VOLKSWAGEN TO MOVE BATES ACCOUNT IN SPAIN

Grey to Get $80 Million Assignment for Carmaker SEAT

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Volkswagen's Barcelona-based carmaker, SEAT, is moving its $80 million European account to Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide from WPP Group's Bates Advertising, according to an executive familiar with the company.

The move was widely reported in the

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U.K. trade press today.

Earlier negotiations
WPP's chief executive, Martin Sorrell, attempted to keep the account, flying to Barcelona to meet with SEAT executives in July even before he completed the acquisition of Bates' parent, Cordiant Communications Group. But WPP's biggest client, Ford Motor Corp., which recently made WPP its global supplier, has made it clear that it expects an exclusive relationship with WPP.

Grey declined to comment.

A SEAT spokesman in Barcelona said the company is carefully negotiating the legal issues surounding the situation with WPP but wouldn't comment further.

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