The bitter battle between two of France's richest men fighting for control of Gucci is making the famous Italian design house even more attractive, according to an analyst.

Far from damaging the luxury name, the tit-for-tat bickering between M Arnault, through his LVMH luxury goods house and M Pinault via the Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR), is keeping the Gucci name alive.

Hayley Myers, a retail analyst with Retail Intelligence, said: "It is positive publicity. The wrangling is keeping Gucci in the public eye."

Ms Myers' comments come after the pair were urged to end their battle for control of Gucci which they both have stakes in amid warnings that the only victors would be the lawyers.

Costly legal bills are being run up because the battle is being fought across several jurisdictions and includes a number of defamation suits, according to press reports.

At the end of last month, French luxury giant, LVMH proposed a ceasefire, but the overture was quickly dismissed by PPR as "little more than a legal posturing" and a thinly veiled attempt to break its alliance with Gucci.

LVMH had been seeking to sever the ties between PPR and Gucci by legally contesting the manner in which PPR won a 42 per cent stake in the Florentine fashion house last year.

Tomaso Galli, director for corporate communications for Gucci, said Gucci had always acted fairly and honestly and put any plans before shareholders to vote on.

LVMH currently has a 20.6 per cent shareholder stake in the company and PPR a 42 per cent stake.

Mr Galli said: "We forged a strategic alliance in March 1999 with PPR which enabled us to pursue a multibrand approach through the acquisition of YSL, Boucheron, Sergio, Rossi, and recently a 51 per cent acquisition of the Alexander McQueen brand.

"This has enabled us to strengthen the company and add a lot of value for shareholders. We have always been honest about our plans and put them to the vote."

He added: "LVMH has consistently tried to put us under pressure and harass us unfairly."

By Deborah Bowyer