Aegis Advises Shareholders To Reject Havas’ Bolloré

NEW YORK In preparation for a battle over control of the company likely to culminate at its June 14 annual meeting, London-based Aegis Group issued a 16-page letter to shareholders last Friday strongly arguing against any business combination with the Bolloré Group and its chairman, Vincent Bolloré, who is chairman of competing agency holding company Havas. But the letter also stated that Aegis remains open to proposals that benefit shareholders, including “a premium cash offer being made for the company.” Bolloré has been pressing for an alliance between Havas and Aegis since last year, after he took control of Havas and then began acquiring shares in Aegis, in which he now holds a 29 percent stake. Two weeks ago, Bolloré nominated two officials from his camp for election to the Aegis board. In its shareholder letter, Aegis rejected an alliance with Bolloré because the company “has not identified or been shown any proposal that offers material benefit for Aegis shareholders.” Bolloré-nominated board members were rejected as a “conflict of interest” given Bolloré’s position as chairman of Havas.

JWT Adds $200 Mil. in Kimberly-Clark Consolidated

NEW YORK Kimberly-Clark has consolidated the advertising accounts of its North American and European personal care brands at JWT. The WPP Group shop, already on the client’s roster, now assumes responsibility for the Huggies, Pull-Ups, GoodNites, DryNites, Depend, Kotex, Little Swimmers and Poise brands previously handled by WPP sibling Ogilvy & Mather, the client said. As a result of the shift, JWT’s New York and London offices will add about $200 million in new billings, according to sources. The client will maintain its relationship with Ogilvy on its personal care brands in all developing and emerging markets in Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. JWT already handles family care brands such as Kleenex, Cottonelle, Scott and Viva.

$120 Mil. Whirlpool Creative Consolidated at Publicis

NEW YORK Three months after acquiring the Maytag Corp., Whirlpool last week consolidated creative chores on its $120 million U.S. account at Publicis’ Publicis USA and media duties at its sibling Optimedia. In addition to the Whirlpool brand, the New York office of Publicis will now handle Maytag and its Amana, Jenn-Air and KitchenAid brands, the client said. Publicis’ Leo Burnett in Chicago had handled Amana, Jenn-Air and Maytag, while sibling Fallon in Minneapolis handled KitchenAid creative and media. The shifts are being made without a review.

Semifinalists in $25 Mil. Bridgestone Present This Week

NEW YORK Seven semifinalists are scheduled to present credentials this week in Nashville, Tenn., in the review for Bridgestone Firestone’s broadcast creative and media accounts, sources said. WPP’s Grey in New York is the defending incumbent. Others pursuing are Publicis’ The Kaplan Thaler Group in New York; Havas’ Arnold in Boston; independent Cramer-Krasselt, IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding and Publicis’ Leo Burnett, all in Chicago; and The Richards Group, an independent in Dallas. A cut to four is expected by next week with a decision in July, sources said. Boston-based consultancy Pile and Co. is managing the process but declined comment, as did the agencies and the client. Estimated billings on the creative account are $25 million; last year, the client spent a total of $45 million in all U.S. measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Organic CCO Takes New Chief Experience Officer Post at JWT

NEW YORK JWT has hired Organic CCO Colleen DeCourcy for the new role of chief experience officer, effective July 1. DeCourcy, 41, will be based in New York and report to office co- president and CCO Ty Montague. She’ll work with the WPP shop’s seven ecds to “inspire more integrated, multiplatform storytelling,” Montague said. DeCourcy has been at Omnicom’s Organic since 2000, working in Toronto and San Francisco. Organic has launched a search for a new CCO, the agency said.

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