LETTERS: No worse than any other agency

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The Independent Online
From Ms Catherine Simmonds Sir: As a shareholder and ex-employee of Saatchi & Saatchi I was surprised by the article in today's Life section ("Idiots and insults, ad nauseam", 17 January). The text was given added piquancy by its authorship: Lynne Wallis, who says she worked at Saatchi's in the mid-Eighties.

Indeed she did. And she was, for a time, my secretary. But my memory of Saatchi's is very different from hers. Yes, there was silly schoolboy humour and sexism and even some racism, but I am sure it was no worse than any other advertising agency of its time nor, indeed, any other hard-working hard-playing organisation. There was also great kindness and loyalty and attempts to help people make the (sometimes difficult) switch from, for example, secretary to account executive.

What was different about Saatchi's was the wonderful energy of the place, the great and effective creativity, the extraordinary sense of "we can do it better". Much of this stemmed from Maurice and Charles. I spent nine wonderful, interesting, fulfilling, fun years there.

It sounds to me as though Saatchi's didn't treat Lynne too badly: would she have got the Amnesty job without her experience there? Or might she be still "just a secretary"?

Yours faithfully, Catherine Simmonds London, W4

17 January

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