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[london] Cordiant Communications Group, one of two companies that will result from the breakup of the current Cordiant in December, will increase its equity stakes in Bates Worldwide affiliates and may open New York and London offices of another agency property, Australia's Campaign Palace.

Campaign Palace is regarded as one of the best creative shops in Australia, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, New Zealand. The three offices have combined billings of $100 million.

After the late-year split, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide will no longer be affiliated with Cordiant.

CCG Chief Executive Michael Bungey said no definite decision has been made, but Cordiant might set up the next Campaign Palace office within 12 months. London would probably open before New York, he said, though "circumstances could change."


Campaign Palace would operate independently of Bates, but Mr. Bungey said the aim isn't to build another network, which CCG already has in the form of Germany's Scholz & Friends.

An expanded Campaign Palace might focus on regional and global accounts, along the lines of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London, but "not as international."

One of the agency's most infamous TV campaigns ran in New Zealand in early 1996. The commercial for animal healthcare company Agvet appeared to parody the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. It was pulled and the client issued an apology after a deluge of complaints; the agency said it was meant to be a parody of the movie "JFK."


The focus of CCG's international expansion is the equity stakes in Bates affiliates. Bates, the world's 15th-largest ad agency network, has a presence in 70 countries. In one-third of those, Bates does not have an equity stake in its local affiliate.

Bates has been likened to a loose federation of national agencies with strong local identities, but Mr. Bungey said they operate as a network.

The initial priority is taking equity stakes in Latin American agencies,

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