Saatchi Cuts 5 Creative Leaders

LOS ANGELES Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi dismissed five group leaders within the creative department in a restructuring move today, the agency confirmed. Because some of the firings happened within the last hours, the agency would not release the names of the employees.

“The ongoing process that started last April is getting us closer to being an idea-centric agency,” said Rich Anderman, president. “We are reducing the number of traditional creative directors at Saatchi.”

“It is a changing business,” said Steve Rabosky, chief creative officer at the Torrance, Calif., agency. “The focus here is going more toward ideas and branded content. So I looked at how the agency is structured. We’re moving from a structure that’s about managing people to a structure that’s about managing ideas.”

Rabosky said that the agency is becoming “less hierarchical” as it creates less traditional advertising and more branded television programming, event marketing and handles the agency’s “pervasive brand push” for its major client, Toyota Motors. That emphasis would require different staffing, Rabosky said, creatives who “work more independently and entrepreneurially, without supervision.”

Rabosky said the creatives were heads of groups that reported to executive creative director Harvey Marco and him. “There are no more groups,” Rabosky said. “It’s all one creative department now. Everyone works on everything or is deployed as needed.”

Rabosky estimated the creative department employs around 100 people.