School Reports 2018: M&C Saatchi

Financial Conduct Authority
Financial Conduct Authority
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

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.

SCORE THIS YEAR

SCORE LAST YEAR

SELF RATING

6 4 6

Agency's year in a tweet

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

Score key: 9 Outstanding 8 Excellent 7 Good 6 Satisfactory 5 Adequate 4 Below average 3 Poor 2 A year to forget 1 Survival in question

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*indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation

 

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