A task force composed of representatives from LD&P; Young & Rubicam; and Dentsu Inc. has been formed to determine the means by which LD&P management can buy out the half of the agency now owned by Y&R, leaving the agency a joint venture between agency principals and Dentsu.
The task force, according to sources at the three agencies, includes LD&P president Len Pearlstein; Y&R vice chairman Tim Pollak; and Dentsu, Young & Rubicam Partnerships chairman Shinzo Ueno. The group has reportedly met twice without making definitive progress. But sources said that the task force has set June as a desirable deadline.
Agency executives in a position to acquire the most stock would be Dick Lord, Pearlstein, executive creative director Lee Kovel, and New York creative directors Mark Hughes and Ron Arnold, as well as a yet-to-be-named new New York general manager.
LD&P is close to hiring a new general manager for its office here, reportedly an outsider with extensive experience in Europe, a market in which LD&P wants to expand.
All three agencies, for a variety of reasons, are motivated to divorce Lord, Dentsu from Y&R. For LD&P, it would fulfill management's desire to give senior management a financial stake in the success of the agency. Also, Y&R and Lord, Dentsu have some key conflicts that are holding back both shops.
As long as Y&R owns half of it, Lord Dentsu would have trouble chasing a car account because of the Lincoln-Mercury business Y&R handles for Ford Motor Co. Y&R's business with Xerox also prevents the shop from going after pieces of IBM that will be opened up in the next year, and which agency chairman Dick Lord previously handled at his former agency, Lord, Geller, Federico, Einstein.
Dick Lord was unreachable last week. But an agency spokesperson confirmed that a search has been on for a general manager in New York. A Y&R spokesman had no comment.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)