Saatchi makes a beeline for Kodak

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Ogilvy beware: Saatchi & Saatchi wants Kodak's business-all of it.

The Publicis Groupe agency intends to add a fourth global client to its troika of Procter & Gamble Co., General Mills and Toyota Motor Corp. and Kevin Roberts, Saatchi chief executive and New York chairman, wants Eastman Kodak Co.

Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide handles youth marketing for Kodak but the majority of Kodak's spending is with WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. Ogilvy declined to comment on Mr. Roberts' plans.

Outlining his ambitions at a huge Saatchi staff get-together in New York last week, Mr. Roberts said: "We want another very big global client. We'd like it to be Kodak. We're into clients who want to stay with their agencies for a long time, not those who switch at a moment's notice."

Mr. Roberts also identified Diageo (Guinness, Baileys and Smirnoff and other spirits brands plus wines) and Allied Domecq (Ballantine's scotch, Beefeater gin and other spirits brands plus wines, champagnes and quick-service restaurants) as prospective clients he'd like to court. "A big brewer would be fantastic," he said during a presentation to staff. WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson and Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, among others currently handle Diageo's business. Allied Domecq is handled by Cordiant Communications Group's Bates North America as well as a number of smaller shops.

Mr. Roberts has charged Scott Gilbert, the incoming managing partner of Saatchi's New York office, and the New York senior management team with the goal of becoming the network's "peak performing agency in terms of revenue, profit and growth, together with winning Effie awards."

Other Roberts goals are to have Saatchi become one of New York's top three most-admired firms, winning agency of the year in 2003 and becoming Johnson & Johnson's preferred agency partner. Mr. Roberts also said he will make a significant creative appointment for the network in the next few days.

The New York office of Saatchi absorbed around 50 staff members from sibling Publicis Groupe agency D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, which Publicis closed this year in a network realignment. Saatchi New York President Gilbert added: "My role is to focus on helping to make the agency cohesive and powerful."

Former D'arcy clients

New York office revenue has been lifted by the addition of former D'Arcy clients, including P&G product lines Crest and Folgers and General Mills' Pillsbury products, such as Old El Paso and Green Giant, among others.

The agency is currently pitching the estimated $68 million DuPont account, which is in review. Saatchi earlier said it lost $18 million in billings in 2002 following the departure of DuPont Agricultural, DuPont Teflon, Beck's Beer and Pernod Ricard's Vodka Wyborova. Advertising Age last year made Saatchi its Global Agency Network of the year, after it netted more than $1.2 billion in new business and won more creative awards than any network except Omnicom Group's BBDO (AA, Dec. 30).

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