After five controversial years Commonwealth Bank splits with Goodby Silverstein to return to Australia with M&C Saatchi Sydney appointment

Thumbnail image for Screen shot 2011-06-01 at 1.19.32 PM.jpgCommonwealth Bank has split with five year incumbent Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, appointing M&C Saatchi Sydney as the new lead advertising agency on its $100m account after an extensive pitch.

The nearly three month global agency review process was comprised of two stages; credentials and capability followed by a response to brief based on a large scale research project. The agencies involved in stage two were incumbent Goodby Silverstein & Partners, DDB and M&C Saatchi.
Goodby's won the business in April 2007, appointed by then marketing director Mark Buckman, a move that caused a storm of protest from the Australian ad industry at the time.

Says CommBank's Chief Marketing and Online Officer, Andy Lark (pictured above): "Throughout the process we saw outstanding strategic and creative thinking, delivered by what is clearly world-class talent, making this an extraordinarily tough decision. We are excited about working with Australian company, M&C Saatchi, as our new lead agency, subject to final contract negotiation, on what will be one of the major brand campaigns of 2012 and beyond.

"I want to thank the teams at both Goodby and DDB for the outstanding thinking they brought to the table, their professionalism and passion for Australia's leading Bank brand.

"Goodby Silverstein & Partners won the Commonwealth Bank business over four years ago and have lead the Bank's core creative work during a time in which Commonwealth Bank ascended to the #1 banking brand in Australia. Jeff and the team had established themselves as friends and valued partners to the Bank. Their impact will be felt well into the future."

"We will continue to refine our agency roster, possibly adding one or more of the agencies we worked with through the process for direct, product and segment-level work" said Lark.

CommBank's five year relationship with BMF, which held the DM side of the business, will cease at the end of June. Ikon Communications will continue to be the Bank's media agency.

Screen shot 2012-02-17 at 11.23.32 AM.jpgSays M&C Saatchi worldwide chairman Tom Dery: "We are excited by the opportunity to again work with a Big Four bank, especially one as large, prestigious and successful as Commonwealth Bank."

"(M&C Saatchi Australia Managing Director) David Whittle and the team did a first rate series of presentations throughout the pitch. We have a very strong and capable team with a great deal of banking experience."

M&C Saatchi regional creative director Asia Pacific Tom McFarlane (left) said: "We're looking forward to working on such a famous Australian brand".

53 Comments

DMac said:

Well done M&C, well deserved!

Pete said:

Great work M&C. That's a huge, huge win. Grats.

cool said:


Fucking awesome.

Well done. Back in Aus.

Show me the money said:

Go the Toms. You still got it!

Awesome said:

HUGE CONGRATS, M&C!!!
Well-deserved, I''m sure.
Seen some of your pitch docs after a win - and they're undeniably all-conquering.

Andrew said:

Amazing news for M&C! A well deserved result.

M&C said:


Congratulations to everyone involved in this. An incredible effort that took most of Christmas to do.

And here's to DDB. These things are always tough - but you're a great agency, and if you're going to win something, it pushes you harder when you're up against formidable opponents.

Mick Hunter said:

Well done guys, great to see it back here.

smasher said:

How is M&C Saatchi an "Australian" agency? It's listed on the London stock market and owned by Maurice and Charles Saatchi - who are Brits...

Daniel said:

Such a big win. Very impressive, M&C.

Dollar Bill. said:

A hard fought win. Well played M&C.

Taz said:


Go the Toms!

Still got it.

Angus said:

Not surprising they did the best bank work over the last decade - can they top it.

Olivier said:

What a way to kick off the weekend! M&C, congratulations. Kicking goals.

Meagan McDonald said:

Well done M&C. Congratulations on winning a tough brief.

Yelllow is the new black said:

Back on Australian soil like it ought to be. Great result. 'Onya M&C!

rebecca said:

Good one M&C!

Captain Jack said:

Massive win. M&C Saatchi sure knows how to mix it with the big end of town. Bet ya ANZ are shitting themselves, should never have let M&C go. Their ads have been shit since.

Northy said:

Well done Tom Tom,
Still kicking arse and taking names in the big pitch stakes.
Cheers,
Andrew

Peter said:

M&C are a machine when they pitch. Very scary opposition indeed. Well done guys. You did amazing work on ANZ only to have it yanked in favour of Simon Baker talking in an American accent. You deserve it for that......

Meagan said:

Well Done M&C

danielle said:

M&C's brought an iconic account back to our soil. Awesome news, guys!

Toia said:

Great for AUS!, M&C and all the newly employed. :)

Leezy said:


Well done lads and lassies of M&C - hard luck DDB - big win for Australian strategic smarts and cut-through creative edge all round.

The Mentalist said:

Simon Baker-Denny should've told ANZ this was going to happen. Oh wait...

Tom Moult said:

A big win. Well done to you Tom and Tom - from Tom

Ex M&Cer said:

Ooh maybe they'll bring back the gorgeous Paul Taylor!!!

