Diary: M&C Saatchi's errant digit causes confusion at BBH

Most agencies know big accounts fall into their laps only very rarely.

Therefore, it is good business practice to have a wishlist of suitable clients to pursue like rabid dogs.

However, this practice is usually kept as quiet as possible, because it is not really cricket to be seen to be chasing another agency's client.

Therefore, it is quite important that any correspondence sent out is private, confidential and has the correct return address and telephone number of the agency on it, so that if a prospective client should want to get back in touch with the agency, it can do this secretively without the rest of the industry knowing. Something that M&C Saatchi recently failed to do.

In the past few weeks, Bartle Bogle Hegarty has received a spate of calls to its offices from some of the UK's major brands, politely declining an invitation from M&C Saatchi to take a look at its credentials.

Once this had happened a few times, a confused caller read out the phone number that was printed on the M&C Saatchi-headed paper they had just received, which was the number for BBH's offices.

It then became apparent a mix-up had occurred owing to BBH and M&C Saatchi's phone number being only one digit different - BBH's starts with (020) 7453 and M&C Saatchi's with (020) 7543.

Thankfully for M&C Saatchi, the callers in question were not any of BBH's existing clients. Yet.

Diary wonders if BBH will be fielding a confused call from its British Airways client soon.


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