The parent of the embattled J. Walter Thompson advertising agency said Wednesday that its directors will meet either today or Friday to consider "one or more" takeover proposals.
The announcement by JWT Group came after one unhappy suitor, London-based WPP Group, made good on its threat to launch a campaign to replace JWT's 11 directors with six WPP nominees, reducing the size of the board.
WPP told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was making the move "since the company's board . . . had not accepted WPP's ($50.50 a share) proposal and had not announced that the company was considering a more favorable transaction."
Investment analysts who follow the advertising industry didn't think WPP would succeed in ousting the board. "This is just another move in the cat and mouse game between WPP and JWT," said Charles Crane, an analyst with the Prudential-Bache Securities firm in New York. "JWT seems to be doing all it can to delay things, and WPP is trying to force them to act."