Saatchi & Saatchi is to slash its in-house media planning
department as part of a widespread agency cull.
Sister agency Zenith Media is set to gain the media planning from
Saatchis' clients, which include Procter & Gamble, COI Communication's
Army account and Monster.com.
Saatchis decided that it was no longer economical to service the
accounts in-house. The only client whose media planning will be retained
by Saatchis is Carlsberg Tetley, which will be looked after by Sheila
The changes have been instigated by Saatchis' newly arrived chief
executive, James Hall. It is believed that about 12 people will lose
their jobs, including Saatchis' media director, Ron Mudge.
If P&G is absorbed into Zenith it will mark the agency's first step onto
the FMCG giant's agency roster, bringing in brands such as Oil of Olay,
Ariel, Sunny Delight and Pampers.
Zenith already holds Monster.com's buying account but will only hold
COI's Army planning on an interim basis following COI's decision earlier
this month to create its first strategic media planning roster.
It is not clear how many of Saatchis' media planners are likely to be
taken on by Zenith. No-one at Zenith was available for comment as
Campaign went to press.
The absorption of Saatchis' media planning into Zenith is not a huge
shock, given that the latter has chipped away at its sister agency's
media planning base over the past two years.
In April the agency won Columbia Tri-Star's pounds 12 million
consolidated media planning and buying account, scooping the planning
out of Saatchis. Last September Saatchi & Saatchi lost the pounds 30
million strategic media planning account for Toyota and Lexus to Zenith,
which was an incumbent on the car company's buying account. Saatchis had
held the planning for Toyota since early 1992.