THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best rumours

1. Nick Bell received a £3 million "package" from Leo Burnett

to prevent him defecting to Lowe Lintas. There's no doubt that a lot of

dosh was offered because a) Bell looked smug and b) Burnett relocated

his partner, Mark Tutssell, to Chicago, thus saving a packet on the

London salary bill.

2. WCRS to merge with Partners BDDH. This rumour was doing the rounds

all year, but reached a crescendo when Partners lost its Transport for

London and Mercedes business in October. Sightings of Partners' Nigel

Long having deep and meaningful lunches with WCRS's Stephen Woodford

also fed the rumour mill.

3. Procter & Gamble is putting pressure on Grey's Ed Meyer to sell to

Bcom3 and merge Grey with D'Arcy. Neat fit for both networks'

all-important Mars and P&G accounts.

4. Another Grey gem: Grey has entered a secret deal to be taken over by

Publicis. A formal announcement, gossips predict, by spring 2002.

5. TBWA/London's Trevor Beattie sent tremors through the industry when

he was quoted on Campaign's front page, upon the departure of Nigel

Roberts and Paul Belford, saying: "I will be replacing them with the

best creative team in London, who I am talking to at the moment and will

be hiring imminently." Privately, Beattie is said to have admitted that

he made it up to annoy Belford and Roberts.

6. Rooney Carruthers would take the creative helm at J. Walter Thompson,

following the agency's appointment of his former boss in San Francisco,

Simon Bolton, as chief executive. In fact, Bolton has left the agency's

creative department, headed by Jaspar Shelbourne, well alone.

7. "There's a £10 million retailer at the AAR," was heard at

Campaign for three months. The rumour escalated out of all proportion

because it came when new-business directors were pulling their hair out

looking for non-existent leads. It turned out to be Focus Do It All.

8. Chris Thomas' value at Lowe Lintas soared because of reports that

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO wanted to appoint him as the chief executive to

succeed Andrew Robertson.

9. John West tuna has won the Grand Prix in Cannes. This rumour hit the

Croisette a day before the real winner, Fox Sport, was announced.

10. Maurice Levy will buy M&C Saatchi and parachute its management into

Saatchi & Saatchi's offices at Charlotte Street. OK, so this rumour was

in last year's list, but it's still doing the rounds and we love it.


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