Saatchi's close to buying Three Drunk Monkeys?

Justin, Scott, Mark July09-WEB.jpgUPDATE: CB has heard from well-connected sources overnight that the top creative shop that Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney is close to acquiring is The Three Drunk Monkeys. The acquisition is designed to replace Saatchi's lost billings from 2010 and at the same time gain new creative leadership.
Screen shot 2011-03-08 at 9.55.59 AM.jpgSteveback.pngAfter the departure of Saatchi's ECD Steve Back (near left) to Ogilvy Singapore, and the latest move by creative leader Steve Jackson (far left) to Droga5, Sydney a search for their replacements may about to be solved with the new buy-out.

If the sale goes ahead, the Monkeys will be stepping into familiar territory. The Three Drunk Monkeys started in August 2006 when former Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney creatives Justin Drape and Scott Nowell left the agency to start their own creative hotshop. They were soon joined by Mark Green, a former suit at Saatchi's. The three are pictured above. 

Green had nothing to say on the persistent rumours: "It's just speculation, there's nothing to talk about. If there's a deal to be done, we'll let you know. That's all I'm prepared to say."

John Foley, CEO at Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney, was not available for comment at the time of posting. 
 

123 Comments

Anonymous said:

So Saatchi's to buy Ogilvy??

Anonymous said:

Not Lavender?

Anonymous said:

They're going to buy Charlie Sheen. Can't hurt having a couple of porn stars on reception.

Anonymous said:

Oh, how the once might have fallen...what a sad reflection on its leadership over the past decade

Anonymous said:

3DM

Anonymous said:

NET-X

Anonymous said:

The article said top creative shop. Host? TDMonkeys? The return of Noah? Disciple? The return of Pete and Tim?

Anonymous said:

3DM

Anonymous said:


Monkeys. That's my bet.

Anonymous said:

drunk monkeys

Anonymous said:

Southpaw?

Anonymous said:

3DM.

Anonymous said:

Don't count out Disciple, if S&S were smart and the boys willing to go back. Let's face it, Pete and Tim were the uncontested stars of that old line-up, including Noah, Steve Jackson, and yes their 'boss' the Nobster. Saatchis could do worse than to buy back their former top creative team and have a top agency again in one fell swoop. Hell, buy the Monkeys as well and suddenly they're back on top of the pile, on paper at least.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said:

Bondi Advertising my bet

Anonymous said:

It's only 5 hours old, but what about TBWA\Integer?

Old Man Advertising Drifter said:

Harry's Cafe de Wheels?

Anonymous said:

Mojo, they get Davis. He'll save them.

Anonymous said:

Sonia Henie's out.

Anonymous said:

Rheem product design studios?

Old Man Advertising Drifter said: said:

I'll keep the seat warm for the next lot.

Anonymous said:

3DM would make total sense. With Mark at the helm (ex saatchis), Fabio head planner (ex Saatchis), The creative founders (ex Saatchis) and of course Noah (ex saatchis).

Take the paycheque boys. It would be all of you together doing what you do best. Just make sure they give you a shitload of cash!

Anonymous said:

Conquistadors?

Anonymous said:

Photon

Anonymous said:

Step Change Marketing?

Steve said:

Justin and Scott have built the monkeys into a creative hotshop in the time it takes most of us to get a payrise. From absolutely nothing! Imagine what they could do if they're let loose at Saatchis. You know it makes sense.

Anonymous said:

maybe it's just me but wouldn't it make zero sense for 3DM to be the agency in question. There was a reason they left after all.
I really hope they don't go for them either, they have built up a truly individual agency and Saatchi would destroy that. 3DM can make it big without the buy

Anonymous said:

Dan Beaumont is smoking hot

Anonymous said:

totally agree with 2.06, speaking as someone who has worked at both 3DM and Saatchi's, the monkeys have created a way of working that Saatchi's would never adopt called organised common sense.

Anonymous said:

2:30. Totally agree. Dan Beaumont is so hot right now my pants feel all warm at the area just down from the top.

Anonymous said:

Meh, Monkeys wont do it. They're too proud of their independence. And at the rate things are going, it would make more sense the other way 'round. Monkeys buying Saatchi's.
I'll wager a tenner on it being a digital agency, Soap or the like.

Anonymous said:

I was thinking Happy Soldiers

Soothsayer said:

The White Agency.

It's smokin'.

