Jeremy Sinclair

Founding Director of M&C Saatchi

Tom Holmes

Founder & Chairman Creativebrief



Tom Holmes talks to Jeremy Sinclair, founding director of M&C Saatchi, about his new book 'Brutal Simplicity of Thought' and the success of the Saatchi brand.

Jeremy was one of the founders of Saatchi & Saatchi, he became chairman of the UK agency in 1982 and was appointed chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi International in 1986. He later became executive creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide and Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi plc.

M&C Saatchi is a global marketing services business working for clients across a wide variety of industry sectors. The Company was founded in 1995. Starting with a strong base in the UK and Australia, it has added new agencies and disciplines in Asia, USA and Europe, employing over 1,250 staff in 19 countries.


Creativebrief: What is the secret behind Saatchi’s success and brand endurance?

Jeremy Sinclair: Brutal Simplicity of Thought

Creativebrief: What campaigns best demonstrate the brutal simplicity of thought?

Jeremy Sinclair: Over the years, in no particular order, Conservative Party, Silk Cut, Dixons, BA at times, launch, our Australian office’s ads for Rentlo, ANZ and Qantas.

Creativebrief: Why do you think agencies are generally so poor at marketing themselves?

Jeremy Sinclair: Not sure they are. The idea is to promote the clients.

Creativebrief: What other agency brands do you respect and why?

Jeremy Sinclair: Difficult, there are bits of many that do good stuff.

Creativebrief: What’s your secret to winning new business?

Jeremy Sinclair: You’ve guessed it, BSOT 

Creativebrief: What are your thoughts on pitching?

Jeremy Sinclair: Love it.

Creativebrief: How do you increase the odds of success?

Jeremy Sinclair: Always and only do what you like.

Creativebrief: Is there a particular type of client you tend to attract?

Jeremy Sinclair: Like attracts like. We tend to get clients who like to think the way we do

Creativebrief: What have you done that makes you the most proud?

Jeremy Sinclair: Starting Saatchi & Saatchi, then M&C Saatchi and the work that made Saatchi the brand that it is.

Creativebrief: Anything else?

Jeremy Sinclair: Recently we were thrilled to see our first ever book in print. The company’s exhibition at the V&A last month was also great fun because again, it was our first.

Creativebrief: If you were to ask Maurice the same question, what would he say?

Jeremy Sinclair: Same

Creativebrief: What do you hate about the marketing communications industry right now?

Jeremy Sinclair: The rise of procurement. If I really thought that what we all do for a living could be bought like a sack of potatoes, I’d jack it in.

Creativebrief: What do you love about the marketing communications industry right now?

Jeremy Sinclair: The freedom and possibilities that the digital revolution has created. I am writing this for you from a thousand kilometres away, in the sun.

Creativebrief: Do you think the marketing’s contribution to society, culture and the economy is understood or appreciated?

Jeremy Sinclair: Not sure it needs to be. We are supposed to be in the back room, noiselessly sweating away for our clients. How do you create the world’s most powerful nation?

Creativebrief: If you were responsible for marketing the UK marketing communications industry, what would you say?

Jeremy Sinclair: You are resting on wilting laurels.

Creativebrief: Is your network as big now as you want it to be?

Jeremy Sinclair: Almost, we can cover most places, but if there is any client requirement to be somewhere, we’re there like a shot. Equally, if there are people out there desperate to start something, they should call us.

Creativebrief: What is the difference between starting S&S and starting M&C Saatchi?

Jeremy Sinclair: This network has been built almost entirely by backing start-ups. We find people who want to be us somewhere and back them. This way we attract people who are naturally entrepreneurial and want to run their own show. No one is here because they were bought. It is a marriage of love not convenience, not arranged or forced by money – although we hope everyone does very well out of it.