ADV Group Russia (Дмитрий Коробков) vs. ADV Group Ukraine (Сергей Матеев)

Разразившаяся в конце 2001 года война между топ-менеджерами российского и украинского офисов ADV Group обещает возглавить номинацию "Скандал года". AdReport публикует переписку Сергея Матеева со специально созданного им временного сайта, ссылку на который он опубликовал на одном из рекламных форумов.

Оригиналы писем Матеева:


December 13th, 2001

To: Sergio Lorca, President IM Europe; Glyn Hughes, Regional director CEE, IM

Cc: Marie-Jose Forrisier, President & COO IM WW, Louis Schultz, Chairman & CEO IM WW Thomas Plotzeneder, Reg. director CEE, Lowe GGK; Tim Lindsay, President, Lowe WW; Jerry Judge, CEO Lowe & Partners WW

Fyi: John Dooner, Chairman & CEO IPG New York; David Bell Vice-Chairman The Partnership; James Heekin, Chairman & CEO MCE Group, Brandan Ryan, Chairman & CEO FCB Group

Kyiv, Ukraine
Dear Sirs,

Further to Mr. Hughes e-mail re: our Warsaw meeting, I would like to inform you about recent development in our relationship with Dmitry Korobkov of ADV Moscow.

Last week we have had a telephone conversation with D. Korobkov who has raise once again the issue of re- registering the company and granting him 51% instead of the current 50% that he and his company hold with all IM and Lowe Lintas structures in Ukraine. D.Korobkov has explained once again that according to his agreement with IPG (Interpublic) he has to have 51% of every structure that is representing any of the above mentioned companies that he has been given licenses to represent in C.I.S.

I have the following questions:

1. As far as I am aware IPG doesn.t have such contract with D.Korobkov. Where is this contract and by whom it has been signed and why in this case Dmitry has involved me as 50% co-partner from the very beginning back to 1999. Why D.Korobkov has not informed IM WW and Lowe Lintas respectively that from the very beginning myself (thru family funds) have invested 50% in the companies created to represent IM and LL WW in Ukraine. Moreover, has Dmitry informed IM that during the 1st 6 months I have been solely funding the companies in terms of initial capital investment and operating monthly expenses (salaries, rent, etc.). Only after these 6 months ADV Moscow has compensated their 50% part of the initial investment and monthly running costs, when I had to push Moscow office to get these money. As from that moment onwards, I have been explained that I have to be responsible to fund the agencies and make them profitable.

2. As to the current lawsuit with Atlantic Group in New York, I would like to officially inform you that D.Korobkov has organized an illegal action against AGL companies in Kyiv about which you can read from a Kyiv Post article I will send you tomorrow. The invasion and blocking of the AGL offices last year in February 2000, has been organized by a security company that has been paid US$ 40,000.00 for this service (thru NCB Limited in Liechtenstein) in order to create big enough problems by involving unofficially government structures and paying bribes to some officers at the Committee for fighting organized economic crimes. Mr. Evgeniy Shurov, VP Corporate Affairs of ADV Moscow has spent more than a week in Kyiv to help the security company (Alfa- Shtit) to handle the action in a .proper way.. Of course, none of the these government structures, nor their heads are aware that this illegal action has been paid for and organized by ADV Moscow and solely by D.Korobkov and P.Sidorov who have not considered my strong recommendation against this action as it is against the law and I have also refused to fund it. The money has been paid / taken from Kimberly-Clark media budget for Ukraine for 2000 which the client is not aware of.

At that moment, Atlantic Group has accused Studio 1+1 TV (CME owned) channel but later have apologized officially to them due to no evidence available.

To sum up my question is how IM WW and all official authorities such as The American Embassy in Kyiv, the Russian Embassy in Kyiv and all official government structures will tolerate D.Korobkov.s further actions in organizing such illegal actions. Moreover, I have delivered all evidence to two international law firms that in the event of something happening to me and my family members, they will automatically submit copies of all these documents to the official authorities, all major clients and the media. I will also make an official enquiry through the American Embassy to organize a meeting with their Regional Security officer to explain all details to them. Also will ask the American Embassy to help me to organize a meeting with Mr. Andrew K. Bain of AGL, whom I will join in AGL's lawsuit in New York to witness about the methods, damages and illegal behavior of D.Korobkov. Last week, D.Korobkov has threatened me that as holder of the licenses for IM and Lowe WW in C.I.S, he would terminate our relationship and will open up new structures in Ukraine. Also he is planning to approach our top managers to join his side in this conflict. Regardless of all the facts that, during the first 6 six months I have funded and am 50% owner of the company, more that 60% is non-aligned business brought by myself and the team thru intensively pitching for local clients, and excellent financial results have been delivered (a fact which has been confirmed publicly by D.Korobkov).

