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Here is another wise tale from Shaun Fay at


Hope you enoy


It seems our industry has more stories than a library.

But are they all true?

Legend has it that one of reasons Saatchi and Saatchi won the British Rail account was the way they treated their potential client.

During the pitch process S and S invited the big wigs of British Rail to a special presentation at their offices.

Saatchi’s kept them waiting in their shabby reception area and served them cold tea. As they waited, messages kept arriving informing them that the CD and CEO would ‘be here’ any minute.

Finally after waiting over an hour the British Rail Executives explored into anger and told the receptionist that Saatchi’s will never, ever be working for British Rail.

At that very moment the Saatchi’s team emerged and declared- “Well now you know how your customer’s feel- lets see what we can do to fix it!” Brilliant. Not only did they get the business they created one of the world’s best positioners for a transport company desperately trying to change. “British Rail We’re getting there”


Mike brunel

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Comment by Mike Brunel on November 13, 2011 at 1:39am

David ...


Just addition to the original story...small world

Comment by David Duffy on November 4, 2011 at 1:42am

Hi Shaun


I can tell you that the pitch happened almost exactly like that and that was nearly 30 years ago under Chairman of BR, Sir Peter Parker. The BR executives were kept waiting and were served warm tea in polystyrene cups. They were sitting on ripped and stained fabric couches in the reception area. There was rubbish on the floor and ash trays full of cigarette butts.  They were deliberately ignored and had to repaetedly ask where the Saatchi team were.  The attention to detail was important here as, unknown to BR, the pitch had begun the minute they walked through the door.


The BR team eventually left the building and were met at the foot of the steps by Maurice Saachi.  Whilst he delayed them reception was completely transformed. Maurice persuaded Sir Peter Parker to come back into the building and when he did he saw that the couch had been replaced with clean (wipe-clean) faux leather seating, there were cups and saucers (and hot tea), empty ash trays, etc. Saachi got the deal !

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