Saatchi & Saatchi moots court action in New Zealand scandal

- Saatchi & Saatchi is considering legal action against its former New Zealand Tourism Board client after rejecting a £72,000 settlement offer.

- Saatchi & Saatchi is considering legal action against its former New Zealand Tourism Board client after rejecting a £72,000 settlement offer.

Saatchi's relationship with the Board was terminated last week after stories began to emerge that Jenny Shipley, the New Zealand prime minister who faces re-election in November, and Kevin Roberts, Saatchi's worldwide chairman, might use the campaign to aid her re-election.

The two agencies that lost out to Saatchi last year, New Colenso and M&C Saatchi, are now set to repitch for the £16.5 million campaign.

The New Colenso agency co-incidentally became Air New Zealand's agency after the airline dumped Saatchi before Christmas.

The tourism board said Saatchi presented a list of expenses after its contract to promote New Zealand was ended and that the board then added a margin to this number to arrive at the £72,000 (NZ$220,000) settlement proposal, which Saatchi duly rejected.

Reports had suggested that the board tried to buy Saatchi's silence, a claim the board has denied. However, part of the settlement offer was that both parties would agree on media statements.





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