GREY'S BLAMER TO START AT FCB IN JUNE

Exec's Noncompete Clause Being Strictly Enforced

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Steve Blamer, the departing president-CEO of Grey Worldwide North America, will leave Grey's Midtown headquarters in the "next couple of days," according to an executive familiar with the matter, but will not join his new agency, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, until June.

Mr. Blamer on Dec. 15 had said he would

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leave Grey Global Group, his employer for the last 15 years, to become president-CEO of FCB after Jan. 1. But the next day he said he would honor the terms of his employment contract with Grey, which runs through June 15.

Enforcing the contract
Today's information suggests Grey is in fact enforcing the remaining six months on Mr. Blamer's contract.

Under terms of his contract, Mr. Blamer will be fully compensated in this interim period and he will also receive any additional benefits that vest during the period, the executive close to the matter said.

Grey Global is in the process of being acquired by WPP Group, the parent company of agency networks including Young & Rubicam, J. Walter Thompson and media-buying agency MindShare. WPP's chief executive, Martin Sorrell, is well-known within the advertising industry for his policy of strictly enforcing executives' noncompete clauses. The Grey-WPP deal is expected to close in early this year.

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