Maurice Saatchi Announces Plans for a New Ad Agency
Maurice Saatchi, deposed chairman of what was once the world’s biggest advertising group, said Wednesday he is striking back by forming a new agency.
Saatchi will staff the new group with senior executives who have quit Saatchi & Saatchi Co. since his dismissal.
Just hours after his announcement, British Airways, one of Saatchi & Saatchi’s biggest clients, said it decided to end its contract with the company pending a review of its advertising.
“Events have moved much more quickly than anyone could have imagined and I have been called by many clients who are anxious to know my plans,” Maurice Saatchi said in a statement. “In order to avoid any more uncertainty, I have decided to announce the foundation of a new agency.”
Saatchi shares fell 62.5 cents to $4.75 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Saatchi severed all ties with the group last week after being offered a more junior role. He had been forced out of the top job by David Herro, the U.S. fund manager who sparked a shareholder revolt.
In a deliberate swipe at his old company, which intends to scrap the name Saatchi & Saatchi, the executive has given his new venture the working title “The New Saatchi Agency.”
Former Saatchi luminary Sir Tim Bell, a formidable PR man, is certain to join the new outfit along with four leading Saatchi executives who also quit Wednesday.
Maurice Saatchi said longtime ally Jeremy Sinclair will be joining as a partner, along with Bill Muirhead and David Kershaw.