Dear Sirs, I cannot longer accept to work and live under the threats of D.Korobkov (and his security company) and I am not prepared to loose my money and time invested in the last two years into building these strong structures (IM and Adventa Lowe) in becoming #1 players in Ukraine.

Looking forward to hearing from your by December 17th, 2001.

Kind regards,

Serguei Mateev
CEO ADV Ukraine

Police raid office of U.S. investor By Peter Byrne, Kyiv Post Staff Writer

Citing a bomb threat, a special police squad raided the offices of one of Kyiv's most prominent American investors on Feb. 25, keeping dozens of employees working overtime but finding no explosives to defuse.

Representatives of advertising and media company Atlantic Group described the raid, which was carried out by more than 20 armed officers from the Interior Ministry's Organized Crime Department, as 'a show' that had nothing to do with a bomb threat.

Interior Ministry agents defended the action, saying police followed routine procedure for dealing with bomb threats.

The drama began at around 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 when the police squad with a sniffer dog barreled past security at the entrance to the four-story office complex on Ploshcha Lva Tolstoho and began to search the Atlantic Group office for incendiary devices.

Agents did not ask company employees to evacuate the premises but ordered them to stay put, Atlantic Group employees said.

Agents also denied access to journalists who were waiting to interview employees during the ensuing five-hour standoff. U.S. Embassy officials monitored the event from their car parked in front of the building.

Atlantic Group is known for its core company, Perekhid Media Enterprises, Ltd., which has been involved in a dispute with the investors and owners of Ukraine's Studio 1+1 television company for several years.

Perekhid said the Ukrainian government unlawfully deprived it of airtime on a state television channel in favor of Studio 1+1 back in 1996. The U.S. government got involved, and the as-yet-unsolved incident - one of several high-profile U.S. investor disputes to emerge around that time - went on to do considerable harm to Ukraine's reputation among foreign investors.

Oleksandr Ivashyn of the Interior Ministry's Organized Crime Department, who led the operation, refused to discuss the motives behind the raid and prevented reporters from speaking with Atlantic Group employees.

'How can you talk about interviewing anyone? There is a specially trained dog in the building. Who will take responsibility if he bites a you?' Ivashyn told journalists.

Following the arrival of two television crews after 6 p.m., Atlantic Group officials were allowed to make a statement to journalists gathered in the foyer.

'Police are milling around Atlantic Group's offices asking to speak with the company management. They have been unable to tell us with whom specifically, or about what,' said one of Perehkid's lawyers, who requested that her name be withheld after being warned by police not to speak with the press about the incident.

'This is a show. If it were a legitimate search-and- seizure operation, they certainly would behave differently. Instead, what we have here is an orchestrated exercise in harassment. It is patently obvious that the bomb scare is a ruse,' the lawyer said.

Police left Atlantic Group's office after 8 p.m., telling employees to sign written affidavits about the bomb scare before leaving the premises.

Officials at the Interior Ministry's Organized Crime Department refused to comment on the raid in the following days.

'Only in Kyiv could it happen that 20 militiamen could insist on remaining on the top floor of our office building - with approximately 120 persons working throughout the building - for five hours because there was a reported bomb in the building,' said Atlantic Group chairman of the board David Stewart.

'It would be funny if it weren't rather sad,' said Stewart in comments sent to the Post by e-mail.

Atlantic Group, set up in 1992, has several television interests, including an advertising sales house, a small outdoor-advertising operation, an advertising agency and a media-buying company.

In 1997, the company filed a lawsuit in New York against former U.S. Ambassador to Austria Ronald Lauder and his Central Media Enterprises Ltd. (CME), alleging 'tortuous interference' in connection with the Studio 1+1 dispute.

