Saatchi & Saatchi is to move east from Soho to a new landmark office on the former site of the celebrated Turnmills nightclub in Farringdon, ending months of uncertainty for London’s best-known advertising agency.
The London Evening Standard understands there has been fierce lobbying within French parent company Publicis Groupe as some of its other agencies also had their eye on Turnmills, a historic Victorian railway building that became the centre of the 1990s dance music boom when it attracted DJs such as Fat Boy Slim, pictured, and the Chemical Brothers.
The discussions about Turnmills have been particularly fraught because Publicis Groupe, which also owns agencies such as Starcom Media Vest and Publicis London, is in limbo as it waits to complete a £23 billion mega-merger with America’s Omnicom. Industry observers said the decision by Publicis Groupe to move Saatchi & Saatchi into Turnmills was a vote of confidence in the agency’s future as a leading British brand within the enlarged global holding company, despite the fact some other subsidiaries have more staff.
Saatchi & Saatchi, which has an estimated 400 London staff, had been tipped to move to a lower-profile building at 40 Chancery Lane in Holborn.
Publicis Groupe leased Turnmills and Chancery Lane last year in a deal with landlord Derwent, owner of Saatchi & Saatchi’s base on Soho’s Charlotte Street, which is being redeveloped.
Saatchi & Saatchi’s move after nearly 40 years is symbolic as the capital’s creative industries move eastwards to woo young talent.
Saatchi & Saatchi would not comment.
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