Spotlight on: David Kershaw, chief executive of M&C Saatchi
Wednesday 21 March 2012
So is this Britain's answer to Don Draper, the fictional star of Mad Men?
Well, maybe. David Kershaw probably wouldn't mind the comparison. The boss of the advertising group M&C Saatchi believes passionately that advertising should be glamorous and fun, even if the good times aren't quite what they were in the Mad Men era of the Sixties.
How is the advertising trade?
Surprisingly good. M&C Saatchi has just announced a doubling of pre-tax profits to a record £16m. Revenues leapt 20 per cent to £153m.
What's the secret?
Mr Kershaw says it's a combination of "new business and new businesses". New client wins include O2 and Google, while mobile has really taken off.
But everyone always said it was virtually impossible to make money out of mobile marketing ...
The iPhone and iPad have changed all that. Clients are turning to ad agencies to create content such as apps and to buy advertising on mobile devices. Profits from mobile are now "in the millions" at M&C Saatchi.
There are two big rival agencies, Saatchi & Saatchi and M&C Saatchi. What's the difference?
Saatchi & Saatchi was the original agency founded by brothers Charles and Maurice in 1970. They quit in 1995 to launch M&C and brought along Mr Kershaw as chief executive. Maurice, now Lord Saatchi, and Mr Kershaw are directors.
How come they're still directors? Isn't advertising a young person's game?
Mr Kershaw likes to say it's because it's just too much fun. The co-founders still share an office on the top floor of their Golden Square HQ in Soho and each holds a 6 per cent stake. The dividend payment, up 15 per cent this year, means they each should collect £171,000.
What's the outlook?
"Pretty bouncy," says Mr Kershaw, who reckons the Olympics will provide a further boost. "There's more confidence in the media sector."
Viva the Mad Men, then.
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