Byfield takes on expanded remit

MindShare Worldwide's director of consumer insight, Sheila Byfield,

is to be handed an expanded role within WPP after her 11th-hour decision

to turn down a consumer insight post at OMD Europe.



Nick Emery, MindShare Worldwide's chief strategy and planning officer,

said that Byfield would take on "a much wider remit within the

group".



Emery would not confirm whether this would include the post of worldwide

head of research at Group MindShare Edge, where she would handle

research across all WPP's media agencies.



Byfield's role is set to expand still further if the Takeover Panel

rejects WPP's attempts to back out of the planned merger with Tempus and

rules that the deal should go ahead.



GME's umbrella role will then be extended to include the Tempus-owned

CIA, with Tempus' chairman, Chris Ingram, being offered the role of GME

co-chairman.



The final parameters of Byfield's role will not be finalised until the

Takeover Panel gives its final ruling on the future of WPP's 555p per

share offer. That decision, due this week, has been delayed by a

ferocious row between the parties over whether Tempus should issue a

profit warning.



Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP is believed to have accused Tempus of refusing

to disclose how badly it has been hit by September's advertising

downturn. Analysts predict pre-tax profits of £18 million for

Tempus in the year to December, a significant drop from the £21

million to £22 million predicted before the terrorist attacks in

the US.



However, the £18 million figure is itself expected to exclude

unspecified exceptional items, amounting to around £1.3

million.



These deductions would leave Tempus' profits short of market

expectations by 10 per cent - the point at which a profit warning is

generally issued.



WPP, whose third-quarter results come out today (Thursday), said in a

stock exchange statement on Tuesday that it had received fresh

information relevant to its claim that a "material adverse change" had

occurred in Tempus' prospects.



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