FCB was taken to court by PepsiCo to block the agency from working on similar accounts in the Coca-Cola Co. family. There also was a major flap when FCB Chicago office President Brian Williams, who had close ties to Quaker, followed the business to Omnicom's new Chicago unit. Interpublic and FCB filed suit to prevent a raid of FCB's top talent, but the suit was dropped when a Cook County Circuit Court judge denied Interpublic's motion for a temporary restraining order. About 50 staffers eventually followed PepsiCo out the door to Omnicom.
In several rounds of layoffs, FCB cut about 200 employees.
Watch for FCB to make an aggressive play in 2002 for a car and a telecom account, two things it lacks and that agency executives believe will make FCB a player again.