M&C Saatchi boss: Woolworths review is ‘perfectly understandable’

Woolworths is reviewing its ad account currently held by M&C Saatchi Sydney, this morning’s Australian Fiancial Review reports.

The review could bring an end a relationship almost a decade old, and covers a budget of around $120m.

A statement from M&C Saatchi chairman Tom Dery, read:

“We have got a great relationship with Woolworths and have done some fantastic work for them over the past nine years.

“It is perfectly understandable that after this length of time Woolworths will look to review its agency structure.

“There is a great deal of consumer uncertainty in the market, so it makes sense that Woolworths would review all market activity. I don’t think it is a reflection of the work that is being done, it’s more about the company examining the future of the business.”

“We are in a whole new marketing environment and it is important that Woolworths has the best relationships going forward.

“This is the normal, day-to-day reality of the industry we are in, especially with large, blue chip accounts.

“It’s very important to note that this review will not have any effect on M&C Saatchi’s relationships with Dick Smith & Woolworths Masters.

“We’ve just got to get through this. We are always on the front foot. When you look at the great amount of new business we’ve won in the past 12 months we’ve got a lot of opportunities going forward.”

Dery also noted that the agency has won $11.5m in annualised new business, seen 28.3% revenue growth and a profit increase of 93% year on year.

He pointed to Woolworths’ new home improvement brand Masters as an example of new business success for the agency over the last 12 months, as well as Eftpos, Lend Lease, Dick Smith, Miroslav Underwear, Google, News Limited, Religare, Sheridan and Nestle Purina.

The agency is currently facing reviews of its Qantas and Optus accounts.

According to the Fin, Woolworths is also looking for a new market research agency, potentially replacing Photon Group’s The Leading Edge.


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