EXCLUSIVE: New CFO for M&C Saatchi Abel Group
The M&C Saatchi Abel Group has appointed Graham Mears as its new chief financial officer (CFO). Mears has over two decades’ worth of experience as a chartered accountant in the financial/marketing industry, with the last four spent at J. Walter Thompson South Africa as group CFO.
With 2019 predicted to be a tough year financially for South Africa and, consequently, agencies and their clients, Mears believes that, while most agencies are engaged in cutting staff costs and juniorising their talent, this strategy will result in a race to the bottom. “The product suffers and therefore clients’ ROI is poor; clients’ response is to put pressure on the fee, which leads to further agency staff juniorisation and so the downward spiral continues,” he says. He will therefore promote a strategy of investment in the best talent to solve clients’ business problems.
“Last year, most clients cut marketing spend and delayed initiatives, but this can’t go on forever and the wheel will begin to turn in 2019,” predicts Mears. “Business has to happen; the entrepreneur will come to the fore and things will start moving again. M&C Saatchi Abel has remained resilient through the tough times, thanks to its enduring approach of creating beautifully simple solutions for a complex world and will be well-positioned to benefit from any upturn in the economy.”
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