Last week, M&C Saatchi celebrated 25 years of one of Australian advertising’s most influential and effective creative leaders, Tom McFarlane.
McFarlane – who brought the brand to the Australian market – has been responsible for M&C Saatchi’s most recognised clients and works, as well as some of Australia’s most iconic ad campaigns, including 100% Pure New Zealand, NRMADE better, CAN for Commbank and Etihad’s global Flying Reimagined platform.
The RMIT-graduate founded M&C Saatchi’s first international office with former colleague and account man, Tom Derry. “The Toms” quickly made a name for themselves and their agency, picking up 14 clients and an Agency of the Year title. Down the track, this would lead to 32 individual Agency of the Year titles and an Agency of the Decade crown.
McFarlane is best known for his work with Woolworths, holding the account for a collective 17 years and co-creating Woolworths’ highly fruitful Greenhouse model.
“Tom has led the implementation of brand platforms that have become highly recognisable like “That’s Why I Pick Woolies”, and most recently “That’s Today’s Fresh Food People”, building trust, connection and advocacy with our customers,” said Woolworths chief marketing officer, Andrew Hicks.
“We are tremendously grateful for Tom’s commitment and contribution to the Woolworths Brand and the Group more generally.”
McFarlane’s career was immortalised when he was inducted into the AWARD Hall of Fame in 2017, with then-AWARD-chair, Wilf Sweetland, describing Tom as having had “an impact like no other creative leader.”
M&C Saatchi AUNZ Group CEO Justin Graham said Tom was synonymous with the company’s decorated and phenomenal history.
“I am incredibly grateful not only that I have had the opportunity to work with such an iconic creative leader, I am also, like many others in the industry, grateful for his friendship,” he said.
“He has paved the way so that the Australian business has become one of the market’s most unique and successful operations. I thank him for his continued support, guidance and mentorship over the years.”
McFarlane is currently celebrating his silver jubilee with long-service leave, after which he will farewell M&C Saatchi in the first half of 2022.
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