Arthur Andersen, the accountancy and audit firm accused by the US government of complicity in the Enron affair, has been dumped as auditor to WPP Group.
The globe’s largest advertising agency group is seeking its shareholders’ permission to fire Andersen and appoint Deloitte & Touche in its place. According to WPP, a significant factor in its decision is the defection to D&T of a large number of ex-Andersen employees familiar with its business.
Much of Andersen's London practice has been acquired by Deloitte – which also handles the audits of Omnicom, Havas and Bcom3. It is believed Havas and Omnicom are uneasy at this development and maintaining a close watch on the situation; while Bcom3 will almost certainly switch to Publicis Groupe’s auditor when its takeover is completed in September.
Data sourced from: AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff