Y&R Wpp: Is This Deal Really Dead?

Merger plans for Y&R and WPP are off again--but stay tuned

Are U.S.-based Young & Rubicam and Britain's WPP Group better at soap operas than advertising? You have to wonder after merger talks between the two ad giants fell out of bed on Apr. 28 for the second time in four months. Insiders say the animosity, intrigue, and accusations of dirty dealing on both sides have true prime-time potential. And on May 1, the world turned again when Y&R announced it was in preliminary merger talks with French advertising group Publicis. That leaves Martin Sorrell, WPP's 55-year-old chairman, in the cold--at least until the next episode.

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