2001 Rating: 2 stars
Talk about taking advantage of what you have. Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi raked in a whopping $590 million in net new U.S. billings in 2002, but a hefty portion of that came from existing clients Procter & Gamble Co., General Mills and Toyota Motor Sales USA. New York-based Saatchi was the beneficiary of the fallout from Publicis' decision to shutter D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles as it garnered a goodly amount of P&G business. But this has been the agency's modus operandi for several years now anyway.
Saatchi partnered with sibling Publicis shops Frankel and Publicis Dialog to launch a youth media campaign for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, which was well-received. Even more high profile was Saatchi's work for Toyota. The agency won a Gold Lion at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes for the Celica commercial "Dog."
With many of P&G's brands falling into Publicis' lap via the acquisition of Bcom3 Group, Maurice Levy, chairman-CEO of the holding company, named Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts as a sort of "brand navigator" for P&G products. The upshot? If he wasn't already, Mr. Roberts is now a big-time player in Publicis Groupe. Look for him to make his presence felt. Look for Saatchi also to make an aggressive play for a beer client-it parted ways with Beck's in 2001-as well as an airline.