Archive for the ‘Saatchi’ Category

For The Record…

..I didn’t leak anything to Campaign about not getting Saatchis, but someone must have read the post I did. It’s pretty cool to be in Campaign again though. So no complaints from me 😀


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I’m No Hack

Following Sam’s Saatchi shenanigans and Saatchi’s petty reaction, I’ve had a few emails asking about hacking M&C Saatchi and how I went about it. Far be it for me to indulge, but if you insist.


I was on my placement year at Leo Burnett working on McDonalds and thoroughly enjoying it. However my time was nearing an end at Leos and the Saatchi & Saatchi Scholarship Scheme was approaching. I rang Saatchi & Saatchi who told me that my brief to enter into the scholarship was to take their logo “Nothing Is Impossible” which would be supplied on an A3 poster and place it somewhere topical and interesting.

I toyed with ideas which were terrible, like taking a photo of a homeless person outside the Dorchester holding the poster. Really base line poor stuff. But, whilst having a cigarette outside Leo’s with my friend who was working in Arc (same building) we were talking about hacking websites and how people do it etc. Then, I thought, that could be a sweet idea to place the Saatchi & Saatchi poster on a website, and what better place to do it than on the agency they love to hate and vice versa M&C Saatchi. We both pretty much pissed ourselves laughing at the audacity of the idea. We were then joined by another of my friends from Arc (both worked in digital one being a project manager and the other a designer). We ran the idea past him at which his face broke into a smile. I had no idea on how to hack a site, make a website or anything like that so these guys were really the people who made this idea work.

However, everything got a bit out of control and I’ll explain why. There was quite a bit of press coverage about this, namely The Times and Campaign. Both thought that I had actually hacked the official M&C website. Thing is I hadn’t, I just convinced digital illiterate people that I had, such as the press. My friends constructed a site that replicated the M&C one. I had bought the domain name http://www.mcsaatchi.gov (Maurice and Charles are avid Tory fans and create their campaigns so it seemed like a potential money earner in the unlikely event the Conservatives won the 2004 election). Anyway, the site was constructed showing the image of the Saatchi & Saatchi poster falling on top of the M&C Saatchi logo.

I then took it upon myself to spread this far and wide to stir a bit of noise before I sent it on to Saatchi & Saatchi. I posted it as the actual M&C website on advertising forums and emailed it round to as many contacts as I had as well as the whole of Leo Burnett who in turn passed it on to their contacts. Before I had even sent it to Saatchi & Saatchi I had a viral website as we were able to track it being viewed up to 300 times a day and travelling from London to New York to Rio.

I then thought it was best to get this over to Saatchi so I emailed their HR department telling them this was my entry to their Scholarship Scheme. I rang them up the next day asking them to make sure that the people who needed to see this saw it and quick as my spidey sense knew there was trouble ahead. They applauded my audacity and from there I had an telephone interview and was told that I was accepted onto the scheme. Sweet I thought, but this viral website started to travel further and further.

Cue the phone call from M&C’s lawyers informing me of my breach of intellectual property, that the website had been pulled down by the domain owners and that I was facing court action. Laughing in the face of danger isn’t exactly how I would describe my reaction, more like a desperate need for my mum and that I was unable to stop saying sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. After this lovely chat I rang Saatchi & Saatchi who calmed me down, told me it would be fine and if there was going to be any trouble they would step in. That was great and I had started a little fisty cuffs with two adversaries that had been quite dormant in dispute..

To cut a boring story short, Campaign and The Times covered the story, convinced that I had actually hacked the real M&C site, which was fine by me, M&C dropped any court action as they were starting to look silly for chasing me, I rocked up to Saatchi & Saatchi where most had seen my website and the pats on the back were very encouraging indeed and then the website stills I kept were entered into the DMA Awards 2004 and helped to win Gold.

So that’s how it happened. I placed the stills and the Campaign article in my portfolio and flashed it at every interview which went down a treat. Other than that it’s not the kind of thing I bring up over dinner with clients.

You can check out the website here on a secure server:

Username: saatchi
Password: 3ntry

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No Saatchi


Someone once said ‘You can’t treat every situation like life or death, cause you’ll die a lot of times’.

