Optus picks M&C Saatchi for $52m account
SYDNEY - Optus has consolidated its A$60 million (US$52 million) creative business with M&C Saatchi, following a lengthy review that culminated in a final-round shootout against Clemenger BBDO.
The decision sees Leo Burnett lose its hold on the corporate business. The Publicis Groupe agency made the shortlist stage of the review, along with McCann Worldgroup.
In addition, the entire digital business has shifted to M&C Saatchi’s new digital arm, Mark.
M&C Saatchi Asia-Pacific and US executive chairman Tom Dery admitted to a measure of worry about the pitch outcome, after BBDO won creative duties for Optus parent SingTel in Singapore recently.
“We were always concerned about BBDO and SingTel, but the truth is there is little synergy between the issues SingTel faces, and the issues Optus faces,” said Dery.
“It was a very tough process and one that I think, in spite of the pain on both sides, will result in an even stronger relationship into the future.”
Media remains with MPG, which will also handle Optus subsidiary Virgin Mobile Australia’s media buying requirements. MPG, a joint venture between Mitchell Communications Group and Havas’ MPG, prevailed following a review that also included Starcom, Total and MediaCom.
“This renewal demonstrates their understanding of Optus’ complex and unique customer segment mix and ability to continue to deliver value,” said Optus corporate marketing director Mike Smith.
M&C Saatchi and MPG have handled the Optus business since 2003.
The news comes as a major boost to M&C Saatchi’s Australia operation, which suffered a significant blow by losing key client IAG at the end of 2006.
That loss contributed to disappointing results for the Australian operation during the first half of 2007. Both revenues and profits dropped sharply over the same period in 2006.
However the agency has secured promising new business from mid-2007 onwards, including the $30 million Westfield account, and creative duties for the Australian Government’s $23 million climate change campaign.
This article was first published on Media Asia
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