Conservatives expected to link with M&C Saatchi

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The U.K.'s Conservative Party is expected to start working with the Saatchi brothers' M&C Saatchi agency after announcing Dec. 15 that Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising will no longer handle the account. Conservative Party Chairman Brian Mawhinney said, "We want to be able to call on teams from other agencies to work together in the future."

The account had long been expected to follow Maurice Saatchi, ousted as chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Co., now called Cordiant, last December. One obstacle was the party's debt to Saatchi & Saatchi from the last election campaign, believed to be about $1 million and since paid.

Separately, the U.K.'s Department of Trade & Industry is believed to have dropped an insider dealing investigation into stock trades made a year ago in Saatchi & Saatchi Co. The trades in question included Maurice and Charles Saatchi's sale of 900,000 shares each for an estimated $2.2 million.

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