Who owns whom

WPP Group

WPP Group

WPP Group is an international communications conglomerate with 33 000 staff. JWT is its global ad agency. Identity consultancy network Enterprise IG has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Germany and Taiwan. Other design interests are BDG McColl, Coley Porter Bell, Scott Stern Associates, Addison, Banner McBride, Oakley Young, Walker Group/CNI Retail in New York.

Young and Rubicam

The Y&R ad network includes Landor Associates, which was sold to Y&R in 1989 and has offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Hamburg, Stockholm, Milan, Hong Kong. Y&R subsidiary Beautiful Design House in Paris was merged with Landor in 1988. Y&R’s PR giant Burson-Marsteller includes design consultancy Marsteller Giant.

Interpublic Group of Companies

FutureBrand is its newly named design network which comprises identity consultancies Diefenbach Elkins in New York, and Diefenbach Elkins Davies Baron in London, plus offices in Madrid and Mexico; along with packaging network The Coleman Group. The Coleman Group bought a stake in London packaging group Planet in July 1997, which was renamed Coleman Planet, and took a 71 per cent stake in Dutch packaging and corporate design group Millford-Van den Berg this February. Its ad agencies are McCann-Erickson, Ammirati Puris Lintas and The Lowe Group.


DAS, a subsidiary of the global advertising and communications company, owns corporate branding network Interbrand. Interbrand invested in Gerstman & Meyers, a US packaging design consultancy, Zurich-based Zintzmeyer & Lux, Redwood Associates, a London-based new product development company, and Newell and Sorrell, which has offices in London and Amsterdam. Another Omnicom subsidiary, BBDO, part owns ad agency Abbot Mead Vickers, which bought Fishburn Hedges in 1996. The Open Agency, also owned by AMV, was formed last August following the merger 12 months previously of Horseman Cooke McBains and through-the-line agency McBains.


This French utilities and media conglomerate owns Havas, the world’s fifth biggest media organisation. Havas owns 30 per cent of quoted company Havas Advertising, which in turn owns Euro RSCG Design in Paris, and CGI, Conran Design Group and Real Time Studio in London. Real Time bought AMX Studios when it went into voluntary liquidation last year and CDG subsumed stablemate Interface.

Incepta Group

This is the holding company for Citigate Communications Group. London design group Lloyd Northover was acquired in 1993 and became Lloyd Northover Citigate which operates a Hong Kong office. In 1997 it bought Bass Yager in the US, which also tacked Citigate on to the end of its name. In 1997 Incepta went public, and the following year it acquired PR and design group Dewe Rogerson, incorporating the design division with LNC. It also owns event company Park Avenue. To strengthen the Citigate brand, the design interests are inverting their names, to start with the word Citigate. This process is scheduled to start by 1 July.


Incepta owns a 27 per cent stake in Lopex, a listed company comprising communications and marketing services. Its design interest is DIA, which it fully bought out in 1988. DIA has an office in Singapore and an association with Minneapolis design group Yamomoto Moss.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty

The London-based ad network set up Tango Design in 1987. Last December, BBH took a 21 per cent shareholding in The Identica Partnership, and under the deal, Tango was merged into that group.


A world leader in the design and manufacture of office furnishings, Steelcase has a majority stake in global product design group Ideo. Last September Ideo took a 25 per cent stake in strategic consultancy The Fourth Room.

Cordiant/Saatchi & Saatchi

Formerly the holding company for Saatchi & Saatchi and Bates Worldwide ad networks, Cordiant demerged its two principal businesses in 1997. S&S owned Siegel & Gale following the demerger. In June 1998 Siegel & Gale based in New York with a London and Los Angeles office carried out a management buy-out from S&S for 20.4m. S&S wholly owns graphics group Team Saatchi.

Cordiant includes event group HP:ICM and 30 per cent of The Facilities Group, with Saatchi & Saatchi owning the other 70 per cent. Facilities Group includes Saatchi & Saatchi Design, Sector Light Design and Red Kite New Media.

Added Value Group

Privately owned global group comprising research and strategic marketing consultancy Added Value Company, internal marketing agency Avicom and design group Brown Inc, which was formed in 1992 with backing from AVG. Brown Inc is 51 per cent owned by AVG.


Fitch de-listed from the London Stock Exchange to become part of US fund Lighthouse for a cash offer this April.

Chime Communications

Chime owns communications group Bell Pottinger Communications. It wholly owns Smithfield Design and has a 75 per cent stake in multimedia design group Interactive Bureau. Property marketing division AMD has a literature and advertising design arm.

Virgin Group

This year the group lost its three design interests: Rodney Fitch & Co, which had a stake in Wickens Tutt Southgate, and Clinic. Rodney Fitch bought back Virgin’s 50 per cent stake in his group and sold his majority stake in WTS to founders Mark Wickens and Paul Southgate. Virgin has also sold its 20 per cent stake in Clinic, making that group 100 per cent self-owned.

Princedale Group

The holding company has disposed of all its pure design businesses and now concentrates on manufacturing, which includes Sloane. Annual reports specialist C&FD bought itself out last August. MPL, brand development specialist CLK and its sister company The Brandnaming Company all left the group in a 3.6m management buy-out in April 1997. CLK and MPL came together to form CLK.MPL then went on to establish Corporate Edge.

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