Saatchi Gets Its ‘Secret Weapon’

Will use Silver ‘opportunistically,’ while new evp gets ‘bigger field’

For Saatchi & Saatchi, Eric Silver brings a “range and style of work that will give us more credibility in pursuing different kinds of clients,” said Tod Seisser, chief creative officer at the New York office. For Silver, who has spent the last six years at Cliff Freeman developing wacky ads for clients like Outpost.com and Budget, the move to an agency dominated by the likes of Procter & Gamble and General Mills gives him a chance to work on a different style of advertising.

Silver, 36, who started last week as evp, group creative director at the Publicis Groupe shop, said he plans to help the office “fire on as many different cylinders as we can and just turn people’s heads.” He added: “It’s a chance to play on a bigger field.”

Silver is expected to split his time between existing clients—his assignments are still being hashed out—and new-business efforts. Seisser said he plans to deploy Silver “opportunistically,” noting, “I want to keep him fairly free so we can really use him as a secret weapon.”

Saatchi had been talking to Silver for at least a month, sources said. Silver acknowledged he also spoke to several other agencies (including BBDO, J. Walter Thompson and Grey, according to sources). Why Saatchi? Because of its creative reputation globally and his bonding with worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts and worldwide cd Bob Isherwood, who is “smart and has great hair,” Silver said.

Said Roberts, “I’ve been lusting over him for five years.”