Saatchi and Saatchi has kicked off a radical reorganisation of its
creative department by making 15 staff redundant and splitting up award-
winning teams, just weeks after winning Agency of the Year at Cannes.
Two of the biggest names on the hitlist are the art director, Nick
Schon, and his writer, Maxine Baker. The team, who have been at the
agency for 18 years, exits along with the art directors, Rupert Stubbs
and Roy Antoine, and the junior team, Helen Everett and Simon Veksner.
The redundancies, announced last Friday, reduce the Charlotte Street
creative department staff numbers from 84 to 69. They are the first
stage in a concerted effort by the agency to reinvent its creative
department which, observers say, was unnecessarily large for its 80-odd
clients. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO - which has similar billings to
Saatchis - has 16 creative teams.
Saatchis, which now has 31 teams, is to begin a shake-up through which
it will abandon its group structure, create project teams and split up
to nine of its existing teams to create new ones.
The new pairings include Tom Wnek with Judy Hill, Jason Fretwell with
Vanessa Rosser, and Michael Campbell with John Messum.
Adam Kean, currently one of three joint creative directors at the
agency, steps up to take control of the creative department, together
with John Pallant, who is to be named joint creative director. Kean and
Pallant will continue to work with their respective creative partners -
Alex Taylor, who remains head of art, and Matt Ryan, who stays as
deputy creative director.
Meanwhile, Richard Myers will move into a pan-European creative role,
broadening his responsibility for the Visa, Toyota and Samsung accounts,
and Cliff Francis will continue to run the Procter and Gamble fmcg
Kean explained: ‘We are splitting up some of the teams we regard as our
most successful. This is us saying we are not satisfied with being the
hottest creative department in London. It’s about providing the right
combinations of people.’