WPP Group acquired J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather, paying high premiums in relation to earnings. In each acquisition the goodwill acquired was immediately charged off against owners' equity. Then, WPP Group established a value for the brand names of the two companies. The value totaled $350 million. The case describes the brand valuation process, the differences between U.K. and U.S. accounting methods, and motivation for the transaction.
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