Saatchi & Saatchi has axed 10 per cent of its London staff as part
of a sweeping restructure designed to cut costs and revitalise the
The new chief executive, James Hall, denied he was acting on orders from
the network's worldwide chief executive, Kevin Roberts, to reduce costs
by 10 per cent. He would not confirm exactly how many people have lost
their jobs, but it is thought the figure nears 50.
Hall's plans, implemented just five weeks after he was parachuted in
from Saatchis' New Zealand operation, include "de-layering" the agency's
account handling department, moving the agency's healthcare arm to
Saatchi Vision, axing its in-house PR and moving the Cause Connection
charity arm to Octagon Media.
Last week Saatchis confirmed it was moving its media planning into
Zenith, leaving only Carlsberg Tetley in-house, with the subsequent loss
of 12 jobs, including the media director, Ron Mudge.
The three managing partner roles within the main agency have been
abolished, leaving a flatter account management team of 18, reporting
directly to Hall.
"We need to get rid of our non-core operations to focus on making a
leaner and faster structure," he said. "Without layers of management, we
can concentrate on the real issues - our clients' work." He said the
managing partner role - which split up the agency into small
"mini-agencies" - was now redundant.
Although Hall refused to confirm his promotion, it is thought the former
managing partner, Stef Tiratelli, will take a new-business role, working
with the executive chairman, Tamara Ingram, as well as running the
Telewest account. It is unclear what roles the other managing partners,
Paul Tredwell and Jon Rudaisky, will take. The marketing director Steve
Colgrave will continue in his current role.
Other senior management will remain unchanged, with the executive
creative director, Dave Droga, and the planning director, Kevin Dundas,
working alongside Hall and Ingram and reporting to Roberts.
It is thought five people will leave the creative department, four of
whom worked on healthcare clients. Separately, the creative director
Matt Ryan is leaving to direct full-time.
Hall, who started as the chief executive in April, was earmarked to head
the London office after he put the Wellington and Auckland operations
back on the creative map.
The redundancies are the most severe to hit the advertising community
this year. McCann-Erickson has laid off 17 people, Ogilvy & Mather, 19,
and BMP DDB, 11 in recent weeks.