Publicis Groupe has issued a strongly worded denial of an allegation that it had inappropriately accounted for compensation received from a German software publisher accruing from delays in installing its software.
The claim was published by Gouvernance en Action, a French advisory group specializing in crisis management, advocacy and activism, yesterday but drew a stinging rebuke from Publicis which claims that it provided all required clarifications to the charge in a letter addressed to Mr Fabrice Ramon, director of Governance en Action, on 31 March.
In a statement the group reiterated this statement, saying: “Publicis Groupe had a dispute with a software and IT services supplier. This dispute was arbitrated and resulted in a settled resolution, covered by a confidentiality agreement, whereby Publicis Groupe would be compensated for the costs of the delays and difficulties it sustained.
“The compensation received by Publicis Groupe was allocated in Publicis Groupe’s accounts in part to the reduction of the book value of the balance sheet assets corresponding to the project, in part to the neutralization in the 2014 income statement of the extra costs incurred as a result of the delays, and in part to cover forecasted extra costs in the coming years as a result of the delays known by the Group.
“This accounting treatment has been validated by Group’s auditors, who confirmed that it was not necessary to mention this information in the notes to the financial statements relating to 2014 accounts nor in the annual report.”
The group is currently in the midst of a handover of power with chairman Maurice Levy set to stand down on 1 June to make way for his successor, current creative chief Arthur Sadoun.