Anonymous said:

amnesia razorfish

Anonymous said:

BAM/SSB

Anonymous said:

3DM for sure. They're filling up on clients then selling up. The guys may have 'built up a truly individual agency' but they cant cope over there. Word is they got too big too quick and have no infrastructure and on the outside might be the cool place to work but on the inside it's shitfight central.

gorgan said:

I heard they're buying Sterling Cooper.

Anonymous said:

Poor employees of the hot shop. Saatchi's can purchase it get rid of half the staff and wonder why the clients get pissed.

Anonymous said:

Jaygrey!!

Jay said:

Jay Grey.... please?

Anonymous said:

It's in the headline if you looked. Happy Soldiers is the current Hotshop of the Year and John Kane will be the new ECD. You heard it here first.

Anonymous said:

surprised no-one's mentioned the obvious yet.

Anonymous said:

What Droga?

Anonymous said:

Nup, not Droga.

Come on...

Sydney-based, creative hotshop that could bring kudos as well as clients. How many of those do you think there are?

Anonymous said:

Glue.

Anonymous said:

rumour has it.......Host.

Anonymous said:

@11:43... you've gotta be kidding, he couldn't borrow enough ideas to do that

Anonymous said:

Martin Sorrell

Anonymous said:

The agency in question is indeed Host.

But one wonders how they could be classified as a Hot Shop?

Their 'difference' has always been that they could bring in the best freelancers.

Until recently they had no creative department. Until recently they did quite cool work.

So what do they have to sell?

A bunch of suits and the phone numbers of some good creatives who don't want to work at an agency like Saatchi's?

Or are they guaranteeing the Glue Boys are part of the package?

Anonymous said:

speak english, bitches

Anon said:

The unfortunate reality is that Saatchi & Saatchi is an agency (and Network) in decline. It has been for a long time. Sydney has been a story of snakes and ladders, though more snakes than ladders. There was a bright spot that lasted a short period of time between 2003-2007 when Jim O'Mahony and David Nobay were at the helm, but post Nobby's departure it has steadily slid backwards.

Acquiring a hot shop is a yet another band-aid to a problem stemming from a lack of leadership, vision and above all else, substance. If it is 3DM, the boys should know better, they've lived through it once and I can sure as hell put money on the fact that it isn't any different now to what it was then. And if it's Host, well, two empty vessels don't suddenly make a whole.

Anonymous said:

I thought the rot started when Bartley had the bit between her teeth

Anonymous said:

8.09, agree with you wholeheartedly. The question remains who and how? Would said hotshop simply operate as is as a member of Publicis group or would they be merged and swallowed by Saatchi's? If the latter, they would then be subject to all the same foibles that have seen S&S decline, or rather freefall over the last three years - salary freezes, hiring freezes. Would be like killing the healthy chicken to make chicken soup for the sick one.

Anonymous said:

Of course it would include Glue - they're co-owners.

Anonymous said:

And if it includes the Glues, then where does that leave Revolver and Will O'Rourke? The new in-house production company for Saatchis? There was a time, when Nobby was at the helm that nearly every creative project of any substance was Steve Rogers' to direct, so history repeats itself?

Much food for thought, and the speculative wheel keeps turning.

Anonymous said:

4:27, I’ve freelanced at the monkeys recently and, yes, it has been a bit of a ,shitfight,. But let me tell you why. I was there after the agency parted ways with Foxtel and the founders held an all staff meeting to announce that there will be no redundancies. There will, however, be a "shitfight" ahead because they all need to rally together to replace the lost revenue. You may have heard that they’ve since won Ikea and Smirnoff in a matter of months and the place is now buzzing about the creative opportunities with these brands. Now, most multi-nationals would bullet their staff without thinking about it after parting ways with an account the size of Foxtel, but that’s not how the monkeys roll. I certainly hope they’re not the ones talking to Saatchis because it’s like slimy oil and water. And I’m also still hoping the bastards will give me a full time gig. It’s one of the only agencies I’d want to work at in this country.

Anonymous said:

Naked.

Sydney SP bookie said:

Happy Soldiers - 5/1

US Sydney - 9/1

Host - 14/1


Another bookie said:

Host/Glue $1.14

Anonymous said:

Three facts:
1 Buying revenue simply doesn't work.
2 Buying local hotshops to merge into decidedly cold multinationals DEFINITELY doesn't work.
3 Lovely though they are buying Happy Soldiers wont solve anyone's problems (but would kill the gentle flame they are starting to fan).
Its as if S&S have no corporate memory. A quick 'creative fix' is not what is needed. It will just mean they are in the same position two years down the track having wasted a lot of money and put a lot of people through hell.

