The second agency founded by what are still the world's most famous admen, M&C Saatchi has built up a strong position for itself since formation in 1995, after Maurice and Charles Saatchi were ousted from their first agency Saatchi & Saatchi in a bitter boardroom row. Since then, M&C has risen to become one of the UK's foremost agencies, overtaking the original Saatchi business in domestic billings, and gradually establishing a global network which now stretches across 25 countries. Much of this expansion has been achieved organically organically or through local partnerships. The group has a particularly strong presence in the Asia Pacific region, considerably less so in the Americas. However, the performance of individual agencies has often been stormy. The Australian office has been rocked since 2012 by a succession of big losses and big gains. More serious still was the loss of M&C's two biggest UK accounts in quick succession in early 2014, followed by an ill-conceived overhaul of local management.
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Adbrands Daily Update 24th Sep 2019: M&C Saatchi's share price took another steep dive following weak results for the first half of the financial year, and a warning that its internal accounting investigation will continue until November. The agency's market valuation has more than halved since August. Net revenues for the six months to June fell 4% to £118m, while headline earnings plunged by 80% to £1m. Nevertheless, statutory reported profits more than quadrupled as a result of a large one -off gain from the sale of the group's remaining 25% stake in the former Walker Media, now Blue 449. The UK office performed well but there were sharp declines in both revenues and profits in Europe and the US.
Adbrands Daily Update 13th Aug 2019: M&C Saatchi's share price plunged this week by more than 20% to its lowest level for five years. That followed news that an internal accounting review had found errors in the statement of revenues for its UK-based operations. Almost £5m in outstanding fees were accounted for as revenues and the balance sheet included assets that were no longer used. The company said it will take a one-off charge of £6.4m in its annual results to cover the known errors plus an additional provision against possible further amounts. "We believe we have discovered the full extent of the issues," said the company in a statement, "but, to be doubly sure, the board is appointing independent advisers to undertake a review of all the group's accounts and accounting systems."
Adbrands Social Media 7th Feb 2019: "Where Everyone Plays". To support Coca-Cola's new portfolio-wide sponsorship of the English Premier League, M&C Saatchi delivers this warm-hearted tribute to all the fans who help to make the game what it is. It's Coke's first portfolio sponsorship in the UK, covering not just the flagship brand but Sprite, Fanta and all the rest. The ad's a charmer, an engaging blend of fan portraits filmed straight combined with some offbeat, even surreal touches. For example, why exactly is that piece of battered cod seemingly possessed by media pundit Jermaine Jenas? And how about the scarf-wearing snail? But our favourite bit is the hardcore Hammers: "We're West Ham. We ain't singing."
Adbrands Social Media 24th Jan 2019: "NHS 111". I think we've all been in this situation at one time or another. M&C Saatchi's first campaign for the NHS is this comedy promo for phone support service 111 which aims to take some of the pressure off accident & emergency departments and GP practices. If you've ever used it yourself, you probably know it works quite efficiently. M&C give human form to all those competing voices in your head that can't decide if that odd feeling you have is nothing at all or something really serious.
Adbrands Social Media 22nd Jan 2019: "The Move". Not sure about that new slogan "We are what we do"; surely one of the most meaningless sentences of all time. But the new ad for NatWest from M&C Saatchi is rather good. British banking ads always tread a fine line between trying to be profound (like Lloyds) or too corny (like Santander). But this campaign strikes a nice balance with some good gags but not so many that it comes across as too flippant. NatWest has long positioned itself as the "friendly" bank and M&C's work does an excellent job of conveying that message. Anyone who's ever moved house will be more than familiar with these vignettes. I'm not sure how big a benefit it is to be able to sign the paperwork online, but perhaps with NatWest's remaining branches now almost as hard to find as a needle in a haystack, it's probably an increasingly important offer.
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