Grey Worldwide

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2005 Rating: 3 stars

THE ESSENCE: 2005 ended talk over Grey Global Group's fate. In March, the company completed its sale to WPP Group in a $1.75 billion cash-and-stock deal. Ed Meyer, CEO of Grey since 1970, reaped $445 million from the transaction. Jim Heekin, ex-CEO of Euro RSCG, joined as CEO of agency network Grey Worldwide in September. P&G and BAT stay as major clients. Tim Mellors, hired by ex-Grey North America CEO Steve Blamer, is North America president-chief creative officer. After 24 years, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. put its $50 million account in review-a surprise to the agency, whose recent "Ideas for life" effort helped Panasonic stand out among rivals.