Anonymous said:

@12:59

Your dazzling insight on the issue has just sent the odds for HS plummeting. If it's discovered that you're at Host/Glue or 3DM, your remarks could be flagged by ASIC as insider trading.

Rumour has it that Lynchy is holding the book on this one, and that it's in the tens of thousands already. The publicans are going to be sore as the punting is probably being done with creatives' beer money.

bondi said:

We won't sell out for less than 700 bucks. Cash only...

Anonymous said:

3DM - even.

Ted for Saatchi's said:

Ted for Saatchi's

My smelly two cent coin said:

I still remember when Saatchi's flew the whole agency to New Zealand for a christmas party. Now they don't even have a CD.

They had some of the best staff retention amongst creatives anywhere in the world. Most would stay for about a decade and when they left they'd place them in a Publicis or Saatchi office somewhere else in the world.

Since Nobby left, the creative department has been incredibly unstable.

Now. Hotshop as I see it means a small nimble outfit. My guess is Glue / Host, although Glue don't seem to be doing much at the moment. Happy Soldiers and Ward 6 may also be contenders, but they wouldn't have the clients to bring the lost revenue.

Pete & Tim would definitely put the rudder back on the ship, but they only have sunrice and the Conquistadors are already in there, but I don't think they're doing much.

My stupid guess?

CRC / CR. Think about it.

Be keen to find out, be even better if it adds digital capabilities to the team as well.

Anonymous said:

Aren't Host and 3DM too big for Saatchi's to buy? I don't know how many people work at Saatchis, but Host and 3DM each have 80-100+ people, so an acquisition would severely alter the culture of the parent agency... not to mention that Saatchi's only lost a handful of (admittedly quite valuable) talent

Anonymous said:

Yeah, except the whole point of the buy would be to 'severely alter the culture of the parent agency'.

Saatchi in Australia is broken. Can't win business, leaking clients, massive leadership vacuum. They don't just need to bring in one or two people (they could do that with a couple of hires) they need to start again.

So the buyout would be a reverse-takeover of sorts. Whoever they buy will be taking over the whole joint - not the reverse.

So size (aka host/glue) is what they need.

Anonymous said:

What would existing clients of the hotshop think? Surely if they wanted to deal with S&S they would have appointed them instead?

Anonymous said:

Colman Rasic.

Anonymous said:

9:22 is spot on. Reverse take-over is the solution.

Ginger power said:

I might be able to sell them one of my ginger testicles, if they ask nice

Groucho said:

Three Drunk Monkeys + Saatchi = Three Fucked Monkeys

Anonymous said:

What. The. Fuck.

book worm said:

my guess is Borders and Angus and Robertson.

Anonymous said:

At the price of bananas these days Monkeys selling out might look like a good idea. Remember though how they put the condoms on them in sex ed at school guys.

Anonymous said:


Dear Monkeys
If you want to sell go right ahead. You do good work. You've created a lot of jobs. You deserve every last $ you get. Who's to say you won't create more jobs and do better work if you sell. Good luck boys.

Anonymous said:

As the Sex Pistols said, "We're not selling out, we're cashing in."

Anonymous said:

Take the money and run boys !

Anonymous said:

People, people, calm down. Have you noticed that there's a question mark in the headline of this story? Campaign brief "has heard from well-connected sources" ... come on, it's all speculation until someone confirms it.

Anne Onymouse said:

It's not the April 1st yet is it?

Anonymous said:

People, people, calm down. Have you noticed that there's a question mark in the headline of this story? Campaign brief "has heard from well-connected sources" ... come on, it's all speculation until someone confirms it.

Anonymous said:

This would be a very GOOD idea for 3DM.
And a very BAD idea for Saatchi's.
Buying revenue and clients doesn't work.Never has, never will. Just a temporary bandaid.

Anonymous said:

Big question is: HOW MUCH?

Anonymous said:

the question mark is only there to prevent legal action - no other reason, just a little insurance.

Old CD guy said:

If Saatchis buy 3DM it won't be the first time that agency has acquired a start-up which was built by former staffers. In fact the similarities would be quite...er...similar. Those of you with long memories and industry knowledge will remember how Saatchis London bought Hedger Mitchell Stark in the early 80's to get back favourite son Jeff Stark, who returned in triumph to be joint CD of the 40 team creative department. Yes, 40 teams.

bondi said:

ok $500...

Anonymous said:

Saatchis bought here to start up originally...so nothing new.

Ex Saatchi management said:

It's the only way the monkey's would ever get another job at Saatchi's!!! Just saying.
What I love is that Saatchi's Regional Management let the Sydney Office fall to its knees by choking it to death. Well done on fcking up S&S Sydney.

