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Poor Bates. The same week in early December that Michael Bungey, CEO of parent Cordiant Communications Group, slashed his 2001 forecast for Cordiant to a 9% drop in revenue from 5%, Bates' biggest worldwide client, Hyundai Motor Co., was hearing pitches in Seoul for the estimated $230 million Hyundai Motor America media account, handled since 1985 by Bates USA West. Bates' U.S. new-business performance was one of the worst by a major agency: $120 million won and $75 million lost, for just $45 million in net new business.

On the plus side, several major Bates clients like Pfizer and Wendy's International are in product categories that are doing relatively well in a recession. And the New York-based agency hired heavyweight Chief Account Planning Officer Gerard Schweitzer from Grey Worldwide to head a re-energized account planning process. In February, Rob Slosberg joined as group creative director, Bates USA, from DeVito/Verdi, where he was creative director.


The global consolidation effort of Hyundai may well affect Bates' creative portion of U.S. Hyundai business. Shaky also is Bates Media, left with Wendy's International as its only major client after losing Hyundai and Warner-Lambert Co. Cordiant has some difficult decisions to make.

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