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
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
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.