Publicis Aligns Fallon With Saatchi Under SSF Group

Kevin Roberts Hopes Union Draws P&G's Attention

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NEW YORK ( -- Publicis Groupe today announced that it was aligning Fallon Worldwide with its Saatchi & Saatchi network under an umbrella unit called SSF Group. Both advertising agencies will continue to work as distinctly separate brands, but will be led by Saatchi Worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts.
Saatchi Worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts
Saatchi Worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts Credit: Tom Stockhill

The shift essentially brings Fallon's flailing Minneapolis office under the control of Mr. Roberts, while leaving the agencies independent to pursue and handle accounts that may be in conflict within the same shop. And Mr. Roberts made it clear he would like some of those accounts to come from Procter & Gamble Co.

Saatchi account wins
In recent years Saatchi's offices have seen an improvement in business, due in part to Mr. Robert's "Lovemarks" approach to client-agency relationships. Last year the agency pulled in J.C. Penney's $430 million account and early this year it landed the $300 million Wendy's account -- both without formal reviews.

While Fallon's London office has received attention for its high-production Sony Bravia work and a recent campaign for the Tate Modern museum in London, Fallon's home office in Minneapolis has been struggling. In recent months the office has lost clients such as Citi and United, as well as staff. In May, the shop's top creative, Kerry Feuerman, left after 13 months in the job.

"This new group is a unique partnership of two of the most acclaimed creative agencies in the entire industry and enables both networks to maximize the potential of their creative resources at a global level," Publicis Groupe Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy said in a statement.

"The first thing we want to do in the U.K. is have the No. 1 and No. 2 agency brands in everything that counts; No. 1 and No. 2 in creativity, in revenue growth in new business growth. We reckon we can do that separately and in new ways," Mr. Roberts said.

Will P&G eye Fallon?
He also hopes the network will allow talent to move fairly freely between the two agencies and help the group attract more global business from key clients. "Fallon's currently not on [Procter & Gamble's] roster," he said. "Now with Fallon coming into people [P&G Global Marketing Officer Jim Stengel] knows and trusts, you gotta think that instead of looking at Wieden, Crispin or Goodby, we might be able to persuade him to look at Fallon."

Saatchi handles P&G brands such as Tide detergent and Glide dental floss, winning Lions at Cannes this year on those accounts.

Under SSF Group, Pat Fallon becomes chairman emeritus of Fallon Worldwide. Fallon's Minneapolis office, under the creative direction of Al Kelly and Todd Riddle, will report directly to the SSF Group. Robert Senior, a founder partner in Fallon London, becomes CEO for the group in the U.K.
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