Saatchi & Saatchi has stepped into the specialist advertising market by launching a healthcare division, Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare Connection. It is also planning a children’s unit later this year.
In addition, Saatchi is understood to be launching a separate retail unit to house Comet and Bhs. It has hired an independent consultant to recruit retail specialists.
The launch of a retail unit is denied by Saatchi, but sources say it has been “actively pursuing” people in the past fortnight.
The unit begins trading with UK billings of 6m, from existing clients including Johnson & Johnson and Ralstan Purina International.
Rick Rowley has been appointed managing director of the division. He was formerly a group account director at the agency’s Charlotte Street offices.
Martyn Walsh, previously creative chief for the agency’s Procter & Gamble central and eastern European accounts, has been made creative director.
Rowley will lead a team of about 25 people. He says the unit will be “combining the resources and experience of a major full-service agency with specialist expertise”.
By September, the agency plans to set up a similar division devoted to children’s brands. It will handle everything from food to clothes.
Saatchi & Saatchi’s new chairman Alan Bishop says: “We will introduce these divisions where we feel there is a genuine market.”