School Reports 2012: Saatchi & Saatchi

Saatchi & Saatchi has a famous name, and spent last year doing its best to live up to it. However, its 2011 was solid rather than dazzling.

Recent Wall's work
Recent Wall's work

Score: 6

Agency fact file: Saatchi & Saatchi
Type of agency Integrated advertising
Company ownership Publicis Groupe (SSF)
Key personnel Magnus Djaba chief executive
  Kate Stanners executive creative director
  Paul Silburn executive creative director
  Richard Huntington director of strategy
Nielsen billings 2011 £133m
Nielsen billings 2010 £164m
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 23
Accounts won 2 (biggest: Weight Watchers)
Accounts lost 2 (biggest: Axa)
Number of staff 273 (+2%)

A key new hiring was Magnus Djaba, who joined from Fallon to become its new chief executive. His arrival followed the departure of the former managing director Michael Rebelo, who left to become the chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi Australia.

The standout campaigns from the agency were the humorous Wall's "thank you" spots, T-Mobile's wonderful "royal wedding" spoof, which clocked up 24 million views on YouTube, and the Toyota campaign.

In a boost to the creative department, Saatchi & Saatchi hired the JWT creative team Laurence Quinn and Mark Norcutt as creative directors on its Toyota account.

The shop strengthened its planning offering with the appointment of Gavin Jones (previously at Engine Strategy) as its first UK communications planning specialist. Also, in an effort to hone skills across the network, Robert Senior, the EMEA chief executive, drafted in the former BBC One controller Andy Parfitt as director of talent for EMEA. Saatchi & Saatchi also diversified its offering by launching its own design agency, Eighty, to help clients create brand identities.

New-business wins were not exactly in abundance, but the agency picked up Weight Watchers' £10 million ad account, Lenovo's £60 million global ad account and Kraft Foods' Trident international business.

The global Lurpak business left, however, after it consolidated into the UK incumbent, Wieden & Kennedy.

Djaba came in with a mandate to champion the work above everything else, and so it will be interesting to see whether the creative department flourishes under his leadership. Greater focus on bringing new business through the door should also be a priority.

Score last year: 6

How Saatchi & Saatchi rates itself: 7

"2011 was a significant year in our journey. We created the online ad of the year. We delivered greater creative quality across more of our clients from Toyota and San Miguel to Wall's. We won new business we love from Weight Watchers and Trident. We stood up for Britain in Cannes thanks to 'welcome back'. And while Robert moved up, Magnus moved in. We are ready for 2012 with one phrase on our mind: 'Nothing is impossible.'"

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