StopPress has received word from a very reliable source inside Saatchi & Saatchi who wishes to remain anonymous that the rumours are true: CEO Andrew Stone and ECD Mike O'Sullivan are departing.
"It's time for the truth. Andrew Stone and Mike O'Sullivan will be leaving Saatchi & Saatchi in two weeks' time to set up their own shop."
The rumours were denied yesterday, but Stone admitted the pair had been talking with management for a while about what the future held. He said the cat would be let out of the bag before Christmas.
More than a few eyebrows were raised when big cheese Kevin Roberts stopped by the Auckland office on Wednesday. And rumours started circulating about the pair's supposed departure yesterday.
The Press reported that Cindy Mitchener of Marsden Inch, a consultant with the agency until December, and James Hall of Assignment Group, who has worked with Saatchi & Saatchi in both New Zealand and London, were rumoured to be in the running for the top job, but both denied being approached.
Since Friday's story aired, a number of attempts have been made to try and get hold of the men in question, but to no avail. Quiet has descended. There have been no howls of denial from within Saatchi's, however, so we'll take it as a yes.