LIDA brand to disappear as it merges with M&C Saatchi

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by David Prior

Creative agency M&C Saatchi and customer agency LIDA are to merge, creating a 225-strong integrated agency that will sit "at the heart" of M&C Saatchi UK Group.

The announcement comes at the end of a troubled year for M&C Saatchi, which opened a voluntary redundancy programme following the loss of the NatWest account that saw CEO Giles Hedger and Chief Creative Officer Justin Tindall leave the business.

The merged agency will be led by current Group Managing Director of M&C Saatchi, Camilla Kemp, who will now take on the role of CEO. Ben Golik, who is currently Chief Creative Officer of LIDA, will become M&C Saatchi’s new Chief Creative Officer.

The 20-year-old agency brand LIDA will disappear and Kate Bosomworth, Chief Marketing Officer of M&C Saatchi, will be leaving the business.

However, the agency said that no more job cuts were planned following the voluntary programme.

The merged agency will offer a broader range of skillsets including tech and innovation, partnership marketing, customer experience and data analytics.

Moray MacLennan, Worldwide CEO at M&C Saatchi, said: “The bringing together of data, creativity and technology is now table stakes. What will differentiate the new M&C Saatchi is a focus on the frontiers of change, and the business leadership talents of Camilla and Ben. They have complementary skillsets and natural chemistry. We’re excited for the future.”

New CEO Camilla Kemp added: “It's an incredible honour to lead the renewed M&C Saatchi. We have extraordinarily talented people in both businesses and I’m excited that together this team will be able to offer clients broader, richer creative answers to meet the demands they face at a time of unprecedented change.”

The existing management of both agencies, including Jonathan Goodman and Tom Firth, will remain part of the leadership team of the new agency.

LIDA's US and Australian offices remain unaffected by the merger.

Pictured: The new agency's Chief Creative Officer Ben Golik and CEO Camilla Kemp