Saatchi & Saatchi is having crisis talks with the Mars management this week in a desperate attempt to hold on to its business following the spectacular departure of Maurice Saatchi.
The confectionery giant has denied rumours that it is preparing to sack the agency and the meeting is to review Mars’ advertising needs. The account – valued at $400m (266m) and said to be worth 30m to the Saatchi group – is handled mainly through Bates Worldwide. It is a key piece of business for Bates in several European countries.
Mars announced its wholesale advertising review immediately after Maurice Saatchi was ousted as chairman last month.
Mars spokesman John Murray says: "We are taking the opportunity to review all our advertising and will be talking to existing agencies and some which we are not working with. But we don’t intend to change the pace of our review."
The review of the estimated $1bn advertising will extend to Mars’ other roster agencies Grey and D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.