Wednesday, December 20, 2006


by Mike O'Sullivan, ECD of Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand

It's time to officially confirm what everyone is talking about.
Jay, Andy, Stacey Lee, Rosita, and Toby Talbot will be leaving us in January.
“Oh my God, why are all they all leaving?” I hear you say.
Well I’d reply by firstly saying, have a look at where these people are
For a start, five Saatchi creatives have become Creative Directors in 2006.
Anybody who’s taken that leap knows you just have to give it a crack.
Then there’s Toby who is stepping up to become Executive Creative Director
of DDB Auckland. If you read the paper this will not come as a surprise.
There are only two people in our industry that could do the job.
If ever there was a guy who should be an Executive Creative Director, it’s
He’s done a great job here, not just as a Creative Director, but creative
partner and all-round good mate. Bar a short break we’ve been working
together for eight years at Colenso and then Saatchi. We have had a roller
coaster ride of a trip but now it’s time for him to head off and do his own
“To be honest, it’s a great relief for me. It’s been eight years and now
finally, I don’t have to go fishing any more. I hate fishing,” says Talbot.
“Actually, it’s been great. The last two years at Saatchi have been hugely challenging and also very satisfying. Mike and Rocky have been great leaders, but the time is right for me to step up. I wish the guys well.”
All of the above are moving on to bigger, more challenging jobs.
And what about Matty, Dave, Stacey and Rosita?
They are not crossing the road to another agency in town.
No, these people are only going to two of the greatest hotshops in the world – Droga 5 and 180 Amsterdam. What a great success story!
Just 18 months ago Rosita was a junior art director at Adworks Ogily, she teamed up with Stacey, had a great year, and now they are off to creatively head Adidas Woman wear at 180 Amsterdam. How cool is that?
Losing people all so close together is a bugger, but it’s not something you can control. People move on. Most of them we’ve helped, some we haven’t.
That’s what happens with a good creative department. A creative department that in one year helped Saatchi win 5 Cannes lions, 14 AWARD pencils, a Grand Effie, Grand Axis and B&T, Campaign Brief and Admedia Agency of the Year.
Change is good, particularly when you plan for it.
Over the last few months you may have noticed we’ve changed our model and a few people. Quite a lot of people. The extremely observant may have noticed that Toby and I been quietly replacing people. In fact today we can announce that Hilary Badger and Rob Beamish will be joining Saatchi NZ, from George Patts Y&R, Melbourne.
Earlier in the year we hired Adam Oliveira, Levi Slavin, Dave Govier, then more recently Tim Huse and Hywel James. In January another four seriously awarded creatives will be announced.
As we become fully integrated we will continue to attract great ideas people and we’ll get used to the fact that they may only be with us for a short period. This year we’ve hired 40 new people, bringing out staff numbers to a staggering 202.
These people have joined to be the best they can be.
So yes, there are big changes at Saatchi. It's not a pitch, we've not lost business, and we're not making redundancies. It's just great people coming and going.
Next time you see any of the people I’ve mentioned, give them a pat on the back. They have taken their next big leap. Good on them.
Have a great Christmas and roll on 2007. I reckon it’s going to be a beauty.

Mike O


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Defensive enough?

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most people that partner Mike O end up as very successful CD's: Catmur, Maddocks and now Talbot. And most people who work for Mike O have successful creative careers: Talbot, Maddocks, Catmur, Premutico, Robbins, Rooke, Carrasco, Burton, Bowman, etc, etc.

The man is a great creative leader. No doubt.

This place will continue to do well with Mike at the helm. He's the real deal when it come to a great CD.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I smell poopy.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good on ya Mike. Sounds like you’re the man. Before you pat yourself on the back too much, you might want to remove the knifes

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you forgot matty and dave

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2.26 it's AIDS and 3.09 obviously has a long attention span. Matty and Dave are there but it's more than 10 seconds through.

I think 1.56 sums up the thoughts of most people who have worked with Mike. There are always a few who won't like his style and such is life.

Good luck to everyone mentioned. Especially Toby. He'll be great for DDB.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice try but if people are happy they stay. They've also lost Basil and Damon, Steve Back, Lorenz Perry and a couple of junior teams this year. That's basically the whole creative dept out the door.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that he was hugely popular at Clems.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You've just won the best comment award.

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An ECD's job is to hire great people and give them the environment to do good work. No-one can deny Mike O has consistently done that. Good luck to him, his agency and the people who have left. I'm sure all will prosper.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked for him for a short while at Clems and he was the best thing about that place. I'd work for him again in a flash. Apart from the whole moving to NZ thing...

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the priv working under Mike for a few months of freelance. He's the best CD i;ve worked under (and i've worked for a lot) and he's also a good bloke - rare.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I was convinced by Mike's spin. But guys who have worked with him say he just works him too hard and is too set in his ways...

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike O is a fantastic CD. End of story.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike is a fantastic CD and a great guy. And I bet anyone who doesn't like his 'style' just couldn't cut the mustard. He doesn't tollerate pimadonnas, thieves or shit work; but he's fair and he's fucking smart. He expects a lot from his creative department but, if they're any good, he gets the very best out of them.

No games. No bullshit. He's just all about the work.

9:43 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home