Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013)

Margaret Thatcher just died. RIP Maggie. She was a central personality in the first 25 year phase of the Saatchi & Saatchi story. The Brothers – Charles and Maurice Saatchi – were the Iron Lady’s communications advisers and activists during her rise to power and in two re-elections. They created advertising for the Conservative Party that devastated the sitting Labour Party. The “Labour Isn’t Working” poster of 1979 has been

called the most effective political advertisement ever created (kudos to young Saatchi & Saatchi copywriter Andrew Rutherford). Mrs Thatcher kept indifferent health in the past few years, but still had the spirit to steal the show as she did at the 40th birthday party of Saatchi & Saatchi in 2010 (at least I had her attention during my speech).

I had left the murky and melancholic shores of Great Britain in 1972 to pursue a dream of freedom, choice, opportunity, and prosperity – all the things that the UK didn’t stand for at the time. I cheered Margaret Thatcher on from the sidelines (I was based in the Middle East for P&G) because she stood unequivocally for a new equation – the aforesaid freedom, choice, opportunity, and prosperity.

Shimon Peres said of leadership: “When you have a chosen a destiny… never give up.” Margaret Thatcher was the embodiment of this.

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