‘Outstanding’ Lida axed and folded into M&C agency

LidaLida, once described as the “outstanding” division of the M&C Saatchi group, is joining the extensive list of direct marketing agency brands which have been consigned to the dustbin of history, following the decision to axe the brand and merge the business into the main UK agency.

The move follows a torrid 18 months for M&C, which has seen half the board resign following an as-yet-resolved accounting scandal, that in turn has also triggered the loss of the NatWest ad account.

Lida chiefs Victoria Fox and Matthew Heath have also gone, while, more recently, scores of staff have quit after M&C offered voluntary redundancy to the entire agency.

M&C will now relaunch as a fully integrated shop, led by former group managing director Camilla Kemp, who becomes CEO, and Lida chief creative officer Ben Golik, who will take on the same title.

Lida chief executive Jonathan Goodman, who moved back from the agency’s New York office in November 2018 to take on the role vacated by Fox, and M&C Saatchi managing director Tom Firth will remain part of the leadership team.

Their exact roles have yet to be determined, however, chief marketing officer Kate Bosomworth is leaving.

M&C Saatchi’s worldwide chief executive Moray MacLennan 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.”

Lida’s US and Australian offices remain unaffected by the merger.

The Lida brand, first conceived by Lisa Thomas and Dave Harris over 20 years ago, now joins the long list of agencies which have shuffled off this mortal coil, including Partners Andrews Aldridge, OgilvyOne, Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, Archibald Ingall Stretton, GGT Direct, EHS Brann, Chemistry, Colleagues Direct Marketing, Limbo, Tequila Payne Stracey, Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel, Claydon Heeley Jones Mason, Harrison Troughton Wunderman, Hicklin Slade, and, of course, WWAV.

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