LOS ANGELES – You’d think that the six-month review process that led to the appointment of Saatchi & Saatchi/Pacific to handle the $15-20-million Savoy Picture" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" >

Behind the Breakup Of Saatchi and Savoy By Kathy Tyre

LOS ANGELES – You’d think that the six-month review process that led to the appointment of Saatchi & Saatchi/Pacific to handle the $15-20-million Savoy Picture

The companies would only say the split was caused by a difference in objectives and operating styles.
But sources close to the relationship said Saatchi, who wowed the client in its pitch, and Savoy, launched by the founders of TriStar Pictures, could not agree on details of a payment schedule for the media the agency would buy on Savoy’s behalf. Saatchi wanted to be paid for its upfront buys – anywhere from $5 million to $10 million – soon after it made them; Savoy wanted to pay when network bills arrived.
Though sources expressed surprise that such a detail could destroy the relationship, some closest to the situation said it was a major factor. It may be, they speculated, that Saatchi’s demands were framed by the shop’s lack of familiarity with the ways studios and agencies structure media-buying arrangements. Perhaps, these sources said, Saatchi saw only that Savoy, as a start-up movie distributor, doesn’t have a proven track record. That, coupled with the knowledge that some studio accounts have been perilous in the past – Orion at Foote, Cone & Belding (left holding the bag for a reported $14 million when Orion filed Chapter 11 from which it has since emerged), for example – drove Saatchi’s decisions, sources said. Saatchi executives would only say that finances weren’t an issue.
Some sources also wondered if Savoy had become concerned that Saatchi was accustomed to a different pace with its dominant client, Toyota. Typically, an account such as Toyota allows for a far longer lead time to react than does a movie studio account, though Saatchi executives maintain that they were up to speed on Savoy.
‘We’re not shaken about the movie business,’ said Saatchi president and ceo Joe Cronin. ‘Our team is intact and we’ll define what might be good opportunities.’
‘Although we have a high regard for the fine team they assembled, there were differences in objectives and operations that couldn’t be overcome despite everyone’s efforts,’ said Steve Hayman, Savoy president of marketing. Savoy has moved the account to DMB&B/L.A., the runner-up in its last review.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)