Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Now that WPP has taken over The Communications Group, owner of George Patterson Partners, it will be interesting to see who will win out in the soon to be merged creative departments of Patts and Y&R in both Sydney and Melbourne. Here are some key points from the press conference held at The Establishment in Sydney (the original home of George Patts) on Tuesday: As expected Hamish McLennan will be chairman and CEO of George Patterson Y&R. Current Patts CEO Ian Smith will be departing in a month -- he's taking a break -- with a non compete clause (how long they wouldn't say) -- his future plans unknown. Key staff positions, including who will be national CD, who will be MDs etc, will be decided within 7 to 10 days. Alex Hamill would remain as chairman emiritus, "until the day I die," quipped Hamill. Current national CD Matt McGrath (above) was at the press conference and is staying. James McGrath (top left) and his Patts Melbourne creative department are currently the hottest in the country, creators of the award winning VB and Carlton work, including "Canoe" and the "Big Ad". Ironically, the entire department are former Y&R Melbourne staffers, defecting to Patts nearly three years ago. They will be merging with the Y&R Melbourne gang led by Tony Greenwood (top right), so expect a few casualties there. In Sydney, there will probably be less attrition as both creative departments have been lean and mean for a year, in anticipation of a merger of some sort. Patts national managing director John Fawcett was not at the press conference, but McLennan said he held a lot of sway with clients and would hopefully have a future role. Staff losses: there will be a few, but less than normal as both Y&R and Patts had been running very lean over the last year, said McLennan. Hamill said all shareholders were "absolutely delighted" with the financial outcome of the deal, which was not revealed, but CB heard it goes like this: WPP is paying A$80m for the remaining 70 percent of the business, plus A$40m worth of debt, valuing the whole company at A$155m. McLennan yet to decide where the combined Sydney office will be located -- the city or North Sydney. He will decide within 4 to 6 weeks. In Melbourne, Y&R will move into the Patts office in Collins Street. All companies will come under Young & Rubicam Brands (TCG will be no more). The Zenith name will revert to Publicis Groupe and all current Zenith business will be folded into Mediacom, headed by Zenith MD, Anne Parsons. The Patts brand is here to stay, backed by Sir Martin Sorrell.


Post a Comment

<< Home