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Saatchi Takes Top Position For New Global Business

18 January 2000

Saatchi & Saatchi Takes Top Position
For New Global Business

Global advertising and communications network Saatchi & Saatchi has won Ad Age International's title of "international new business champion", capturing a total of NZ$1.6 billion new billings in 1999.

For the first time, Saatchi & Saatchi has taken the number one spot in the Ad Age International report which tracks global and regional accounts moves for a specified brand or product. Saatchi & Saatchi were 40% ahead of the next agency in the survey.

Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Worldwide Kevin Roberts describes the result as a highlight of an extremely positive year for the ideas company.

"Saatchi & Saatchi's revenue, profits and margins have all shown healthy gains during 1999. The share price has risen from £1.10 on listing in December 1997 to £3.60 at 17 January 2000 (market cap £805m). The engine driving all these numbers is our creative work led by Worldwide Creative Director Bob Isherwood, and the amount of new business we win. The engine is running hot."

Saatchi & Saatchi won 27 new accounts during 1999. Cinncinati-based consumer goods giant and the world's largest advertiser, Procter & Gamble, accounted for 38% of the new business wins.

"We are totally committed to being Procter & Gamble's preferred global agency. We have successfully built their business over many key brands in the past two years and this has resulted in more and more assignments."

Roberts, who in addition to his CEO role leads the agency's Procter & Gamble business, said Saatchi & Saatchi's success with the account is an endorsement of the creative emphasis in its Procter & Gamble work during the past three years.

Further new business came from existing global client Hewlett Packard, the San Francisco-based computer hardware and e-commerce company (NZ$194 million in new assignments). The US advertising boom among Internet companies accounted for a further NZ$291 million in new billings. Sony Europe, the largest account to move in Europe in 1999, brought in new billings of NZ$194 million.

"We live in the age of ideas," says Roberts. "A buoyant global economy means chief executives are looking for an idea which will build revenue, rather than focusing on traditional revenue-enhancing methods such as cost cutting, centralisation and re-engineering."

"Ideas, not efficiencies, are in demand, " says Roberts. "Having positioned ourselves as an ideas company three years ago, Saatchi & Saatchi now thrives in the current environment."
Roberts says that clients come to creative agencies to build emotional connections with consumers. The agency's new business performance during 1999 reflected the high standard of creative work that offices all around the world had been producing.

At the annual Cannes advertising festival, regarded as the barometer of an agency's creative health by industry insiders, Saatchi & Saatchi has been among the top four on the list of coveted Cannes Lions winners for the past three years.

Saatchi & Saatchi offices in the strategic regions of Asia Pacific and Latin America also performed strongly. The agency was named Top Creative Network in Asia and Agency of the Year in Brazil, Mexico, China, Australia and New Zealand.

"I was especially proud of the performance of our New Zealand agencies at Cannes this year," said Roberts. Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington won their second and New Zealand's second ever Gold Lion for the Toyota Hilux Bugger commercial, and Saatchi & Saatchi Auckland took home one silver and three bronze Lions for the Auckland Regional Council's Natural Masterpieces campaign and a Greenpeace anti-nuclear poster.

"It was the best performance ever by New Zealand at Cannes, and further proof of the world-class standing of these two agencies."

During 1999, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington continued their extraordinary run of success in Australasian creative awards. Bugger was named Best of Show at the Australasian Television Awards and gave the agency the New Zealand Commercial of the Year Award for the tenth successive year.

Roberts also attributed Saatchi & Saatchi's strong results to the establishment of a new business unit headed by Alan Bishop in London using eight worldwide "category killer teams" of staff with particular industry expertise.

Saatchi & Saatchi Plc owns the global Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency network (150 offices in 90 countries employing 6,500 people), the Saatchi & Saatchi Rowland global public relations and business communications network, as well as 50% of Zenith Media, the world's largest global media service company.

Saatchi & Saatchi's top 10 global clients are Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Astra/Zeneca, Dupont, General Mills, Hewlett Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Pharmacia Upjohn, Sony Europe and Visa.


Release issued by Saatchi & Saatchi.

Investor information on Saatchi & Saatchi plc can be sourced from:

Kevin Roberts' website is at

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