Saatchi & Saatchi commits to opening up the advertising industry with Saatchi Ignite, Saatchi Open and Saatchi Home

Initiatives are part of a commitment designed to open up the advertising industry to people with different perspectives, experiences and backgrounds

As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, Saatchi & Saatchi is launching a new roadmap designed to improve entry into the advertising industry for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority talent, and those from low social mobility backgrounds. 

Saatchi & Saatchi was founded in 1970 by two brothers, the sons of Iraqi Jews who escaped persecution in Iraq to come to Britain. Despite being outsiders to the industry, they created an ad agency and revolutionised the industry, with the belief that as long as you could marry Chutzpah (meaning the ‘quality of audacity’) with potential, then ‘Nothing is Impossible’.  

Saatchi & Saatchi is transforming this founding ethos into future action with the launch of Saatchi Ignite, Saatchi Open and Saatchi Home, a suite of programmes aimed at inspiring, enabling and progressing more diverse talent from across the UK.

Sam Hawkey, CEO at Saatchi & Saatchi said: “The brief we gave ourselves is that our solutions need to be as systemic as the problems, and we should be clear that we are only at the start of this journey. It is an ambition to create real change and ensure our efforts are sustainable and robust for the long term. We’re drawing on the experience of our people but also of our clients, external experts and partners, in order to create programmes that are designed to evolve and grow in strength, reach and impact over time.

“We want to celebrate the power of the outsider in our history, and hardwire it into our future as well.”

Saatchi Ignite

Saatchi Ignite is a school outreach programme designed to inspire and inform students across the UK about the power of creativity and their own potential in the creative industries. Saatchi & Saatchi will be providing bespoke curriculum learning, digital and in-person resources, career information and mentoring to students through legacy partnerships with schools across the UK.

Saatchi & Saatchi has confirmed its first partnership and a seven-year commitment with Harris Academy Greenwich, part of one of the largest academy networks in the UK, the Harris Federation. The blueprint, curriculum resources and tools created for Harris Academy, for students in Year 7 to Year 13, are designed to be shared and utilised at any school and by any student in the UK.  

Georgina Charles, assistant principal at Harris Academy Greenwich said: “We know an ambitious curriculum and high quality of education is the passport to social mobility in the UK and is central to our pupils leading happy and successful lives. We also recognise that beyond the school doors a lack of income, connections, resource and support poses a huge challenge for our young people setting out to build a career. 

“Saatchi Ignite will provide our teachers with the expert tools to prepare students for a changing world, it will inspire our young people to pursue careers they previously were unaware of and it will nurture and develop creative skills needed to succeed in the creative industry and beyond. Saatchi & Saatchi’s commitment to a long-term partnership with Harris Academy Greenwich has the potential to change the lives of our pupils and therefore, make a huge impact on our community.”

Saatchi Open

Saatchi Open is an entry level programme which recognises that the next generation of talent will  likely want more flexibility, freedom and autonomy from their careers. Built to work in collaboration with expert partners such as Brixton Finishing School and Commercial Break, Saatchi Open will also utilise the Open Apprenticeship scheme* from Publicis Groupe UK to discover talent. 

Saatchi Open will take on six people every year in entry level roles engineered to set them up for future venture success by providing mentoring, business planning support, commercial backing and access to clients and their briefs, with support confirmed from Direct Line, BT and EE.  

Candidates will also have the opportunity to build their own venture within the Saatchi & Saatchi network, giving those with entrepreneurial ambition the opportunity to build a business in London or in their home towns across the UK, with ongoing business support from Saatchi & Saatchi leadership.  

Saatchi Home

In partnership with LHA (London Hostel Association), Saatchi Home will also provide tiered affordable accommodation in Zones 1-3 for interns, Saatchi Open candidates and junior team members. Saatchi Home is supported by the Advertising Association and is designed to be a blue print for the industry in removing barriers to entry – one of those being affordable housing in London.

Saatchi Home Tier 1: Rent-free / heavily subsidised accommodation for interns who live outside of London.

Saatchi Home Tier 2: Subsidised accommodation for Saatchi Open candidates.

Saatchi Home Tier 3: Preferential rates for all junior agency talent below a set salary threshold.

Sarah Jenkins, managing director at Saatchi & Saatchi added: “We want our industry and the world to change, not just our business and are making a promise that we will always be open on our progress, data and critically, on our lessons learned, in order to share a blueprint for success that can be replicated, at scale, by partners and competitors alike.”  

Source: Saatchi & Saatchi

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