Saatchi Shifts Gears

Saatchi & Saatchi is losing the top creative executive on its $450 million Toyota account and is retaining a former creative chief to help with dealer ads for the agency’s largest client.
Joe McDonagh, 42, executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, is leaving at the end of the month to take a similar position across town at Ogilvy & Mather. No replacement has been named.
“I look forward to the opportunity to work nationally and internationally on blue-chip accounts,” McDonagh said. At Saatchi, he was largely confined to Toyota.
Saatchi Los Angeles chief executive officer Scott Gilbert said last week that a search is already
underway and a replacement may be found internally. “We’re losing a major resource,” he said of McDonagh, who was to help lead its pitch for the $10-12 million SunAmerica account. The shop is quitting that review.
Separately, Stan Becker has adopted a part-time role on the New York office’s regional dealer account, one year after retiring as chief creative officer.
Becker was in Miami last week to shoot new spots.
Becker, 64, co-wrote many of the 15 spots in production. The first three break this week.
Each features “TV guy,” a friendly character who talks to regular folks via a 1970s-era TV set. Two spots take place in front of a brick wall covered with financing related graffiti; the third, for a sales event, contrasts hot and cold weather, sources said. The ads retain the “Everyday” theme.
The campaign was created for the Greater New York Toyota Dealer Association and adopted by groups in Denver, Connecticut, upstate New York and Philadelphia.