PITCHES AND TROUGHS. 100 BEST STORIES.
This is a ‘trough’ story of epic proportion. It still resonates in the corridors of 80 Charlotte St, the London office of Saatchi & Saatchi, some fifteen or so years later. This version is authenticated by its hero David Kershaw, now heading up M & C Saatchi, but at the time of our story managing Saatchi & Saatchi.
The setting a large conference room . The players. On one side the senior marketeers from BT, then as now, one of the UK’s largest advertisers. On the other, the agency’s star team pitching their creative campaign.
Halfway through the presentation it became clear that things were not going as well as hoped. This prompted Kershaw, a man of both eloquence and erudition, to scribble a note to one of his colleagues. It read “the c*** in the glasses looks like trouble”
Before the end of the meeting the agency was asked to leave the room before returning for a summing up. The note was not mentioned and only subsequently, via the pages of Marketing Week, did it become clear the words had indeed found their mark. Perhaps not surprisingly, the agency did not win the business.
However this story has a happy ending. Some months later BT invited the agency to pitch for a further part of their business. Kershaw, deciding discretion the better part of valour, stood himself down from the presentation. This meant he missed the BT team all of whom turned up wearing glasses.
And Saatchis won the pitch!