30 June 2000

London agency TBWA GGT Simons Palmer, incumbent on the £50 million NatWest account, is looking uneasily over its shoulder after NatWest’s new owner, the Royal Bank of Scotland, appointed M&C Saatchi to its roster this week.

Saatchi’s brief is rumoured to be the promotion of Natwest's arrival within the RBS group – presenting the recent £20 billion hostile acquisition as part of an enlarged family. Although the task does not affect TBWA’s two-year tenure on the main Natwest account, close observers say palms are beginning to sweat. "This puts M&C's tanks on TBWA's lawn," gloated one industry source.

In best dour Scots fashion, M&C Saatchi's joint chief executive Moray MacLennan, would not be drawn as to whether the shop had been briefed to work on NatWest. "We can confirm that we have been retained by the Royal Bank of Scotland to work across a number of different projects," he said.

RBS was similarly reticent, other than to confirm the Saatchi hiring: "These projects are subject to commercial confidentiality and we can't discuss the nature of them," said a spoke.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)