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M&C Saatchi expands into Brazil with Santa Clara stake

M&C Saatchi worldwide has bought a stake, presumably a minority, in Brazilian creative agency Santa Clara.

Headed by CEO Ulisses Zamboni and CCO Fernando Campos, Santa Clara is headquartered in Sao Paulo. Brazil is top of every agency’s wish list as host of the next Olympics in 2016 although the Brazilian economy has struggled since the financial crisis of 2008.

Santa Clara’s revenues have increased by 50 per cent in the past four years and it has won awards at the Cannes Lions, The One Show, the Effies, and Prêmio De Mídia among many others. Clients include Timberland, Cartoon Network and Grupo Boticario.

Ulisses Zamboni, partner and CEO at Santa Clara CEO Zamboni (pictured below with Campos and M&C worldwide boss Moray MacLennan) says: “Due to the robust growth of the agency over recent years, we felt the need to increase our competitive edge locally by this partnership with an international network. M&C Saatchi will help us to increase our technical capabilities in the digital segment, mobile, CRM and in activation programmes. But most importantly, being part of M&C Saatchi allows us to work locally, in our own way, without losing our identity.”
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M&C Saatchi Worldwide CEO Moray MacLennan says: “Alex Ferguson said that he never wanted to buy a player that another club wanted to sell and that is the same approach we take when finding a partner. Santa Clara didn’t want to sell their agency, they wanted to join our Network. Brazil is a top five market in both ad spend and creativity which is why we were so intent on making this investment. M&C Saatchi has at its core clarity of thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit both of which are reflected in Santa Clara.”

Earlier this year M&C Saatchi purchased a majority stake in Ben-Natan Golan in Tel Aviv, Israel. The agency also invested in SS+K in New York in November 2014 and bought Lean Mean Fighting Machine in the UK. M&C now has 23 offices in 20 countries in its global network, mostly recruited through minority stakes.

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