Saatchi & Saatchi U.K. appoints creative star from Asia in restructure

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LONDON -- Saatchi & Saatchi U.K. is restruc- turing its creative function in London with the appointment of a new creative supremo and a trimming of back-room functions.

The reorganization is positioned as part of the agency's "Right Side Up" global plan to make Saatchi a "hothouse for world-changing creative ideas."

David Droga, currently executive creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore and regional creative director for the agency's Asian operations, will relocate from the agency's Singapore office to become executive creative director in London at the start of 1999.

Since his appointment in 1995, the 30-year-old Australian has helped Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore increase billings by 45%, despite the economic downturn which has struck Asia, with new business from clients such as Burger King, Visa, Toyota, and Starbucks.

He is also credited with helping turn the agency into a powerhouse of creativity. In 1998, the agency won eight Lions at Cannes, five pencils at New York's One Show, and was voted International Agency of the Year by Advertising Age International.

Mr. Droga will come in above joint executive creative directors Adam Kean and John Pallant and new titles will be worked out on Mr. Droga's arrival. Saatchi, London, has between 25 and 30 creative teams.

At the same time, 20 redundancies have been made in London, 90% of which the agency says were administrative.

"We've done some pruning so that we're much more focused on the creative, client-facing side of things," says a spokeswoman at Saatchi, London. "We've stripped out administrative layers which will allow us all to work a bit quicker."

Mr. Droga says he's flattered to be given the opportunity at Saatchi, London, considering the agency's strong reputation. "The fact that this job has been given to someone from Singapore is a huge complement to everything the team in Asia has achieved to date," he adds.

He will be replaced by two individuals, an ECD in Singapore and a regional creative director to be based in Hong Kong, according to CEO for Asia Patrick Pitcher. Both positions are expected to be filled within the coming weeks.

"It has been a privilege to work with David, he is not only the most successful and talented person I have worked with, he is also one of the nicest," Mr. Pitcher says.

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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