Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lace deal

Has Interpublic had to pay Garry Lace off? It seems that way. After months of waiting, the verdict is in and Lace has resigned from Lowe London, not that the result was ever anything but a foregone conclusion.

Interpublic slipped out a short statement last night after its latest set of poor results, saying only that following his suspension Lace had resigned as chief executive of Lowe and that neither side would be making any further statement. It's all terribly confidential.

The story seems to be that having hastily jumped to suspended Lace, Interpublic found nothing on him after its investigation and has had to quietly pay him off. Well as quietly as you can when it is being reported all over the industry.

Initially, Lowe had promised everyone a speedy inquiry with a decision by the end of March, but then April came and went and May got under way and still no decision.

At one stage, Lace had been rumoured to be preparing a counter lawsuit against Lowe, but that idea seems to have quietly gone away as did any talk of punitive damages against Lace.

It all points to an investigation that found nothing and the long delay giving the lawyers on both sides to come up with a deal that was agreeably to all concerned.

Interpublic, of course, suspended Lace over supposed meetings with Sir Frank Lowe. They doubtless took place, but probably weren't about Lace joining Sir Frank or launching a start-up agency.

That's almost certainly what Interpublic's investigation revealed before its lawyers hashed out a deal and it handed over a cash settlement marking, just another in the episode in 'Intepublic: A Serious of Unfortunate Events'.

With no suit against it and Lace not on the receiving end of any punitive damages, Lace should be free to back behind a desk some where in London's agency land. Don't expect to wait long for that.

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