Saatchis teams up with record labels to move into music

Saatchi & Saatchi is extending its activities into music publishing.

The agency has signed independent record labels including Mute Song and its sister label Mute Records, and aims to sign more.

Saatchis' new head of television, Andy Gulliman, the former Bartle Bogle Hegarty senior TV producer, is in charge of the move.

"It is all about building relationships between record labels, music publishers and advertising agencies," he said. "Ads are a massive platform for tracks, but the relationship is very archaic."

David McGinnis, the head of licensing at Mute Song, said: "We need to stay close to creative people in the advertising industry and make sure our catalogue is properly heard. Saatchis has a real commitment to sourcing great music and we are introducing our creative staff, repertoire, artists and DJs to like-minded people within the agency."

BBH launched a similar venture, called Leap, in May this year. The agency teamed up with Richard Kirstein, a former commercials director and an ex-head of film, television and media at Zomba records.

Leap acquires unpublished songs and commissions original compositions for use in TV commercials, as well as handling talent and rights negotiations for unsigned artists.