Publicis Groupe is moving its estimated £100m Cadbury business out of Publicis advertising network into the year-old Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon (SSF) group. The win will be a first for the group, which has so far failed to win any group business.
The move will come as a blow to the Publicis ad agency, which previously handled the whole Cadbury account but has been fighting to retain its relationship since Fallon was appointed to its roster two years ago.
Insiders say that this “horse-trading” within the Groupe will be seen as a desperate attempt by Maurice Levy, Publicis Groupe chairman and chief executive, to show SSF as a “resounding success” following the failure of Marcel.
The boutique agency Marcel was launched in 2005 but folded just a year later after the founders left abruptly to form a start-up agency backed by the chairman of rival group Havas, Vincent Bolloré.
SSF was formed last summer when the ailing Saatchi & Saatchi UK lost the bulk of its UK Toyota business to CHI & Partners (MW July 12, 2007) and was aligned to sister agency Fallon.
The alliance is headed by Saatchi’s worldwide chief executive Kevin Roberts and the founding partner of Fallon, Robert Senior, who became chief executive of the group in the UK. Roberts did not return calls.
The Cadbury win for the SSF group, follows the success of the “Gorilla” ad for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk created by Fallon. The agency was first appointed to the Cadbury roster in late 2006, when it secured the £2m relaunch task for its Bournville dark chocolate brand. It then went on win a project for the Dairy Milk brand few months later in 2007.