Investor confidence in Havas, the Paris-headquartered global agency holding group, is a tad fragile right now.
So it needs like a hole in the head an [apparently] unfounded rumour it is about to repitch for one of its major global accounts, Intel, estimated annual value €300 million ($364.17m; £199.24m).
A story in the little-known Strategies Newsletter, headlined 'Intel re-pitches global budget', alleges that Havas' flagship agency network Euro RSCG Worldwide is preparing to repitch for the Intel account, following the chipmaker's appointment in March of new marketing director, Don Macdonald.
In a statement released Tuesday, Havas insisted: "[The] allegation is wholly unfounded. Intel remains one of the principal global clients managed by Euro RSCG Worldwide."
Havas has held the business since 1996. According to Advertising Age, it is the world's sixth-ranked agency group with billings of $1.8775 billion in 2003.
But near-static revenue growth and recent business losses (estimated net account seepage over the past three months: $174m*) have triggered speculation that Havas is a prime takeover target.
Data sourced from: mad.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff