K Advertising, which has billings of 30m, is being folded into Saatchi & Saatchi only a year after it was brought into the Cordiant group.
The newly-enlarged Saatchi will have to resolve a number of client conflicts. The most obvious is the clash of Norwich Union in Saatchi’s roster and Commercial Union which is held by K Advertising.
Saatchi joint chief executive Adam Crozier says: “We will be talking to CU to see if it can work through Team Saatchi. It is too early to say how the talks will go.”
The other main conflict is with K Advertising’s GM Card and Saatchi’s Toyota cars business.
Hamish Pringle, K Advertising’s chairman, comments: “I have talked to GM Card and it is considering its options. But I am confident that we can keep it. The card is essentially a financial services tool, while Toyota is concerned directly with selling cars.”
K Advertising recently pitched for Vauxhall’s Network Q used-car business and its after-sales arm Master-Fit, which would also clash with Toyota.
The agency was hit by a number of departures in recent months when creative director Keith Courtney and several key account handlers left and were not replaced.
Pringle will become Saatchi vice-chairman and marketing director. Jo Smith, the current new business director at Saatchi, is one of six redundancies to result from the deal.