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Saatchi & Saatchi

The agency where “Nothing Is Impossible”

By Saatchi & Saatchi

We are a creative agency built on the belief that ‘nothing is impossible’.

It is this mindset that challenges what’s possible for our clients including EE, BT, Direct Line, GSK, Expedia, Britvic, Marie Curie, Operation Black Vote and Visa.

Last year, we celebrated our 50th anniversary. And we’re still the most famous agency in the world.

In 2020, we helped 5.8 million people across the UK use technology to learn or do something new to reduce isolation for BT; we raised £1.3 million in four weeks to help save Marie Curie’s urgently needed services; our campaign for EE meant that 200,000 NHS workers had access to free data during the pandemic, our ‘We’re On It’ campaign for Direct Line drove quotes 20% better than the infamous Winston Wolfe; and we partnered with Billie Eilish and Deutsche Telekom to deliver a message about digital optimism for young people.

We also kicked down the door to the industry for the next generation of diverse creative talent with Saatchi Ignite, Open and Home, and more recently we created the industry-defining Saatchi Family programme to create a positive shift in culture for working parents within the industry.

It is our mission to challenge accepted wisdoms and do better culturally, creatively and commercially, for our people, our agency, our industry and our clients.

Key People:

In 2020, our global president Magnus Djaba said that there were two things that had remained constants during his time as CEO; “One is the agency mantra that ‘Nothing is impossible’ and the other is my belief that Sam was born to lead this agency.”

Sam Hawkey stepped into the role of CEO in summer 2020 against a backdrop of widespread upheaval in the world, with a mission to challenge accepted wisdoms in the agency and the industry.

The combination of Sam’s entrepreneurial mindset, relentless focus on change and growth, and unshakeable belief in ‘Nothing is Impossible’, have led to a resurgence of creativity and a surge of new clients for Saatchi & Saatchi.

Working closely with Sam is managing director Sarah Jenkins, who joined the agency determined to supercharge the agency’s talent, and committed to breaking down barriers in the industry in the service of creating better, more brilliant work.

Leading the strategic output is industry veteran Richard Huntington, in equal parts a challenger against the tired orthodoxies of the ad industry, and a champion of what makes it magical.

Leading the creative output at Saatchi & Saatchi is CCO Guillermo Vega, who has an ability to instinctively see the world as an outsider having started up and grown businesses in his home city of Buenos Aires, in Brazil and New York before heading to London. It is his trademark to bring an outsider’s provocation and interpretation to everything he does, which is exactly the approach our founders had. Saatchi & Saatchi was founded by two brothers, the sons of Iraqi Jews who escaped persecution in Iraq to come to Britain. Despite being outsiders to the industry, they created an ad agency and revolutionised the industry, with the belief that as long as you could marry Chutzpah (meaning the ‘quality of audacity’) with potential, then ‘Nothing is Impossible’.  

Key work:

Our Culture

In a year when our agency talent powered us through uncertainty, we doubled down on putting our people at the heart of our agency strategy. Reconfiguring appraisals, training and critically our approach to diversity.

Almost a year working from home put strains on our people and our culture. To help people navigate these challenges we created Saatchi Time Out - twice daily blocks in the diary to protect people from entire days of back-to-back calls. All agency updates became blockbuster Zoom sessions. Under lockdown we ran quizzes, online yoga, built working parent groups and turbo charged our ethnicity awareness training - including a keynote guest appearance from David Olusoga.

We even managed to have a 50th birthday party, or rather 20 of them, with pop up ‘Pregnant Mans’, each in a different venue across London and with just six people - that’s the Nothing is Impossible spirit fully in action.

The agency was on a D&I journey before the events of 2020, but the shockwaves felt across the agency gave our diversity efforts a steroid injection. We set five key principles to keep us both focused and moving forward at pace.

  • Leadership Led: We believe, as with all key business metrics, leadership must set the ambition, strategy and behaviours to create systemic change.

  • Agency Built: We draw on the experiences, knowledge and energy of our agency team, client partners, expert partners and suppliers to build our D&I approach.

  • Sustainable: We create programmes that are designed to grow in strength and impact over time.

  • Measurable: We are clear on metrics for success and track impact.

  • Open: We are a blueprint for anyone who wants to use our ideas or learn from us, always open on our progress, on our data and critically on our lessons learned.

We are committed to raising the bar for not just ourselves, but the entire industry. And that is never better personified, than through our people.

LinkedIn: Saatchi & Saatchi

Twitter: @saatchilondon


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