Olympic Win for Saatchi

NEW YORK Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi has landed creative duties on the International Olympic Committee’s global ad account, beating three other agencies in the final round of a review, the client confirmed.

The other finalists were the incumbent, Omnicom’s TBWA Worldwide in New York, WPP Group’s Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R in London and independent Siltanen/Keehn in El Segundo, Calif. TBWA had handled the account since 1999.

Another contender, Publicis’ Leo Burnett, withdrew before final presentations. The pitches took place last month in New York.

The review was part of an organization-wide evaluation of all outside resources, which was triggered in part by the installation of a new IOC president, according to IOC marketing director Michael Payne [Adweek, June 16] . Jacques Rogge succeeded Juan Antonio Samaranch as president in 2001.

The IOC plans to retain the “Celebrate humanity” tagline that TBWA introduced in 2000, with TV spots that focused on Olympic values such as courage and camaraderie. So the contest essentially boiled down to strategy.

Media duties were not an issue, since the work will run on the TV networks that carry the games. If purchased, however, the time would be worth more than $100 million.