UK Media's Field Day With Saatchi's Labour Party Win

17 September 2007

LONDON: Such is the enduring power of the Saatchi brothers' self-fostered legend that, although thirteen years have elapsed since they were ejected from their eponymous agency Saatchi & Saatchi, their achievements remain indelibly associated with the shop that still bears that name.

Which explains the welter of pre-pubescent glee exhibited Friday by the UK press when the [now Publicis-owned] agency announced it had won the Labour Party advertising account.

In the glory days when Maurice and Charles (pictured above) ruled London's advertising roost, they ran the Conservative Party ad account and are credited with propelling Margaret Thatcher to power in 1979 with their 'Labour isn't Working' campaign, a devastating image of a line of jobless people snaking toward an employment office.

Little wonder then that Britain's predominantly rightist press relished the incongruity that the Saatchi name (albeit not the brothers themselves) is now associated with the party they toppled from power twenty-eight years ago.

UK adland bible Campaign, conveniently overlooking the fact that the true begetters of the coup now run a totally unrelated agency, describes last week's event as "laced with irony and interest".

It adds: "The idea of the agency that packaged Thatcherism turning its hand to Brownism is incredibly provocative."

And incredibly erroneous.

Data sourced from BBC Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff