John Hegarty on working in the advertising world, and with Charles Saatchi

Speaking during this year’s Cannes Lions advertising and communications festival, Hegarty recalled how within two weeks into his time at Benton & Bowles, the creative director approached him and told him about a new writer to collaborate with: Charles Saatchi.

Charles Saatchi and his brother Maurice are the co-founders of Saatchi & Saatchi, a global creative communications firm that has more than 110 offices in 67 countries. Saatchi & Saatchi is now part of the Publicis Groupe, one of the world’s largest communications group.

“So Charlie and I started working together. But that’s the point: my first big — in a way — break was working with Charlie. We had a fantastic team together and we did some great stuff,” Hegarty recalled, explaining how it was a name that “everybody knows.”

Reminiscing about his business partnership with Saatchi, Hegarty said that they made a great team, and learned a lot from one another. In fact, in 1970 Saatchi went onto create the start-up advertising agency with his brother Maurice in London, and Hegarty was invited to join them in the venture — so Hegarty became a founding partner of the now global company.

However, as history shows, Hegarty didn’t spend the rest of his career at Saatchi & Saatchi. In 1973, the advertising executive went onto help set up another advertising group, TBWA, in London — taking on the role of creative director.

“I loved working with Charlie, I thought he was fantastic, but in the end it was always going to be his gig and quite rightly, he founded it, why shouldn’t it be? And so I thought I want to make my own mark, I want to do things my way because I have a slightly different point of view,” said Hegarty.

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