Saatchi CEO Claims GM Loyalty to Agency is Secure

28 February 2005

Kevin Roberts, worldwide chief executive officer of Saatchi & Saatchi, on Friday proclaimed that no General Mills business will move following last week's exodus of seventeen Saatchi staffers in the direction of Interpublic Group [WAMN: 23-Feb-05].

Said Roberts: "We have been assured by General Mills that they were completely unaware of this breakaway and that all the business is completely secure at Saatchi & Saatchi."

GM, however, has yet to make any public comment on the matter save a noncommittal: "We continue to be very pleased with Saatchi's work on our behalf, and we are looking forward to continuing our 80-year relationship" [referring, presumably, to Compton, the US agency holding the GM account back in 1976 when it was acquired by Saatchi].

New hirings and internal promotions to plug the chasm left by the departed are also on the cards, Roberts revealed. "This has turned into a terrific opportunity to add even more talent to our General Mills business."

And more than a few Madison Avenue eyebrows arched skyward when Roberts also claimed that the Publicis Groupe-owned shop is in talks with the deserters about a return to the Saatchi fold.

"Every one of them individually has contacted us to discuss a possible return to the agency," Roberts averred, adding that the agency would be "reviewing whether any of the seventeen ex-colleagues have a role to play going forward."

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff