Cordiant separates Scholz & Friends from Bates agencies

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HAMBURG -- Scholz & Friends, the German agency in which Bates holds a 90% stake, is to be spun off by Bates parent Cordiant as a separate network. Bates' shareholding is being transferred to holding company Cordiant in preparation for the German agency's fully--fledged independence from Bates.

For the time being, Scholz & Friends will remain within the Bates group as the two share three clients: Compaq computers, Warner Wellcome and Tchibo, Germany's most famous coffee roaster. It will also report to Michael Bungey, director of Bates' holding company Cordiant and chairman and ceo of Bates Worldwide.

But Scholz & Friends Chairman and CEO Peter Schoning says: "This is Cordiant's third network.

"In the past, many German agencies developed in exactly the opposite direction," he adds. "In other words, after selling off substantial agency shares to U.S., English or French agency networks, these agencies were integrated step by step by their international parent companies -- thereby changing the personalities they had established up until then.

"This is the first time that an agency based in Germany officially has been granted the status of an international network."

German admen Reinhard Springer and Konstantin Jacoby bought into the Ayer Europe network at the end of last year in a move to become the first Germans to operate an international ad agency network. But the network -- now called Wilkens -- operates separately to the German agency that bears the two men's names.

Scholz & Friends already has nine offices servicing 12 countries across Europe and has imminent plans for a base in the Far East. Just last year, it opened new shops in Athens, Brussels, Budapest, Madrid, Warsaw and Vienna. Its main international client is the cigarette manufacturer Reemtsma and its 1995 billings were $339m.

The agency was founded in 1982 by Jurgen Scholz, who broke away from the then TEAM/ BBDO of Hamburg. In 1985, Bates bought 52% of the agency, building the stake to a 90% holding.

Bates Frankfurt is simultaneously changing its name to Bates Germany and its CEO Ulrich Veigel joins the Bates Europe Board. Eurocard/Mastercard and Honda are among the accounts the newly--named Bates Germany has picked up over the past two years.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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