Was ouster news
After denials a week before to Ad Age, Saatchi & Saatchi got around Aug. 9 to announcing the departure of prez John Fitzgerald. It turns out some agency execs and clients knew what was happening to Fitzgerald before he got the word. His fate was sealed even as Fitzgerald presided over late July internal meetings of Saatchi's worldwide board. Fitzgerald even sat in on meetings with P&G when the client knew he was leaving.
We spoke with one Saatchi exec who sang Fitzgerald's praises. But Fitzgerald rubbed more than a few Saatchi execs-and clients-the wrong way since his arrival from McCann last January. So Mad. Ave. style, out he goes.
GM talking PR
Word slipped out last week that GM's new top PR exec, John Onoda, told division public relations folks at a meeting Aug. 9 of his goal to consolidate all GM's PR agencies worldwide. Chevy PR boss Bill O'Neill, who attended the meeting, wouldn't discuss what the General's chief publicist has in mind. "I'm not going to confirm anything from an internal meeting."
The true meaning
of killer creative
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more people died last year on the job in advertising (16) than died in petroleum refining (13), electrical repair shops (15) and car factories (6). Ad industry deaths involved eight transportation fatalities but no homicides. Note to clients going to lunch with the agency: You drive.
Fire sale ... AT&T
Ford is recalling 8.7 million vehicles to fix an ignition switch that can catch fire, so an enterprising Ford dealer in Temecula, Calif., teamed up with local merchants for a promotion. The result? Discount coupons and shuttle service to stores so customers can spend their time and money when they bring in defective cars for repair ... . Near TWA Flight 800's crash site off Long Island, a skywriting plane a week ago spewed out the message, 1-800-CALL-ATT. You make the call: The wrong place and time for AT&T's pitch?M
Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Bob Garfield, Jean Halliday, Laura Petrecca and Pat Sloan.
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