dave Trott's ousting as creative director of Gold Greenlees Trott in a boardroom coup hit the industry like a bombshell. Everybody knew Trott was difficult and tempremental - there was even a story about him working to rule after a board decision went against him - but nobody questioned his talent or his skill at nourishing junior talent. That, though, seems only to have fuelled internal friction. The creative guru had so come to personify the place that it was continually referred to as "Trott's agency". Some say the axing was because Trott and his fellow founder, Mike Greenlees, had different views on future expansion. Others suggest Greenlees was simply galled because he was not getting more credit as the chief executive.


It's not often adland's tiffs actually turn physical. Maybe because it has few figures quite so combative as Ben Langdon and Chris Still. Two such large egos at the helm of the then Addition Marketing was always likely to produce an explosive mixture. And the pair didn't disappoint.

A row over Langdon's departure - he claimed to have resigned while Still maintained he had been "summarily dismissed

- led to a scuffle in the street outside the agency's West End offices.


A fight famous for landing Interpublic with an estimated £1 million-plus legal bill. The group paid out to head off a potentially explosive High Court case brought by Hugh Salmon, the former managing director of its CM Lintas subsidiary.

The settlement came just four days before the start of a court hearing into allegations made by Salmon that Chris Munds, the CM Lintas chairman, had engineered his dismissal for exposing his involvement in an air ticket scam. His writ alleged the fiddle was funding a travel agency account which allowed Munds and his wife to go on holiday.


A row which is a throwback to the time when French admen were still adopting the sledgehammer approach to international expansion. A hostile £100 million bid by France's BDDP for one of the UK's creative crown jewels, Boase Massimi Pollitt, got a predictable "frog off" response from its chairman, Martin Boase. He accused Jean-Claude Boulet, BDDP's chief executive, of playing Napoleon and branded his network as "pipsqueak". Boulet abandoned the bid.


It's been said Martin Sorrell and Chris Ingram - the protagonists in WPP's £434 million takeover of Tempus - have a love-hate relationship.

The trouble is there's no love in it. The ill-feeling began when Sorrell, WPP's chief executive, bought a 14.4 per cent stake in Tempus from a one-time business partner of Ingram who had left after falling out with him. Ingram, the Tempus chairman, having built his media buying operation, made no secret of his loathing for the man menacing his company. But Ingram seems to be having the last laugh.

The £62.8 million he has trousered has been enough to buy Woking Town, his local football club, with a bit to spare.


It was a flouncing out as only the flamboyant creative director Trevor Beattie could do. Life was sweet for the TBWA man until Paul Simons, then the head of Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson, struck a merger deal.

Horrified by Simons' plans to merge the two creative departments, Beattie retired to Signor Zilli to hold court with the media. "I've lived through eight mergers in the 16 years I've been in this industry and I've never seen one handled well,

he complained. The following month he joined GGT, which later merged with TBWA.