Rita Clifton, Saatchi & Saatchi’s long-serving executive planning
director, is to quit the agency at the end of the month for a ’senior
role in a related business’.
The move coincides with a series of sweeping changes at the agency: Adam
Kean and John Pallant have been promoted to executive creative directors
and Cliff Francis has been installed as Saatchis’ first global creative
head on Procter & Gamble.
Clifton, who stressed her departure was unrelated to the other changes,
declined to give more details about her new job. She will be replaced as
the head of Saatchis’ planning function by Marilyn Baxter who, under the
title, director of business strategy, will spearhead the process of
widening Saatchis’ scope from pure advertising into the concept of an
’ideas company’ as favoured by its worldwide chief executive, Kevin
Other changes include a rejig of Saatchis’ eight account management
groups into seven and a reorganisation of the planning function into
three distinct areas.
The chairman of Saatchis London, Alan Bishop, said the moves were
specifically designed to help the agency cope with a recent increase in
The restructure also comes just weeks ahead of Saatchis’ planned
separation from Bates in the Cordiant demerger, scheduled to take place