2002 Rating: 2.5 stars
Coming off the honor of being part of Advertising Age's Global Agency Network of the Year for 2002, Saatchi & Saatchi's U.S. offices battled a tough 2003. It wasn't getting any better for the Publicis Groupe agency at the end either when Johnson & Johnson waltzed off to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch with its $85 million Tylenol account as well as other J&J brands.
The loss of Johnson & Johnson was both an emotional and a financial blow given the longevity of the 28-year relationship. J&J still works with Saatchi on a global basis, so New York took the brunt of the hit, laying off between 40 and 60 staffers.
Saatchi also found itself fighting for the Greater New York Toyota Dealers Association, an account worth $90 million. Saatchi eventually retained the business but not without some harsh words from the dealers.
Expect the agency to fill some holes with healthcare accounts. Saatchi has also said it wants both a beer and an airline account. And while its revenue figures for 2003 look great, in part as a result of taking over D'Arcy business and winning new projects from General Mills and Toyota, executives close to the agency say 2004 might be a different story if Saatchi doesn't raise its game in new business.