M&C Saatchi and the7stars launch joint venture

Consultancy will work with brands struggling to align their creative and media thinking.

M&C7: Biggam and Hedger
M&C7: Biggam and Hedger

The7stars and M&C Saatchi are launching a joint venture called M&C7 to help clients align their media and creative thinking.

Giles Hedger, chief executive of M&C Saatchi London, and Jenny Biggam, co-founder of the7stars, will lead the enterprise initially.

M&C7 will function as a consultancy, working with marketers to highlight and solve problems caused by their media and creative not working together symbiotically.

The end product will be a platform that fuses media and creative thinking, and could serve as a brief for that brand’s agencies – or the7stars and M&C Saatchi – to work from.

Hedger said: "One of the first things that happened in my career was media left the building. My observation is in all of those years, all of those attempts to glue A and B back together again or offer a consultancy, you cycle forward and the problem hasn’t been solved."

The consultancy will be housed in its own office in central London. During the first year, it will be staffed by up to 20 employees from each of the two agencies, who will be rotated around the operation and work alongside freelancers.

As the company grows, it will hire a permanent workforce and appoint full-time leaders.

M&C7 will initially look to trial its approach with clients that its parent agencies already have relationships with, but Biggam said the "big opportunity is clients that are not working with either of our two agencies at the minute".

She continued: "Maybe they have a new product to launch. Or have a new target audience to try and approach in a different way and want neutrality of thinking and advice on planning in advance.

"The7stars’ perspective of not doing agency deals and not taking rebates from media owners, of starting every single media plan from the point of view of what is in the best interests of the advertiser, is unique. Involving some creative brains seemed like a smart way of taking that to the next level."

The offering, which has been in the works for the best part of a year, will open on 4 July, Independence Day in the US, in celebration of its parents’ independent status.

Hedger said: "As independent agencies, this is something we can do with relative ease. Just by being like-minded. We can come together and do this in ways we couldn’t [if we were in a big holding company]."