Conflicting Accounts

Kevin Goldman, Author
Kevin Goldman, Author Simon & Schuster $26 (384p) ISBN 978-0-684-81571-8
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-684-83553-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-1183-1
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4391-4514-2
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Wall Street Journal advertising columnist Goldman's gossipy account of the rise and crash of Saatchi & Saatchi, the world's largest ad agency at its peak in 1987, unfolds as a Shakespearean drama full of greed, revenge, ambition and civil war. Charles Saatchi, wizard copywriter and art collector, and his mercurial brother, Maurice-both Iraqi Jews who emigrated to London in 1947-founded the agency in 1970 when Charles was 27 and Maurice 25. Their free-spending acquisitions binge, fueled by Maurice's obsessive quest to be the number-one agency, was undermined by expensive buyouts, client defections and a slowdown in ad spending in the U.S. Goldman offers a more critical, American-based view of the brothers and their wheeling and dealing than does British media journalist Alison Fendley in Saatchi & Saatchi: The Inside Story (Forecasts, Sept. 30). He also gives much more inside detail on Maurice's 1994 ouster as chairman in a shareholder mutiny spearheaded by no-nonsense Chicago fund manager David Herro, as well as on the ensuing internecine battle that erupted between M&C Saatchi, the brothers' new agency, and their former shop, renamed Cordiant. Photos. (Jan.)
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