Saatchi loses 7m BT brief…

BT has dealt a blow to Saatchi & Saatchi by pulling its 7m global advertising account and handing it to Abbott Mead Vickers.

BT has dealt a blow to Saatchi & Saatchi by pulling its 7m global advertising account and handing it to Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO which holds the 50m BT personal call account in the UK.

BT decided to move the account in March after the first stage of the Saatchi campaign had been completed. Saatchi won the business towards the end of last year (MW December 2).

BT says the reason behind the move is a desire to improve the creative work on the campaign and claims it approached AMV.BBDO as another roster agency, for suggestions.

BT took pains to stress it had not decided to move the account because of the ructions at Saatchi and the departure of so many senior staff but because of the strength of AMV.BBDO’s creative ideas. BT says Saatchi supported the

account professionally.

Nevertheless it noted the agency’s problems in its comments on the move and says the review had taken place in the light of recent developments, both within the global telecommunications industry and at Saatchi.

“We have been very aware of some of the difficulties that Saatchi & Saatchi were experiencing earlier this year and, while we are very sympathetic to the extra burden that this has put on the agency and its people, we have always believed we must act in the best interests of BT,” says a spokesman.

Saatchi will continue to work on BT’s corporate account.

AMV.BBDO’s campaign will retain the “Let’s Talk” line created by Saatchi. It will run initially in ten markets from Italy to India making use of AMV.BBDO’s network.

It was also confirmed this week that Saatchi has won the 24m Comet account, held by AMV.BBDO since 1987.

The move means Saatchi will quickly relinquish the 49m Dixon’s business (MW April 21) which was won by the New Saatchi Agency and D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. It also means Saatchi is less likely to make any redundancies as a result of losing the Dixons account. Clearly Comet would have been in a strong negotiating position over agency commission.

The move brings all Kingfisher UK retail brands – Woolworth’s, B&Q, Superdrug and now Comet – into the Cordiant fold since Saatchi sister agency Bates Dorland holds these accounts.

Comet’s new chairman Eddie Styring is thought to have handled the agency discussions personally. Styring ran Comet between 1987 and 1989 and was brought back as chairman in February.


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