Talon Warner bid fails, Publicis fall-out from failed merger, phone hacking trial nears the end – me and Liz

***Before we embark on more musings about the collapsed Omnicom/Publicis deal, one of my spies tells me about a thwarted coup by Eric Newnham’s Talon to lure big UK outdoor advertiser Warner Brothers away from WPP-owned Kinetic.

Talon is in cahoots with Omnicom’s OMG (it owns a small stake in Talon) and one of Talon’s duties is to reel in those Omnicom media clients that place their OOH business elsewhere; in this case Warner which uses OMG agency PHD mostly but Kinetic for outdoor.

Alas, it didn’t work. Warner decided to stay with Kinetic. Following a rousing pitch led by global CEO Steve Ridley who, we learned today, is leaving. You couldn’t make it up.

***Back to Omnicom/Publicis and the failed merger, which is hogging all the headlines although some readers may not be interested at all – and who’s to blame you?

Unknown-2Publicis Groupe boss Maurice Levy (left) is the big loser; not just because it was his idea in the first place but because his career path (the subject of debate for years, he’s 72) has been royally screwed up.

Maurice was to be co-CEO with Omnicom’s John Wren for three years and then chairman for ever – a pretty good gig.

Now all the argy-bargy about who’s to take over at Publicis will begin again. Well your guess is as good as mine. Why don’t they hire former Havas boss David Jones, whose promised good works/social media company has yet to see the light of day. Dave’s not French (bad from PG’s point of view) but speaks French (good…). And he’s a decent sort.

Unknown***On the subject of PG, let me digress. I’m always being invited to go out and meet new agencies, new tech companies, people who’ve unravelled the mystery of mobile. Which I occasionally do although I often don’t return any the wiser. The person I’d really like a date with is Elizabeth Badinter (left), the daughter of Publicis founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, who’s still the largest shareholder in Publicis. What do you think Liz?

***The great phone-hacking trial at London’s Old Bailey court is reaching its conclusion and – everybody’s lost interest. It’s like the Leveson Inquiry into the press – which followed on from the original scandal and took up hours of news time. Things move on and nobody gives a flying..

A one-time senior Met officer gave me his predictions today, which, obviously, I can’t repeat here. There was a famous headline once, from The Times I think although it could have been the Telegraph: “Small earthquake in Chile, not many dead.”

***It’s funny how some records/acts seem run-of-the-mill at the time but get better and better over time while other similar, but bigger, acts (the Supremes) just die.

Here’s one that’s coming into its own, 50 years on.

Au Revoir

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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