M&C Saatchi’s direct agency Lida is set to expand globally, opening its first oversees office in Australia followed at a later date with an operation in Sweden.
Lida Sydney will be spearheaded by M&C Saatchi Sydney’s managing partner, Christine Gardner, whose industry experience has been mainly in CRM, including managing director roles with established agencies including Ogilvy and Wunderman Australia.
She will be joined by creative director Al Mackie, who will switch over from Lida’s UK agency.
The move will see M&C Saatchi’s existing digital, data and direct business Mark folded into Lida Australia with all staff employed in the new entity that will operate out of the main agency’s office.
The launch was first revealed in notes released to shareholders before this week’s AGM. The note reads: “Following our policy of exporting the company’s successful brands, Lida is opening in Australia and Sweden.”
M&C’s Australian operation is having what the company describes as a “stellar year”, having picked up business from IAG, Lexus and Crimestoppers.
Meanwhile, details about the Swedish offshoot are slightly sketchy, although Lida is likely to use its Ikea Family loyalty club account – which it scooped in July 2010 – as a springboard to enter the market.
The Lida UK executive board comprises (left to right) chief executive Victoria Fox, chairman Matthew Heath, chief operating officer Louise Whitcombe and creative director Nicky Bullard.
UPDATE: This story has been altered following a cock-up at M&C Saatchi which reported Lida UK had also won the Odeon Cinemas CRM business, a move it subsequently denied.
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