DIARY: TBWA hands Saatchis a proper pasting over new reception facelift

Saatchi & Saatchi's executive creative director, Dave Droga, was snapped for The Daily Telegraph last week outside the agency's Charlotte Street office - all part of a well-oiled PR stunt aimed at telling everyone that, at long last, the leather sofas and ad lightboxes were getting the chop. Yes! It's finally happening - Saatchis' reception is getting a makeover.

'Bill posters will not be prosecuted,' trumpeted the poster - a nice, cuddly message to the borough's best artists, but, oh yes, a red rag to the rest of adland.

All was well - or so they thought at Saatchis. But the plan backfired slightly when the agency was slapped on the wrist by Camden Council and told to paint over its invitation. It seems the Council thought the agency was setting a dangerous precedent by actually inviting the pesky bill posters to stick up their wares.

But then things really began to fall apart. Under cover of the morning gloom at 6am, a crack team of meddling creatives from TBWA/London, just round the corner on Whitfield Street, set to work. Their mission - to obliterate Saatchis' copy with their own version, safe in the knowledge that they wouldn't be taken to court. 'You'll get a better reception at TBWA,' screamed the impudent copy, accompanied by a massive yellow arrow pointing in the agency's direction.

Apparently, not one person stopped to ask what was going on, despite the fact that a telly crew was catching it all on camera. Having done their worst, the TBWA-ers crept off cackling, leaving the executives arriving at Saatchis wondering what was going on when they turned up and found their challenge had been met.

However, the builders had bigger problems. They couldn't get into the site to get cracking on the real business of getting rid of the shag pile 'n' coffee table tableaux as, in his enthusiasm, TBWA's 'wallpaperer' and office services supremo Bill Watley had plastered over the door. Whoops.





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