Saatchi Launches R&D Think Tank

NEW YORK Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi said it has launched a new research and development think tank in the U.K. that will be run by Vicky Moffatt, who is managing director and director of strategy at Saatchi’s London office.

The think tank, Industry @ Saatchi, will help clients develop new products and tackle problems such as how to get customers to spend more when shopping at retail outlets, said Lee Daley, CEO of Saatchi’s U.K. Group. It will be led by a core group of five that will tap into agency talent, outside experts and consumers panels.

Daley hopes the unit will fill the void between ad agencies and management consultancies and help clients move faster and innovate more. “It’s basically [about] applying creativity to business in very different ways,” said Daley. “The need for fresh thinking and challenging marketing innovation has never been greater.”

Industry @ Saatchi will handle project work and have its own P&L apart from the agency, Daley said. Its core team will use a high-tech video conference room to connect with key client executives and thought leaders around the world.

Moffatt, who joined the agency about a month ago, said clients need “aggressive value-added marketing and business innovation beyond what is written in the annual plan.” Summing up the new offering, she added: “We are combining alchemy and inspiration with hard business acumen to deliver new futures.”

Moffatt was previously business director at Wunderman’s U.K. operations, part of the Young & Rubicam Brands division of the WPP Group, and before that she held a variety of executive posts at WPP agencies.