M&C lures senior creative away from Saatchis stable

Bill Gallagher will become the first senior creative to defect from

Saatchi & Saatchi to M&C Saatchi since the rival agency was launched six

years ago, when he joins as a deputy creative director next month.

His signing completes a tit-for-tat movement in which Gallagher replaces

Malcolm Poynton, who left M&C Saatchi in February to become the creative

director of Saatchi & Saatchi in Sydney.

Gallagher, an art director, will link with the writer Paul Hodgkinson as

two of the four deputy creative directors running the M&C Saatchi

creative department along with Tiger Savage and Mark Goodwin.

Currently a creative director at the Charlotte Street shop, Gallagher's

agency career spans two decades.

Hodgkinson said: "We're under no illusions about the fact that our

creative product has a long way to go before it proves itself. That's

why Bill, with his large amount of experience and wisdom, is dead right

for the job."

Gallagher's agency career includes spells at CDP and BMP DDB, as well as

Saatchis, where he has spent the past 13 years.

His output has included work for the NSPCC and the 1993 Ridley

Scott-directed commercial for the then Midland Bank, which he produced

with James Lowther, now the M&C chairman.

"I spoke to about six people about the job, but it's been unimaginably

hard to find somebody of the right calibre who won't be out of their

depth," Hodgkinson added.

"I rate Bill because although he's highly experienced, he isn't set in

his ways."