Someone said:

KA BOOM

Anonymous said:

Three Rich Monkeys

Anonymous said:

pancakes

Anonymous said:

Interesting spin. Clearly it is Maurice Levy and the Publicis guys in France who will be doing the buying. As they do all over the world

Anonymous said:

pants have been dropped

Glazed Ham said:

It's hard to make a career in this business.

It's harder still to leave that career to start your own business.

And after that, it's really really hard to get bought out by a multinational.

And if you do get bought out, it's really really really hard to bump uglies with the bean counters and get yourself the right deal.

So if the guys have an offer and it suits them and they take it, the rest of us should marvel at the tightrope that they've just walked and applaud. Difficulty: 9.6.

If it's true, well done. More of it.

Anonymous said:

Absolutely. If this is the path monkeys well done. You are a credit to a low ball industry.

Anonymous said:

be nice to those little monkeys.... and by the way 3dm needs more office space so give em the rocks.

Financial Creative Idiot said:

Can some agency finance geek please tell me how you figure out a sale price of an agency? Is it based on current annual revenue x 'something' or the potential to earn more bucks + current revenue. If it's either of the above what are we looking at for 3DM if they have - say - $10m revenue (not billings)?

Finance Creative Genius said:

The formula is standard and simple:

Cash at Bank + T20 (Duckworth-Lewis) - 20 to 1 +CEO + ECD - sausages + AMG55 - YTD kpi +RTD + mujahadeen - LBW + omg X 22 +(txt) EADGBE (standard tuning) divided by ˆı◊ÏÏχfi›ÅϘ˛∏ˆÍÅ + underpants = SALE PRICE

Anonymous said:

and suddenly Saatchi's Sydney will be the place to work....hilarious, considering everyone thought they were through.

If is is the 3DM's (and I don't see any of the principals writing in here to deny it) it looks like they and Saatchi's are the winners.

And if they can do this without dropping anyone....well the whole industry should stand and applaud.

Yes they will be paid a lot of money....but why not? It means that Saatchi's will be come an instant powerhouse...

well done to all concerned.

finance guy said:

would be a multiple of EBIT I'd assume ... 5-8x EBIT maybe more depending how much they need it

Anonymous said:

Its a done deal with 3DM. All bets off.

Anonymous said:

10.34, that has to be the blog comment of the year!!! Absolute Platinum.

Anonymous said:

@finance guy

in this environment would you really get a multiple of 5?

I would have thought 3

10:34, who used to be a writer at Saatchis said:

Thank you, 9:56.

Anonymous said:

Might have been a better idea not to have run the place into the ground to start with.
Certainly a hell of a lot cheaper.

Anonymous said:

Problem is not S&S Sydney, it's Publicis. No matter how you slice it, Monkey & Monkey would end up governed by the same regional policies that has seen S&S decay over the last two years.

Anonymous said:

All staff meeting at 4pm. Done deal?

Please let it be 'Drunk' something... said:

Yes, but what are they going to be called??

Anonymous said:

Maurice, Charles and Friends

Anonymous said:

@ 2.19

That'd be a surprise. Particularly to Maurice and Charles.

Anonymous said:

'monkeyleaks'

Anonymous said:

Officially no sale.

Anonymous said:

Close, but no bananas.

Anonymous said:

Good call Monkeys. Go it alone.

Anonymous said:

Monkeys didn't sell!

Groucho said:

Well it's good to see the Monkeys were not pissed enough to sacrifice their talents on the altar of mediocrity.

Anonymous said:

Well this was a giant bum steer. Ripped...

Anonymous said:


Let's get this baby up and running again.

I'm tipping HOST.

Anonymous said:

Prediction - both agencies will regret this falling through. S&S because they are already in the s*#t - 3DM because it will start them on the inevitable 'no longer small or a sexy start up' slide

Anonymous said:

Hey, I was saying HOST on March 8.

I still think it's them.

Anonymous said:

Given their track record I can't see Publicise seriously investing in S&S Australia. Why would they? They'll just let it find its own level. That's why they have a group - so when ones down hopefully one of the others will be up. Depressing but true.

Anonymous said:

Has anyone else noticed a distinct lack of publicity around S&S's new Toyota campaign? Which is a shame, as I'd like to hear some feedback on it as it aint too bad at all.

Anonymous said:

So, what happened in the all-staff meeting at 4 on Monday, 12:52?

Anonymous said:

4.14: Calm down Jacko. All in good time.

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