Bungey returns to ad industry as chairman of Adstream

Michael Bungey, the former Cordiant chief executive, has returned to the business as the chairman of Adstream, a hi-tech company that claims to be revolutionising the way ads are distributed.

News of his role comes almost a year after he stepped down from a debt-ridden and strife-torn Cordiant, which was this year acquired by WPP after a bitter takeover tussle.

Adstream uses software systems and a broadband video network to control and streamline some of the day-to-day processes within agencies.

The company says it has ended the need for ads to be biked around the country. As a result, agencies save time while avoiding duplication, transport and storage costs.

Since leaving Cordiant as a result of shareholder pressure, Bungey has been overseeing the European expansion of the company, which already claims to be working for 75 per cent of Australia's agencies.

Bungey presided over a traumatic final period for Cordiant, which paid a heavy price for a $540 million buying spree that culminated in the disastrous purchase of the Lighthouse Group three years ago.

The result was a series of profit warnings, job losses and a plunging share price. It led to Bungey stepping down in 2002, in favour of David Hearn, whose attempt to slim down Cordiant and focus on core businesses was dealt a lethal blow when Allied Domecq removed £18 million worth of business.

Cordiant's independence finally came to an end in July this year when its shareholders voted overwhelmingly to accept Sir Martin Sorrell's £266 million offer.