Chiat/Day seeks mate in U.K., Europe

Just months after it sold its 85% stake in Australia’s Chiat/Day/Mojo to Foote, Cone & Belding and withdrew from Australia, Chiat/Day is now talking to several agencies about possible joint ventures in the U.K. and Europe.
Chiat/Day has been in talks with London’s Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury, a highly regarded creative agency. London sources indicted that Chiat/Day may also be exploring options with at least one other English shop.
Rupert Howell, managing partner of HHCL, said that talks with Chiat/Day chairman Jay Chiat are ongoing but still in the “fact-finding” stage. Howell said that further meetings have not been scheduled.
“We are looking for suitable partners to expand into continental Europe and I have talked to a number of companies in recent months including Chiat/Day,” he said. He added that similar discussion have been held with Ayer/Europe.
While Howell said the Chiat talks were in the preliminary stage, he sounded intrigued about a possible partnership given the cultural fit between the two shops. “They are a sensational organization and I admire Jay (Chiat) and his people,” he said. “(Chiat/Day) is a creatively driven organization and so are we.”
Jay Chiat was on vacation and could not be reached. C/D evp/cfo Simon Bax said Friday that the Venice, Calif.-based agency would “love a European network” but is not going to “rush” to make a deal.
“We’ve been trying to see what we can do in Europe for several years in terms of the possibility of starting a network,” he said. “The benefit is if we have a client that requires it, we would have it.”
Chiat/Day’s London office bills about $30 million, with most of the revenue coming from Midland Bank.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)