That’s some advice I should heed. I tell everyone who emails us asking about getting into advertising that rejection is part and parcel of the process and you should never ever take it personally, because they don’t know you when they reject you.

When I sent my application of for Saatchis summer school I was pretty optimistic, as usual. I felt I had a strong idea and Anton, Jack Bauer (from the BR forums) and Will had all shared their wisdom with me, and I had taken on board what I thought was important. When I got a mention in that week’s Campaign, and various blogs, I was pretty much sure that I had got a place. But there was a twist in the tale and I got the standard rejection letter from Saatchis in the post.

I was a little (or maybe more) disappointed and decided to give them a call to see if I could get any feedback. Reception put me through to HR where I was told there was a huge number of applications this year (like most years I guess) and some weren’t good enough. But I wasn’t able to get any Sam-specific feedback. It seemed as if I was being fobbed off with the ‘too many people applied’ excuse. So I wrote an impassioned email to a few people in HR and explained that in my very junior opinion, the number of applicants shouldn’t stop each one being considered, and again asked for feedback as to how I could have made my application better. Again I got a reply, telling me that there were a large number of applications and that some didn’t quite make the cut, but again no feedback about mine.

I think I’m over the downer of not getting in, and to be honest, things have moved on a little, I got my first mention in Campaign (first of many I hope) and the blog seems to be taking off in terms of readership (so thank you guys a ton).

At this point, I feel like I won’t be getting any feedback about how to make my idea any better, so I will open the floor up to you, our knowledgeable readers. My application is in the ‘Downloads’ sidebar on the right (I’ve put it all in a zip file), or click here to download and have a read. Rather than include screenshots of the blogs that featured the auction, I’ve put the links in a text file to save you guys download times.

All comments welcome.

And because I’m emo (apparently, I don’t buy it) I’ll leave y’all with this:

You are not your job/and you are not the clothes you wear/You are the words, that leave your mouth/So speak up, speak up loud..

Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly – Call Me Ishmael

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A little over a week ago I told y’all about Saatchi & Saatchi seemingly putting an internship up for auction on eBay.

It was actually me, applying for the Saatchi summer scheme. The brief was to turn a piece of paper into a job. I thought about what to do for days, what could I do? I considered writing an acceptance letter from Saatchis to me offering me the job, maybe dating it back in the 70s and claiming I had a job offer from them for years, doing a photo collage type thing of my life and on and on. The brief was simple, but I didn’t want to do anything that everyone would think of. Turn the poster into a job? I did. A virtual job to be exact. I set up the auction id – saatchigradrecruitment, created the auction (complete with lame description) and seeded it on the BrandRepublic forums, Facebook, Digg, ihaveandidea and some other places I can’t remember. The idea for the auction itself only came about 3 days before the application was due back at Charlotte Street (with much help from Jack ‘Alex’ Bauer from the BR forums – so major props to my boy Jack), so I wasn’t entirely optimistic about drumming up enough buzz to get some media coverage. But the power of this internet thing was soon revealed to yours truly, when bloggers started picking it up thinking that Saatchis had put it up themselves. I was majorly happy. And itching to tell them ‘It wasn’t them, It was me!!!’. But I had to wait it out and see if I could get some big publicity and sure enough the really good stuff was still to come.

James Hamilton from Campaign had a look at the auction and gave Saatchis a call, who told him they had no idea who it was and that it was most definitely not them. James posted as much on the BR forums so I gave him a call and told him it was me, a punk AdLad trying to stir up a place at Saatchis for the summer. This is what he wrote. I haven’t heard from Saatchis yet so let’s see if what I did was enough to get me in.

Before I finish, you all should know that Campaign, Saatchis and one of the AdLads have some history, namely Anton starting a hurricane of publicity a few years ago when he applied for the summer scheme by putting the ‘Nothing Is Impossible’ logo on M&Cs website (or was it?). M&C threatened to sue him and Campaign, upon hearing about this said ‘Surely it would be better for M&C to hire the graduate before Saatchis does’. Exactly.

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Have been on the brandrepublic forums this afternoon when I spotted this

Auctioning a Summer School on eBay? Surely a PR stunt?

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