Score: 7 Last year: 6
Saatchi & Saatchi performed with confidence in 2012. The Publicis-owned shop secured one of the biggest accounts around in EE, created punchier work and kicked off an acquisitions drive with its new digital purchase Outside Line.
The agency’s new arrivals included the £5 million Mattessons ad account and Virgin Pure, the Virgin Strauss water brand, after a pitch. But Saatchis’ biggest coup in 2012 was clinching the consolidated EE business. The parent company of Orange and (Saatchis’ client) T-Mobile put its combined spend for the brands behind EE and into the agency. Cue an estimated £100 million push fronted by the "centre of the universe", Kevin Bacon.
Saatchis, led by the chief executive, Magnus Djaba, welcomed a lot of new faces from various disciplines. The creative department was boosted with the hiring of the Dare creative team behind the Hovis "go on lad" spot, Danny Hunt and Gavin Torrance, and the Crispin Porter & Bogusky team of Brittany Poole and Todd Grinham. Elsewhere, AKQA’s Rachel Lawlan and Fallon’s Matt Groves joined as the head of planning and director of integration respectively, while Leigh Thomas was promoted to the position of managing director.
Saatchis also made progress creatively. Aside from its high-profile EE campaign, there was a standout animated spot for Toyota, offbeat Mattessons work invoking the spirit of Hank Marvin, some strong work for T-Mobile and entertaining online content for golf’s European Tour.
The agency ended the year with the acquisition of Outside Line, a shop specialising in social media, creative, digital outdoor and community-based marketing, with clients including Anchor and Cravendale. Its 60 staff members have merged into Saatchis’ Charlotte Street office, significantly boosting the agency’s offering. The move, which was followed by the merger of Masius and Team Saatchi in early 2013, has set the agency nicely for a strong year ahead.
|Saatchi & Saatchi|
|Type of agency||Creative|
|Company ownership||Publicis Groupe (SSF)|
|Key personnel||Magnus Djaba chief executive
Paul Silburn creative partner
Kate Stanners creative partner
Richard Huntington director of strategy
|Nielsen billings 2012||£144m|
|Nielsen billings 2011||£139m|
|Total accounts at year end||42|
|Accounts won||4 (biggest: EE)|
|Number of staff||350 (+28%)|
Score key: 9 Outstanding 8 Excellent 7 Good 6 Satisfactory 5 Adequate 4 Below average 3 Poor 2 A year to forget 1 Survival in question
Footnote: *indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.
How Saatchi & Saatchi rates itself: 8
"2012 was a year to be proud of. Doing great work and seeing market-beating results for Mattessons, Toyota, T-Mobile, Visa and Asda. Winning the second biggest account of the year in EE, and introducing 4G to the UK. Having fun with Kevin Bacon, Hank Marvin and some half naked porn stars. Bringing an award-winning digital agency, Outside Line, into our business. Hiring some brilliant new people. And proving that in a recession, confidence and creativity get results."