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
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.