School Reports 2018
[Extended edition]
M&C Saatchi

M&C Saatchi

Type of agency & ownership:  Independent advertising agency
Nielsen billings 2017: £93m (+40%)
Declared income: £24.2m
Total accounts at year end: 45
Accounts won: 23 (biggest: Department for International Trade)
Accounts lost: 3 (biggest: Boots)
Number of staff: 182 (-28%)
Key personnel: Giles Hedger, chief executive; Justin Tindall, chief creative officer; Tim Duffy, UK group chairman; Tom Firth, managing director; Raquel Chicourel, chief strategy officer
Star player: Monique Henry, PA to Lord Saatchi

Year in review

After a period of creative and commercial stagnation, there is renewed energy on Golden Square – and not just thanks to almost two-dozen new-business wins in 2017.

New chief executive Giles Hedger, who joined in May from FCB Inferno, has moved quickly to assemble what he hopes will prove a winning team. Kate Bosomworth, a key figure behind Sport England’s "This girl can" campaign, was first to join as chief marketing officer.

More recently, Saatchi & Saatchi’s joint head of planning Raquel Chicourel has been poached for the role of chief strategy officer and becomes one of five key equity partners. She replaced Gaby Bell, who quit the agency in July and recently resurfaced at Hall & Partners.

One area already seeing a marked upturn is the work. Chief creative officer Justin Tindall has overseen a clutch of memorable campaigns for clients such as NatWest, Royal Mail, the AA and the Financial Conduct Authority, the latter featuring an animatronic model of the head of Arnold Schwarzenegger shouting about PPI. The agency’s strength in film is without question; a key challenge for 2018 is to transfer that prowess into the digital realm.

Speaking of Tindall, any review of M&C Saatchi’s year must acknowledge the controversy caused by his comments in Campaign’s Private View, specifically his quip that he was "bored of diversity". Despite his subsequent apology, the resulting furore undoubtedly reflected poorly on the agency, something Hedger, Bosomworth and new head of culture and inclusion Sereena Abbassi will be looking to urgently address.

Agency's Year In A Tweet

"New CEO. New team. New business. New billings. New reel. New start."


Score this year: 6
Score last year: 4
How the agency scores itself: 6
Management strength: 7
Creativity: 7
Innovation: 5
New business: 6
Diversity: 5

Business performance and accounts

Gross income

Latest: £20.0m
Previous: £27.6m
Change: -27.40%

Operating profit

Latest: -£2.7m
Previous: £2.5m
Change: -206.60%

List of total accounts Retained: Antigua & Barbuda Tourism

Arthritis Research UK

Bahrain Economic Development Board


Department for Work and Pensions

Department for International Trade


EDF Energy

Financial Conduct Authority


Home Office



x The Jockey Club


Little Dish


Office of the Prime Minister of Malta

Visit Kent

Pernod Ricard

Public Health England

Royal Mail

BBC (Digital Roster)

Beats by Dre

CCS: Campaign Solutions / Communication Services

Unilever (Digital Roster)


Alexandra Palace

BNY Mellon

British Council

The Caravan Club

Dorset Cereals

Douwe Egberts

East Midland Trains

English National Ballet





International SOS

Legg Mason



Northumbria University Rail Delivery Group

Siemens (Global)

Slater & Gordon





Top three spending accounts:

NatWest (n/s)

Public Health England (n/s)

The Home Office (n/s)

Number of retained accounts: 21
Number of accounts that are projects: 24
Biggest win: The Department of International Trade (n/s)
Biggest lost: Boots (n/s)



Haymarket award wins