Exclusive: Nick Jacobs promoted to M&C Saatchi CSO

Nick Jacobs replaces Emily Taylor as M&C Saatchi CSO

Jacobs joined M&C as senior strategy director in 2019, and was promoted in 2021 to head of integrated strategy.

Nick Jacobs has been promoted to chief strategy officer of M&C Saatchi Australia and New Zealand, Mediaweek can reveal, three months after Emily Taylor left the post.

Jacobs will be report to M&C Saatchi CEO, Michael McEwan, effective immediately.

McEwan told Mediaweek: “We are thrilled to elevate Nick’s position in the business. His experience and credentials are exceptional and align beautifully with the on-going ambition for M&C Saatchi as we continue to embrace the optimum creative structure for our clients’ needs and evolving capabilities.”

Jacobs joined M&C as senior strategy director in 2019, and was promoted in 2021 to join Rachael Fraser as head of integrated strategy. 

In comments to Mediaweek, Jacobs said he’s enjoyed partnering with Steve Coll, who became the group CCO in March, along with Emma Robbins, ECD, and Scott Dettrick, the recently appointed national ECD, who joined from his previous role as creative director at The Monkeys in March.

“We are big admirers of the legacy M&C has created in building some of the most iconic and enduring brand platforms and effective campaigns. This is a legacy we very much want to continue, but believe the shape they take has the potential to continually evolve,” he said.

“We are fortunate in that the creative canvas has never been richer or more diverse and that opens up so many new ways to connect with customers and create meaningful experiences.”

Jacobs said his approach to the CSO role will ultimately boil down “to helping our clients maximise the value of the time they get to spend with their customers.”

“It’s a simple premise, but when you consider the time they get is atomised over an incredibly wide and fragmented communications ecosystem the challenge is a really interesting one to own. Fortunately at M&C Saatchi, we have one of the most diverse and capable strategic capabilities in the country so achieving that becomes one of creating meaningful connections across those capabilities, our clients businesses, and our creative teams.

“Strategy is an equal parts driver of effectiveness and creativity across all facets of the brand experience, not just the advertising.”

Prior to joining M&C, Jacobs was planning director at TBWA\Australia for three and a half years. He also served as a strategic planning director at George Patterson Y&R, as well as a strategic planner at BMF and Smart agency. Before that, Jacobs spent just over four years in Geneva, Switzerland, at FPP, initially as a senior strategic planner and then as planning director.

When she left the agency‘s CSO role in February, Taylor said: “It’s been a brilliant 3.5 years working with an epic bunch to build some of Australia’s best brands with our amazing clients. But it is time for a little break. So I’ve decided to say goodbye to M&C and hello to a bit of R&R.

“A big thank you to Justin Graham, my fellow exec, my marvellous strat team and the rest of the M&C legends for making it so much fun. I will pop my head up after a breather and when I have news on my next adventure.”

This week, M&C Saatchi Sydney restructured its creative department, which included the exit of group creative director, Sharon Edmondston after nine years at the agency.

Chief creative officer Cam Blackley left in October last year, subsequently replaced by Coll, who moved from Meta where he was head of creative shop for Australia and New Zealand. Blackley and Taylor both resigned from their roles with no immediate plans.  

M&C Saatchi is soon to lose one of its key clients, Tourism Australia, with the account up for pitch, and the incumbent failing to shortlist.

Endeavour Group is also putting its key accounts – BWS and Dan Murphy’s – to pitch, with M&C currently holding the BWS account.

Top Image: Nick Jacobs

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