05 May 2000

Lord Maurice Saatchi looks set to make a comeback from the wilderness to which he and his agency M & C Saatchi were consigned after the 1997 election, allegedly for squandering £13 million of party funds on a much criticised campaign including the infamous ‘demon eyes’ ads.

Sir Brian Mawhinney, then Tory chairman, said he would advise any successor against using M&CS again. However, the main reason Lord Saatchi’s shop did not pitch for the business this time round is because he is now a Treasury spokesman for the party and fears accusations of conflict of interest or favouritism.

However, there appears to have been some energetic building of Chinese walls and word on the block is that an 80%-owned offshoot of M & C Saatchi, The Immediate Sales Company, is hot favourite to win the Conservative account for the next election. Following a shoot-out earlier this year, the shop is one of three shortlisted agencies, the others being Bates London and Yellow M.

The Immediate Sales Company is headed by Michael Moszynski, a bosom pal of Danny Finkelstein, the personal policy advisor to current Tory leader William Hague.

Sourced from: The Times (UK)