FOR THE RECORD

My head hurts. I’ve just spent a few hours attempting to read the Cordiant demerger documentary bumf and a thoroughly tedious task it has been too. The Electronic Telegraph has signed Mitsubishi Computers to sponsor its online Fantasy League. The sponsorship forms part of Mitsubishi’s new online strategy, Computers for a Connected World, which started last week.

My head hurts. I’ve just spent a few hours attempting to read the

Cordiant demerger documentary bumf and a thoroughly tedious task it has

been too.



Unsurprisingly, most of the national press have chosen to focus on the

potentially lucrative share option schemes dangled in front of various

Bates and Saatchis executives. Me, I’ve been thinking about Zenith and

the first conclusion to draw is that, as far as it is concerned, the

whole situation is a bugger’s muddle.



I say this because there is probably nothing so unsatisfactory for a

business, especially one that is based on people and relationships, as

to have to serve two masters. But this is exactly what Zenith will be

required to do in the form of its joint 50/50 owners, Saatchis and Bates

(as was), who will soon also be, of course, in ferocious competition

with one another.



Veterans will say this is no different from before. I disagree. While

everyone knew that Bates and Saatchis hated each other, the point was

that, at the end of the day, Zenith answered to the holding company, not

the agency networks. It was therefore, up to a point, its own

entity.



This is a consideration that WPP, in making MindShare report to it

rather than O&M and JWT, has grasped.



But with two owners who are no longer connected to each other, however

nominal that may have been under the old arrangement, Zenith will have

some tricky barriers to negotiate. What happens, for example, if it

wants to invest a few million in IT or open new offices and one owner

says ’yes’ and the other ’no’ (or indeed both say ’no’ because they have

to attend to their own needs)? This is going to be tricky enough anyway,

and that’s even before you get a scenario in which someone like Grey or

WPP (and I pluck those names entirely at random) buys Bates. These are

not insignificant questions because, if it is going to stay in the game,

Zenith will have continuously to invest in kit, systems, people and so

on.



On the other hand, you could look at Zenith and say that, for the dozier

global networks or holding companies who have been slow to grasp the

importance of media, it represents a heaven-sent chance - probably the

last of its kind - to buy an oven-ready global (of sorts, anyway) media

operation.



Who fits into this category of potential buyer? Well, it’s easier to say

who doesn’t since that is really only WPP and Omnicom plus, if you’re

feeling especially kind, Interpublic. All the others - Grey, Y&R, Havas,

Publicis, True North - are still, relatively speaking, at the starting

gates of global media. And, if it has regained its City credibility, you

could also chuck in Aegis as an interesting candidate.



The official line naturally will be that Zenith is viable under this new

arrangement and speculation otherwise is irresponsible (come on then,

Perriss, phone me and let’s have an argument). Bah! The worst of all

worlds for Zenith is one in which its owners won’t let it go forward but

can’t, or won’t, let it go free either.



The Electronic Telegraph has signed Mitsubishi Computers to sponsor

its online Fantasy League. The sponsorship forms part of Mitsubishi’s

new online strategy, Computers for a Connected World, which started last

week.



Channel 5 is launching an ad campaign through Mother to promote the new

series, La Femme Nikita. The campaign includes movie-style full-colour

ads running in the national press and on the cinema pages of listings

magazines. The show will be screened on Friday nights at 10.50pm.



After topless darts and weather forecasts in Norweigian, Live TV is

introducing a stripping business reporter. The cable station’s financial

editor, Tiffani Bannister, will take an item of clothing off with each

financial report she delivers.



The cinema medium recorded its highest cinema admissions since 1971 last

month. An average of 3.89 million admissions were recorded each week

throughout August, resulting in a 5.4 per cent increase in cinema

attendances year on year. August was the sixth consecutive month that

admissions were up on 1996.



Smash Hits, the Emap Metro teen magazine, is claiming a first by

publishing five covers, each showing a different Spice Girl. Gavin

Reeve, the editor, said: ’Smash Hits wants to recognise the Spice Girls

as the biggest pop band and help them break another record.’



The Gramophone Awards will be televised for the first time on ITV on 28

October. The event, which is being sponsored by the Britannia Music Club

and hosted by Jill Dando, will be featured in a special awards issue of

Gramophone magazine.



The pan-European music channel, MTV, is joining forces with the Planet

Hollywood company to develop an entertainment and live-music venue in

central London. The initiative will tap into MTV’s brand values and its

audiences to attract top pop names to play at the venue.



Link House Magazines has bought the monthly consumer magazine, Rally

Sport, from A&S Publishing. The title will be incorporated into Cars &

Car Conversions from the December issue.



BBC 1 unveiled its new balloon ident on Saturday as it gears up for the

launch of its digital services. Created by Martin Lambie-Nairn, the new

look cost the BBC pounds 1.7 million. Alan Yentob, the BBC’s director of

television, said: ’The choice of a balloon seemed to us an imaginative

way of emphasising the universal appeal of BBC 1.’



The monthly music magazine, the Wire, has launched a Website -

http://www.dfuse.com/the-wire/ - which publishes news on music and

festival events, back issues and the contents page for each new issue

before it is published.



The self-build and home renovation magazine, Individual Homes, from

Ascent Publishing has changed its title to Individual Homes Homebuilding

& Renovating. The magazine is also sponsoring a programme about DIY

housebuilding, These Four Walls, on the Discovery Home and Leisure

Channel.



Stephen Bradley, the former managing director of Kentish Times

Newspapers, was found guilty of nine counts of fraud at Middlesex Crown

Court on Friday.



The incidents relate to Bradley’s stint at AB Marketing, a joint venture

promotion company set up with Alan Kirkland. Bradley will be sentenced

on 14 November at the same court.