Dan Higson said:

Awesome news, well done to everyone at M&C. Hurrah!

The watcher said:

Got the track record. Well deserved. Doubtless hard earned. Congrats

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie said:

Welcome home Commonwealth

M&C fan said:

Tom Mac is the best CD in Oz. He has been for nearly twenty years. No-one has done more to find and grow great Aussie creative talent. So on behalf anyone and everyone who loves creativity and the countless creatives who Tom picked from nowhere and helped make a star...'WELL DONE TOM!!!" You're the king.

HateANZ said:


I can imagine a few nervous clients in ANZ this morning.

They had campaign after campaign of genuinely great M&C bank work, dumped the agency for political reasons and now push out some of the blandest, safest, corporate, dull, American accented shite that even the public seem to hate.

And now, M&C are their opposition.

With a bank that has a mighty, mighty marketing spend.

What a lovely feeling it must be for M&C this morning.

Sick 'em Rex

Groucho said:

Well with time on their hands now Goodby could pitch for Telstra

Not Tom said:

I'm going to change my name to Tom

Geoff @WOW said:

Well done M&C a team effort Sydney & Melbourne.
Go Jo Rozario the best banking experience in this country.

Next teller said:

Fuck me, that's bout as big as it gets. The old boys at M&C Saatchi just don't know how not to hook the big ones. You gotta take your hat off to them.

Gav said:

Congrats to everyone at M&C. Great agency. Great people.

Come_Back_Kid said:

Congrats on CommBank, or as I call it "ComeBack". I've never witnessed some much
positivity and good vibes on CB's site before. There's alot of people at M&C who would be wondering what sort of Payrise could be justified with the news of this win. You would be asking for 50K, as the absolutely minimum. If you reckon you deserve it, today would be a good day to ask.

tom's beard said:

Great job... Well deserved ... they are a class act..

I'm ashamed to be Australian. said:

Wow. This Bank has just recorded a record profit. A profit which is enjoyed by Commonwealth Banks worldwide share holders.

What's best for THE BANK is best for THE BANK.

Yes, all Aussie. Hold on, M&C is owned and run by...?

Weeping Hole said:

From this side of the ditch, this is awesome. I agree, no one in Aus compares to these guys in a pitch. You are pretty blood good and deserve everything that falls your way.

comeback really? said:

Comeback kid it has to be said you're a tool. Comeback bank = bad pun, 50k? you write complete and utter garbage.

Well done to M&C though

GoGoGo said:

Hey "I'm ashamed" - maybe you should download an M&C Annual Report and check the ownership. TOM & TOM put their $ and heart into this business - they deserve this and more. And yes I do work at M&C, and am bloody proud of this achievement.

M&C fan said:

Quite right GoGoGo. People like "I'm ashamed" make me sick. Tom and Tom borrowed serious money to bankroll their equity in M&C. Little shits like "i'm ashamed" just put their hands out each week to people like the Toms [and all the others out there who take the risks to create the jobs] and do nothing but take,take,take. If anyone works harder than Tom Mac I've yet to meet them. That's why 99.9% of the comments here are nothing but positive about his and M&C's success.

Shut the front door said:

Great job, must have been an amazing team effort to get across the line. Well done DBB and GS Im sure you will have other great wins this year. But what an amazing win for M&C when they have had a pretty torid time in terms of accounts going to pitch....I am sure the weekend has just got a whole lot better for everyone involved, I don't even work there but find myself pretty stocked that they won.

Ex M&Cer said:

Congrats to all at M&C who've slaved over many a pitch in recent times. Well deserved. Always did the best bank work. Kick some ANZ arse

matt said:

awesome news. well done ladies and gets.

I'm ashamed to be Australian. said:

Wow. This Bank has just recorded a record profit. A profit which is enjoyed by Commonwealth Banks worldwide share holders.

What's best for THE BANK is best for THE BANK.

Yes, all Aussie. Hold on, M&C is owned and run by...?

KLFD said:

Congrats on all that hard work paying off!

fact said:

Good to have them back in Oz. but it does feed the kind of fee-cutting that's killing the industry.

fact said - rubbish said:

Dear 'Fact said',

There's not an agency in Australia that doesn't cut their fees in one way or another.

Go and ask D5 whether they'd dump Fosters if they were asked to reduce their fees by 5%.

Ask DDB if they'd dump McDonalds if they had to reduce their fees.

Ask Leo's if they wouldn't drop their fees to get McDonalds.

Ask The Monkeys if they charge some clients less than others.

Optus pays their agency 1.4 x staff costs - so why not ask Y&R and all the others lining up for that business if that's what they charge all their clients.

The last time I read M&C's publicly declared accounts they were making a profit; which is more than most agencies will do this year.

Them's the facts.


fact said said:

Ridiculous how my comment was edited by the blog.

marrianne said:

Back where that account belongs, on Australian soil!
Well done M&C!

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