M&C Saatchi will handle the UK launch of Time Inc's In Style, the US celebrity lifestyle magazine - even though its Conde Nast client is planning a rival publication.
The appointment comes in the wake of the agency's defeat at the hands of J. Walter Thompson for the launch of Glamour, Conde Nast's direct competitor to In Style.
M&C Saatchi had hoped to add Glamour to its assignment for Conde Nast's Vogue.com, whose 'nipples' poster took the top honour at last month's Campaign Poster Awards.
But Conde Nast this week declared itself unworried about potential conflict.
'It doesn't cut across anything the agency does for Vogue,' a spokesman said. 'We think In Style and Glamour will both excite the UK market in their different ways.'
M&C Saatchi was a late entrant on to the four-way pitchlist after a meeting between Bill Muirhead, an M&C Saatchi founding partner, and fellow Australian Dee Nolan, In Style's UK editor and the former editor of You, The Mail on Sunday magazine.
Media arrangements and budgets are yet to be finalised.
Since its launch in 1993, In Style has come to be regarded as a publishing phenomenon in the US, where its ad revenue eclipses more established titles such as Vogue.
Some M&C Saatchi executives working on the business were previously involved in the launch of Cosmopolitan. 'It's the sort of thing we do well,' Muirhead said.
Katy Egan, In Style's publisher, cited the agency's 'depth of creative talent and its enthusiasm' as the reason for the appointment.