M&C Saatchi appoints Rich Edwards as Head of Planning

Rich Edwards back at M&C Saatchi - Mediashotz

M&C Saatchi has bolstered its customer capability with the appointment of Rich Edwards as Head of Planning for its O2 business. 

Prior to a short break from agency life, Edwards was most recently Executive Strategy Director at creative agency Iris, where he built and ran the integrated strategy team in London, and led the development of the agency’s approach to customer and brand experience. 

As part of the role, he oversaw customer, loyalty, digital and innovation strategy for KFC, and also led planning for clients including Formula E, Suzuki and Haven Holidays.

Rich Edwards

A customer specialist, Edwards also has a proven track record in connecting customer strategy with the overall brand experience, from communications through to service design.

Edwards previously spent nearly eight-and-a-half years at M&C Saatchi Group customer agency LIDA, which merged with M&C Saatchi in January 2020, holding various account handling and planning roles between 2004 and 2012. 

He was part of the LIDA pitch team which originally won the O2 business.

In his new role at M&C Saatchi, Edwards will work to further strengthen the agency’s already well-established customer proposition. ensuring that it continues to be renowned for customer-first thinking. 

He will lead strategy for the agency’s O2 business, developing industry-leading thinking on how to create and maintain valuable customer relationships.

Edwards will manage the team of strategists working on the O2 account.

He started his career in a brand management role at LV= and has also spent time at agencies RKCR/Y&R and Blast Radius.

The announcement follows Ogilvy’s Chris Jones joining M&C Saatchi as Managing Partner for the O2 business earlier this year. 

The former Head of Brand and Online at AXA, Jones brings strong brand and customer engagement experience, having overseen award-winning work at Ogilvy One, Kitcatt Nohr Digitas and Archibald Ingall Stretton, working with leading brands including Apple, John Lewis, Samsung and Starbucks.

Following its merger with LIDA, M&C Saatchi has established a significant customer capability. 

The agency’s recent work in that space includes the development of customer and loyalty propositions for Costa, and helping to transform Experian’s customer offering using a smart approach to its new tech platform.

M&C Saatchi also has expertise in designing and optimising customer experiences. 

Recent projects include the launch of the Department of Work and Pensions new JobHelp service, a digital tool for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. which enables people to search for those who died in the two world wars in their area, and a digital platform for Visit Iceland, which allowed visitors to record their lockdown-inspired screams of frustration, to be played back on speakers across Iceland.

Camilla Kemp, CEO, M&C Saatchi, said: “We’re delighted that Rich has chosen to return to the M&C Saatchi family. 

“Not only does he have deep customer expertise, but he also brings a much broader, more connected view of communications, which will help us to bring brand and customer thinking together for our clients.

“Like Chris Jones, who became part of the team earlier this year, Rich is joining at a hugely important time for O2, and he will play a pivotal role in building on its commitment to be customer-first as it joins forces with Virgin Media.”

Edwards added: “I’m really excited to return to Golden Square and join M&C Saatchi, to help deliver and create ideas that make change for brands.

“Having been part of the pitch team that originally brought O2 to M&C Saatchi Group, it’s fantastic to be working with the brand again at such an important moment for their business.”