School Reports 2014: M/SIX

The Sun
The Sun

Score: 7  Last year: 6

Last year was a bumper one for M/SIX, with billings up 36 per cent and seven new clients in the bag. The fact that it now handles 23 accounts worth media billings pushing £150 million will probably come as a surprise to many.

If 2012 was the year M/SIX came of age, then 2013 saw it stepping out on its own. The chief executive, Jess Burley, is eager to stress that M/SIX’s historic ties with its bigger sibling Mindshare have been severed. There are no longer shared services and the agencies have even been known to pitch against each other.

The fact that M/SIX was born in the past five years means it has avoided any legacy operational headaches and digital has always been at its core. It launched a new service in the fast-growing programmatic space and now offers data management platform and demand-side platform management and content strategy.

TalkTalk became the largest programmatic advertiser in the UK, and M/SIX’s work for Carphone Warehouse drew plaudits from Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, who cited it as "the best commercial use" of the social network during a company conference. M/SIX also worked on some striking campaigns for News UK, including for The Sun.

Everyone is enjoying the success, with a quarter of M/SIX’s 65 staff receiving promotions in 2013. Last year also saw the appointment of Dan Harris and Ross Barnes as the joint managing directors to run the UK operation, David Stopforth as the managing director for North America and Kevin Rooney as the managing director for Asia-Pacific.

The ambitious shop is hoping to build strongly on last year’s wins, which included Under Armour, PruHealth and Brightsolid, and has sights set on another 30 per cent growth this year. Watch this space.

How M/SIX rates itself: 8

M/SIX's year in a Tweet: M/SIX 2013. