Terence Conran looks to settle Havas dispute

Terence Conran says he is prepared to meet Havas chairman Vincent Bolloré to resolve a long-standing dispute over the use of the Conran name which erupted in the press at the weekend.

Conran Holdings publicly attacked Havas’s plans to roll out its Conran Design Group brand internationally, when talks for Conran Holdings to either buy back the name, or collaborate with the French network, collapsed.

Havas, which acquired the Conran Design Group name in the 1990s through its Euro RSCG network, is understood to have approached Conran Holdings with plans to turn CDG into an international design network. However, Conran Holdings finally turned down a deal to buy back the Conran name at the eleventh hour.

Sources familiar with the legacy revealed to Design Week that a deal for Conran to collaborate personally with CDG was close to being struck as long as seven years ago. Despite a ‘format’ and ‘framework’ having been worked out, it is understood that Havas then failed to sign off the plans.

Euro RSCG Worldwide says it will now continue with its plans to expand the CDG business to six new territories.

‘Havas is in a phase of expansion, and design is one of the sectors in which we plan to grow. Our plan is to expand CDG in the UK and overseas,’ says its global chief operating officer Chris Pinnington.

Defending Conran Holdings’ decision to go public, chief executive Roger Mavity says, ‘This case shouldn’t be tried in the court of the Old Bailey. It should be tried in the court of public opinion.’

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