The UK is the launch pad for Industry @ Saatchi, a new initiative by Publicis Groupe network Saatchi & Saatchi.

Led by a core group of five specialists I@S aims to advise clients on new product development, improving retail footfall and maximizing shopping expenditure once within the store or mall.

The project aims to plug the gap between the traditional ad agency and management consultancy, guiding clients toward faster innovation.

"It's basically [about] applying creativity to business in very different ways," claims Lee Daley, ceo of Saatchi's London office. "The need for fresh thinking and challenging marketing innovation has never been greater."

According to Daley, the unit's specialist quintet will remain London-based - initially at least. It will offer its services to clients worldwide, conferring, presenting and reporting via a high-tech video system.

I@S will draw on consumer panels and third party expertise as necessary, as well as Saatchi's inhouse skills. Hypes S&S managing director/director of strategy Vicky Moffatt: "We are combining alchemy and inspiration with hard business acumen to deliver new futures."

Stepping up the volume, she insists that clients need "aggressive value-added marketing and business innovation beyond what is written in the annual plan."

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