Saatchi Sets Lawyers on Burns

15 March 2005

Ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi is suing Mike Burns, former worldwide account director on its General Mills business.

Burns' split with New York-headquartered Saatchi, part of the giant Publicis Groupe group, last month preceded a mass walk-out of 17 General Mills account executives headed for rival Interpublic Group. He now faces a $3 million (€2.2m, £1.55m) civil lawsuit claiming breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of loyalty.

The "Saatchi 17" have been hired by Interpublic Group after some confusion over their future and of the General Mills business. Most of them are now working at a standalone unit to pitch for youth, family, health and wellness brands.

General Mills, maker of brands such as Cheerios cereal and Yoplait yogurt, has apparently assured Saatchi worldwide ceo Kevin Roberts and Publicis ceo Maurice Levy that all of its business at Saatchi is secure.

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff