More denies its French Connection

There’s nothing like an annual conference to aid company bonding. A few days of bracing sea air in Bournemouth or Brighton can do wonders for management morale.

So it was with some amusement that the Diary heard of the More Group’s choice for its annual get-together this week, when bosses from 24 countries running bus shelter and billboard advertising businesses will converge in one town.

It is well known that the More Group narrowly avoided being taken over by its arch rival, the French company Decaux earlier this year. Much champagne-swigging followed Decaux’s defeat, which was pipped to the prize by the Texan company Clear Channel.

So what could be more appropriate for the More Group but to hold its annual conference in an attractive Brittany town called Rennes – which happens to be where it swiped its first street furniture contract from Decaux.

Roger Parry, chief executive of the More Group, insists the conference was organised months before the takeover bid and is definitely not a sideswipe at Decaux. “Everyone likes a glass of French wine and a piece of French cheese,” he says innocently.

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