M&C Saatchi offers all staff voluntary redundancy following NatWest loss

Agency has plans to cut headount by about 11%.

NatWest: summer work featured Flintoff
NatWest: summer work featured Flintoff

M&C Saatchi's loss of the NatWest ad account has resulted in plans to cut headcount by about 11%, with the agency offering voluntary redundancy to all staff and aiming at around 20 job losses.

Last week, Campaign reported NatWest's near-two-decade relationship with M&C Saatchi had come to an end, with the bank appointing The & Partnership London as its creative agency of record.

M&C Saatchi chief executive Giles Hedger told Campaign that its 178 staff are being told they can apply for voluntary redundancy.

According to employment regulations, there are no set rules governing consultations for fewer than 20 redundancies, but should that number exceed 20 then collective consultation rules must be followed or a business can face penalties.

Hedger said: "One of the certainties of client/agency relationships, however good, however productive and however deep-seated, is that at some point they come to an end. We are extremely proud of everything we have done with and for NatWest over the past two decades, and we wish them and The & Partnership the best of luck. We will move on and embrace the new era with vigour."

M&C Saatchi won NatWest in 2001, picking up the business from TBWA\London after the bank’s takeover by the Royal Bank of Scotland. 

The agency's work for the brand includes this year’s "The move", which captured the highs and lows experienced by a couple buying a house, and July’s "Freddie v Freddie" campaign starring Andrew Flintoff.

M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment will continue to work with NatWest across its sponsorship activity, including for cricket.

According to Campaign’s School Report for M&C Saatchi (published in April), the agency employs 178 staff. M&C Saatchi made about £96m in billings in 2018, according to Nielsen data, with a total of 53 accounts at the year end. It won 17 accounts, including its biggest win of the year, GambleAware.