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M&C Saatchi loses NETS after payment company drops creative account

Singapore e-payments giant Network for Electronic Transfers has dropped M&C Saatchi as its creative agency of record after calling a major pitch earlier this year.

The company has decided to axe the creative brief altogether for the S$1.5 million marketing account and instead has appointed Landor as its strategic brand lead and Markers and Brushes as its below-the-line agency.

A spokesman for NETs said the company “dropped the ‘creative agency role’ as it wants to keep its options open to work with different agencies for key creative campaign efforts”.

The spokesman added that M&C had pitched for the both accounts of strategic brand lead and social agency, the latter of which is still to be decided.

In addition, Havas Media was also retained as NETs’ media planning and buying agency. All agency campaigns will roll out in 2018.

Since March 2016, NETS had just worked with M&C Saatchi and Havas on creative and media respectively. However, the company decided to split the accounts into four separate responsibilities with a total marketing value of S$1.5 million.

When the pitch was first announced, NETs announced the budget would be divided up as follows:

Strategic brand agency – budget: $250,000
Social engagement agency – budget: $150,000
Creative production (BTL) agency – budget: $100,000
Media agency – media booking value $1 million

It is unknown whether these budgets still stand as NETs previously said it would be “advantageous” for the creative production agency to have a ‘competitive rate card’.

Upon the pitch’s announcement, NETS’ head of strategic marketing and communications Shabirin Ariffin said: “As NETS develops and promotes digital payment solutions for everyone in Singapore, we want to reflect a similarly digitally focused effort in our marketing activities. We look forward to partnering with agencies which are keen to work with us to drive the Smart Nation vision in Singapore.”

M&C Saatchi recently saw success when its Japan office won the global branding account for Japan Airlines.

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