Saatchi & Saatchi has been spared the embarrassment of being
branded unpatriotic by helping Germany beat England in the contest to
host the World Cup in 2006.
Erroneous national press reports last week suggested the agency had been
called in to lobby FIFA, soccer’s governing body, to pick Germany
instead of England as the tournament’s venue.
The confusion arose when officials of the German football association,
the DFB, began discussions with the Saatchis office in Frankfurt about
the possibility of helping Germany’s bid.
But Hubertos Von Lobenstein, the Frankfurt office’s chief executive,
confirmed that the DFB had pulled out of talks almost two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Alex Fynn, a former Saatchis senior executive turned sports
consultant and one of the FA’s sternest critics, has rubbished reports
that he too will be involved in the German effort.
The DFB’s withdrawal removes what would have been a conflict of interest
for Saatchis, whose London joint chief executive, Adam Crozier, is
advising the English FA on its pounds 10 million campaign to bring the
contest to the UK.
Crozier is currently working with the FA in an unpaid personal capacity,
although his agency may become involved at a later stage.
He said: ’I had agreed to work with the FA when I heard about the
discussions taking place in Frankfurt.’
Von Lobenstein said: ’We had already been told by the DFB it would not
be proceeding with us.’