CLOSE-UP: GLOBAL BRIEF; Bendelac follows a tough act

But it’s unlikely that he’ll be intimidated by the task ahead, John Tylee reports

But it’s unlikely that he’ll be intimidated by the task ahead, John

Tylee reports

Imagine Cardinal Richelieu hanging up his skullcap to be replaced by a

user-friendly Scrooge and you get an idea of the power shift about to

happen at Bates Europe.

For Richelieu read Michael Geraghty, the network’s chief operating

officer and longtime ‘eminence grise’ to Michael Bungey, the Bates

Worldwide chairman due to retire at the end of the year.

For Scrooge read Stanley Bendelac, the chairman of Madrid’s Delvico

Bates, whose popularity among Bates senior managers conceals a

parsimonious streak about money and who was last week named as

Geraghty’s successor (Campaign, 22 November).

It will be a difficult, if not impossible, role to fill. Geraghty, an

Irish accountant brought in by Eric Garrott to clean up the mess left

when he bought the then Dorland Advertising from the asset stripper,

John Bentley, in 1971, enjoys probably the highest power and lowest

profile of any network boss.

He’s been called Bungey’s extra brain and his hatchet man. ‘He’s the

hardest bastard you could ever meet and he’s brilliant,’ a former Bates

senior manager declares.

Not that Bendelac, one of Bungey’s trusted ‘inner circle’, is likely to

be intimidated following such an act. His astute financial management,

good contacts and an instinct for picking the right people has enabled

Delvico Bates to stand with Dorlands and Hamburg’s Scholz and Friends as

the jewels in Bates Europe’s crown.

While Jean de Yturbe, the Bates Europe chairman, glad-hands clients,

Bendelac’s more prosaic task will be -in the words of one ex-Bates

executive -‘to move between country managers with a big sack to stuff

the money in’.

In his favour is the fact that Geraghty has bequeathed him a network

carefully pruned of its managerial dead wood and in good financial

shape, even though British American Tobacco rather than Mars now

provides most of the glue holding it together.

And therein lies its weakness: the New York agency consistently fails to

deliver US multinational advertisers into the European network. That’s

something even Bendelac can’t do much about.


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