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
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
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
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
However, the £18 million figure is itself expected to exclude
unspecified exceptional items, amounting to around £1.3
These deductions would leave Tempus' profits short of market
expectations by 10 per cent - the point at which a profit warning is
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.