Aegis fails to shore up German position

Jerry Buhlmann

Aegis Media has made an abortive attempt to poach two top MediaCom executives to shore up its position in Germany. The move follows a financial scandal which has left three of Aegis’s German team in prison and a management vacuum in one of the group’s most profitable subsidiaries.

The hiring would have led to MediaCom Germany’s chief executive Jurgen Blomenkamp and chief operating officer Christian Schmalzl taking up similar positions in Aegis. The six-year contracts they were being offered are alleged to have included guaranteed bonuses and profit sharing that would have rounded up their annual packages to well over €1m (£750,000) each.

The six-year contracts were deferred until 2009 because of non-compete clauses in the executives’ existing MediaCom contracts.

Jerry Buhlmann, chief executive of Aegis Media EMEA says: "We don’t comment on anyone we may be talking to to bolster our team. We haven’t yet made any decisions on senior management in Germany."

He also declines to comment on the six-year contracts or any monetary value attached to them, adding: "We keep a close eye on market rates for top people."

The German justice department recently issued arrest warrants for six people in connection with an embezzlement investigation into television airtime payments. The most senior casualty is Aleksander Ruzicka, until recently president of Aegis Germany.

Ruzicka is accused of selling back commercial airtime to his own agency after it had been given to the agency free as part of its media-buying contracts with television companies.

Aegis insists that none of its clients has suffered as a result of the alleged fraud.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here