Iraqi brothers, Maurice (24) and Charles (27), began their famous advertising careers when they founded Saatchi & Saatchi in 1970. They had one simple goal – be brilliant, be the best. They believed that advertising needed to be simple, hard-hitting, aggressive even, but most importantly, effective. They wanted to change minds, to shift beliefs, to change the world. There was no one telling them what to do, or how to do it – equally terrifying and liberating. All they had was an all-consuming belief that nothing is impossible. They refused, point blank, to be seen as ordinary.
And it paid off.
Over the next 25 years, they grew Saatchi & Saatchi into Britain’s, and then the world’s, largest advertising agency, with over 140 offices globally. They created some of the most iconic ads of the era. All brilliantly simple. All effective. All Saatchi.
(From left to right)
The Health Education Council’s “PREGNANT MAN”, 1970
Margaret Thatcher’s “LABOUR ISN'T WORKING, 1979
John Major’s, “LABOUR'S TAX BOMBSHEL” 1992
British Airways, “THE WORLD'S FAVOURITE AIRLINE” 1989
They were the first ad men to advertise themselves. They were the first ad men to create political advertising. They were the first ad men to use negative advertising, something they pride themselves on. Why? Because it worked.
They were also the first ad men to leave behind everything they’d created, and start all over again. To create a new home. After a fall out with their venture capitalist investors, Maurice and Charles left Saatchi & Saatchi in 1995, followed by their most trusted partners – Bill Muirhead, David Kershaw, Jeremy Sinclair, and Moray MacLennan.
Always one for a “first”, it was the first agency to be international from day one, with a partner running offices in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. This was how M&C Saatchi was born.
20 years later, M&C Saatchi has 28 offices globally, all creating effective, award-winning work.
(From left to right)
"PROTECT YOUR LIFE " for Europ Assist IT created by the Italy office, in Rome.
"HBO GO" for HBO created by SS+K in America
"THE STREET STORE" for The Haven Night Shelter created by the South Africa office, in Cape Town.
"CLEVER BUOY" for Optus created by the Australia office, in Sydney
It may be the most controversial, and admittedly, confusing business rifts in history. But it’s this madness that has allowed the Saatchi brothers to continuously create remarkable change. It’s the way that they’ve lived their mantra, “Nothing is Impossible”.
In time, Charles discovered a new love and left the world of advertising for the world of modern art. While Maurice, the most famous living man in advertising, and his original partners, still sit at their desks at London HQ on Golden Square, doing what they do best – be brilliant.