A bitter feud is thought to have broken out between Adam & Eve, the start-up from the former management team of WPP-owned Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, and WPP’s chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell (pictured) over the “circumstances” in which the new agency’s three founding partners left.
The news has emerged only six months after Adam & Eve first opened for business.
Insiders claim that James Murphy, Ben Priest and David Golding, Adam & Eve’s founding members, are currently “in discussions” with WPP, which is said to be seeking £500,000 damages from the start-up. Sources also suggest that Adam & Eve has offered an out of court settlement for £120,000, which WPP is reluctant to accept.
Sources close to Adam & Eve say that the “conversations” between the agency and WPP concerns the terms of departure of the three founding partners and does not include Sorrell asking for any damages.
The trio at Adam & Eve, who resigned last June from WPP, led RKCR/Y&R through a successful period since the departure of its founder in 2003.
The news of this battle between WPP and Adam & Eve is being seen by some in the industry as a way for Sorrell to get a stake in the agency.
Rumours were rife last year about Sorrell considering investing in the start-up (MW July 5, 2007). It is thought that Sorrell was interested in a 20% stake in Adam & Eve.
Adam & Eve has already managed to build an impressive client list including Cadbury’s chocolate digestive biscuits, The Telegraph, Westfield shopping centre and budget airline Air Asia.
No one from Adam & Eve was available for comment.