Either WAMN jumped the gun last week with its story of the defection of Red Cell chief executive Luca Linder from the WPP-owned network [WAMN: 19-Nov-01] – or subsequent backstage auctioneering has secured a stay of Linder’s decision to quit for BGS D’Arcy.

Red Cell is now singing a different aria, despite having last week emoted to AdAge Global that “nobody can work after hearing [Linder] was leaving ... it's like someone died”.

Avers Mauro Toscano, chief executive of Red Cell's Milan office: “It is true that there has been an offer from BGS D'Arcy but there has also been a counter offer from WPP and at this point nothing has been decided.”

Confirmed Linder himself, with due modesty: “WPP is doing everything it can do to keep me in the company,” although he omitted to say when – or at what figure – his mind would be made-up.

BGS D'Arcy in Turin declined to comment.

News source: AdAge Global