Global advertising groups Cordiant Communications and Publicis have jointly appointed international accountants Ernst & Young to help them resolve differences over the merger of their respective media planning/buying businesses.

The conflict has its roots in Publicis’ acquisition last summer of Saatchi & Saatchi, with which Cordiant held a 50/50 interest in Zenith Media. But Publicis also owns rival media shop, Optimedia, which Cordiant claims recently poached one of its own clients, Hewlett-Packard.

Despite this fracas, the two groups have been negotiating a merger of Zenith and Optimedia to create a new jointly-held entity. The sticking point appears to be control with the duo unable to agree on their respective stakes.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)