Mike Burns & Co. Hit the Road Again, But With Considerably Less Fanfare


Remember the gigantic story from about this time last year that had everyone in the ad world talking? The one about Mike Burns and his Saatchi 17, the group who said they’d had enough and left Saatchi & Saatchi in droves and went to Interpublic? Well, they’re leaving again, but with a lot less excitement. The reason this time is that they’re being canned. Their sub-agency, OneSeven (get it?), was apparently doing nothing but losing money, so Interpublic gave them the axe. Here’s a bit from the AdAge story:

OneSeven chairman Mike Burns, the former Saatchi vice-chairman and worldwide account director on General Mills who set in motion one of 2005’s biggest stories of the year when he left the agency and was followed by 17 of his former colleagues, is striking out on his own. “We are now looking forward to building our business with an independent’s focus and an entrepreneur’s energy,” he said. The agency’s clients include ConAgra’s Hebrew National; Gorton’s seafood; McGraw-Hill’s BusinessWeek; Dun & Bradstreet; and Unicef.

The agency was not profitable, a knowledgeable executive said, which led to Interpublic’s decision. Mr. Burns would not comment directly on financial matters, but said, “Our business scale did not make sense for a multinational, multibillion-dollar holding company, but our focus makes sense for our client partners.”