Agency hanky-panky should be watched cause it’s fun: Plus, you know, LEADS

Steve’s breakdown: We hate to see this sort of thing, let alone report on it but . . .

Havas is neck deep in African quicksand and they might not be able to hold on to all clients. More puns and news to come . . .

EVERYWHERE, USA: French business magnate Vincent Bollore warned investors at the firm’s annual meeting on Friday that the scandal involving its African port concessions could last years and hurt the firm financially.

The corruption case has also embroiled Havas Group, which allegedly provided advertising and related services at below market rates to two West African presidential candidates. They both won and Bollore ended up with port concessions in both countries.

Bollore acquired control of Havas years ago and recently folded it into Vivendi, which it also controls. Vincent Bollore’s son Yannick is CEO of Havas Group and Chairman of Vivendi’s supervisory board.

Reuters quoted Bollore as saying at the meeting that “The group is going to experience a period of strong gales, as weather forecasters would say…This is going to last for 10 years, raids will be carried out, people will be questioned, the press will cover it day-to-day.”

Ten years? Wow, talk about the gift that keeps on giving. For the press that is.

Still, Bollore said the company will weather the storm as it has weathered other storms in its nearly 200-year history.

The market didn’t seem too concerned about the warning: Bollore Group’s stock price was up 1.5% at the close of trading on the Euronext Paris exchange Friday.


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