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Maurice Saatchi Announces Plans for a New Ad Agency

From Reuters

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.”

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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.

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Maurice Saatchi said longtime ally Jeremy Sinclair will be joining as a partner, along with Bill Muirhead and David Kershaw.


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