School Reports 2012: DraftFCB

In 2010, DraftFCB was at the centre of a global account realignment when its London office benefited from its network's capture of the Beiersdorf account.

Recent work from DraftFCB - Nivea
Recent work from DraftFCB - Nivea

Score: 5

Agency fact file: Draftfcb

Type of agency Integrated
Company ownership Interpublic
Key personnel Kate Howe president
  Martin Talks president, digital
  Mark Fiddes executive creative director
  Phil Nunn communications planning architect
  Mark Young chief finance officer and chief operating officer
Nielsen billings 2011 £39m
Nielsen billings 2010 £16m
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 26
Accounts won 2 (biggest: Hyundai)
Accounts lost 2 (biggest: SC Johnson)
Number of staff 160 (+33%)

Last year, it was time to see the other side of the coin, when it lost its long-standing SC Johnson client as part of a realignment out of the US.

The year started off well for DraftFCB, with solid work for clients such as the Jamaican Tourist Board hitting the market. Sadly for the agency, its efforts on this account weren't enough to stave off a review for the business, called later in the year.

The agency's first work for Beiersdorf's Nivea failed to set pulses racing. The global campaign was the brand's biggest ever, worth EUR1 billion in spend, which promoted 100 years of the skincare brand; sadly, its execution won't live long in the memory.

Apart from SC Johnson, DraftFCB performed adequately in new-business terms, landing the Hyundai digital and CRM business, as well as digital media from Furniture Village.

The past year has seen DraftFCB invest in people, with the appointment in June of TBWA's executive media director, Phil Nunn, as its first head of communications planning. DraftFCB also appointed Rob Nielsen from Saatchi & Saatchi as the global executive creative director on Beiersdorf.

The acquisition of the digital agency Blue Barracuda has also seen the agency's head count rise to 160. While investing in people and digital capabilities seems a smart move for DraftFCB, it is too soon to judge whether this has paid off. It's hoped that such moves will inject vigour and differentiation into the DraftFCB offer as it looks to compete against stronger rivals.

Score last year: 6

How DraftFCB rates itself: 7

"After the £700 million win of Beiersdorf's global business in 2010, 2011 was a year of momentum. In May, we launched our first integrated global brand campaign, which saw Beiersdorf's share price increase. The acquisition of Blue Barracuda grew digital expertise and brought in Pizza Hut, eBay and Roche. Communications planning was established with the arrival of Phil Nunn, closely followed by winning the digital and CRM business for Hyundai, and digital media for Furniture Village."

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