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General Mills, P&G wins not enough to shake bad year

Published on .

Saatchi & Saatchi managed to be one of the top new-business winners in 2001, despite a tough year from coast to coast. The agency's staffers in the New York headquarters had a clear view of the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, and were traumatized by witnessing the collapse. The San Francisco office was a victim of the dot-com demise and closed, and 8% of U.S. staff lost their jobs during the year.

Saatchi picked up $90 million in cereal and Yoplait business from General Mills, and new Procter & Gamble Co. and Johnson & Johnson assignments; it also shared with other Publicis Groupe agencies in the $125 Centers for Disease Control & Prevention teen health business.

LOOKING AHEAD

Despite widespread skepticism about CEO Kevin Roberts' vision of placing the New York agency under an unusual eight-person management partnership a year ago, the team has survived intact except for losing one member, Julie Bauer, to a London-based assignment. Will this management structure be Saatchi's long-term modus operandi?

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