WPP in acquisition talks with independent Spanish agency Sra. Rushmore

LONDON - WPP Group is in acquisition talks with Spain's biggest independent ad agency Sra. Rushmore, as it looks at expanding its fourth creative network Red Cell.

The network already includes Berlin Cameron/Red Cell and HHCL/Red Cell, acquired in December 2001 and September 2002 respectively. WPP also owns the Spanish agency Delvico/Red Cell, but a deal with Sra. Rushmore would not mean a merger between the two shops.

Sra. Rushmore is based in Madrid and counts among its clients Coca-Cola, which also works with Berlin Cameron/Red Cell. It also works for Athletico Madrid, Daewoo, Cinzano, Campari, Skyy Vodka and ING Direct.

Miguel Garcia Vizcaino, creative director at the agency, told the Spanish publication Expansion: "We're talking to Red Cell about selling, but nothing has been finalised yet. For us, it would be an opportunity to access international clients."

The agency was behind Coca-Cola's Euro 2004 ad campaign, which featured football stars representing teams from across Europe, such as England's Wayne Rooney, Portugal's Luis Figo, the Netherland's Ruud Van Nistelrooy and France's Thierry Henry.

Sra. Rushmore was founded in October 2000 by staff from Tiempo/BBDO, one of Spain's largest agencies. It was named after Senora Rushmore, a character who appeared in an interactive campaign by the agency. She has become the agency's mascot, and is played by Dolores Goodman, who is more famous for her role as Miss Blanche in 'Grease'.

The agency had turnover of €53m (£36m) in 2003 and 44 staff.

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