Perekhid said that CME colluded with a Ukrainian group suspected of 'criminal connections' and 'corrupt methods' in 1996 to take away Perekhid's 10-year contract to provide 12 hours of prime-time foreign programming for the state nationwide TV channel UT-2.

'It is widely believed in Ukraine that, in return for their ouster of Perekhid and their award of the UT-2 contract to Studio 1+1, senior government officials have been given a significant share of the ownership in Studio 1+1,' the lawsuit read.

A New York judge ultimately dismissed Perekhid's lawsuit in April 1998, ruling that the company's dispute should be heard in Ukrainian courts.

Atlantic Group President Andy Bain told the Post on Feb. 28 that talks with CME and Studio 1+1 owners aimed at settling the dispute broke down in the morning of Feb. 25, hours before police searched Atlantic Group's offices.

He declined to discuss whether the police raid might have been linked to Perekhid's television dispute.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv confirmed that officials from the embassy's regional security office had monitored the raid of Atlantic Group's office. He said the incident was a matter of concern to the embassy. 500

E-mail: serguei_mm@hotmail.com

Второе письмо:

- E X T E R N A L M E M O -

January 7th, 2002


To: Sergio Lorca, President IM Europe; Glyn Hughes, Regional director CEE, IM

Cc: Marie-Jose Forrisier, President & COO IM WW, Louis Schultz, Chairman & CEO IM WW Thomas Plotzeneder, Reg. director CEE, Lowe GGK; Tim Lindsay, President, Lowe WW; Jerry Judge, CEO Lowe & Partners WW

Fyi: John Dooner, Chairman & CEO IPG New York; Barry Linsky, IPG New York, David Bell Vice-Chairman The Partnership; James Heekin, Chairman & CEO MCE Group, Brandan Ryan, Chairman & CEO FCB Group

Dear Sirs,

As a follow-up to your letter dd. 25 Nov. 01 and of my letter to you of December 13, 2001, I feel it appropriate to update you on some recent developments and to share with you some of my thoughts in this respect:

First of all, the office of our local entity was practically blocked (on Friday, Dec. 14th) by Alfa Shtit, the Security Company and I was not even allowed to pass to the office. I understand this as following the same scenario as it was the case AGL (please refer in this respect to my preceding letter on the subject matter). Also key members of the personnel have been threatened to death by the same Security Company that if they don.t come to the office on Monday, Dec. 17th, they will all have personal problems and with their relatives.

Such unilateral actions, which I believe are initiated entirely by Mr. Korobkov, have caused major business interruption and serious problems in servicing clients. Apart from that, it has caused significant harm to the image of the group in Ukraine (and the companies it represents . IM, Lowe, Draft), as I definitely should inform the clients on these matters when explaining current problems in respect of interruptions of the services for them. Apart from that, the matter has become widely known to general public through the competitors, which monitor closely our activities in Ukraine and have used this opportunity to try to undermine the most successful business (see attached business performance review) of this type now in Ukraine.

I tend to believe that all the current actions are taken solely by Mr. Korobkov upon his own initiative (not related to your meeting with him on Dec. 13th in London) and without proper informing you on the serious state of affairs in Ukraine. That.s why I try to bring this case up to you for your reasonable judgement and hope that you stop him from further actions, which tend to cross the border of the ones, which are acceptable by law (while it has already crossed the boundaries of what is acceptable under normal business practice).

The current situation gives me basis for serious worries in respect of my life, health and business interest as well as of these of my relatives. That.s why I might be forced to take defense measures, some of which were outlined in my preceding letter to you. Unfortunately such steps may be of harm not only personally for Mr. Korobkov but to the group as well (which is not my desire). That.s why I.m asking you to stop Mr. Korobkov from his current actions and to consider business issues (if any) in proper way.

Sincerely yours,

Serguei Mateev
Ex-CEO and Co-founder of ADV Group Ukraine


Российские "Ведомости":

Коробков обвиняет Матеева в том, что тот обманул его при регистрации фирмы в 1999 г. Якобы изначально была договоренность, что контроль над украинской компанией будет у ADV, но при регистрации фирмы Матеев предоставил документы, согласно которым у обоих учредителей получились равные доли, о чем московские партнеры узнали только в конце прошлого года. А после требований пересмотреть условия учредительного договора Матеев исчез. Одновременно, по словам Коробкова, со счетов ADV на Украине пропало около $500 000."

Авторские колонки