M&C Saatchi has appointed Lisa Thomas, currently deputy managing director at M&C’s direct marketing affiliate Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel, as chief executive for its new wholly-owned direct marketing agency.
Thomas, who was due to take up the post of managing director at Craik Jones at the end of this year, will be charged with head-hunting new partners for the agency.
The appointment is a blow to Craik Jones, which will no longer operate as part of the M&C Saatchi Village, a group of marketing services agencies linked to the main advertising agency.
M&C may still refer some of its below-the-line business to integrated shops BLP and Omnicom-owned Claydon Heeley International.
Nick Hurrell, joint chief executive of M&C Saatchi, says: “As regards the Village, when we have sales promotion business to refer we will continue to use agencies such as BLP and Claydon Heeley International.”
M&C has not yet decided on a name for the new agency. However, M&C runs two direct shops in Melbourne and Sydney called M&C Saatchi Direct. Sources say there is a 50:50 chance the M&C branding will be used.
News that M&C was setting up a direct operation first emerged at the beginning of the year (MW January 21).
Thomas says: “I was impressed by M&C Saatchi’s commitment to direct marketing. This is borne out of its decision to set up a separate agency rather than an in-house direct marketing department.”