27 October 2000

Cordiant Communications is mulling legal action against former sister company Saatchi & Saatchi - now part of the Publicis Groupe.

At issue is the recent switch of Hewlett-Packard’s £100 million global media account out of Zenith Media - jointly owned by the two groups - and into Optimedia, wholly owned by Publicis. Both sides are contractually committed to channel all their clients' media planning and buying via Zenith unless otherwise instructed in writing by a client, and on an unsolicited basis.

H-P is a Saatchi client and, as such, also a former Zenith account. Cordiant claims that the switch to Optimedia is a breach of Saatchi & Saatchi’s contractual obligations.

Says Zenith chief executive John Perris: “We believe this may constitute a breach of our media services agreement with Saatchi & Saatchi. [Cordiant’s] lawyers are fully briefed and legal proceedings are under way.”

No comment was forthcoming either from Saatchi & Saatchi or Publicis.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)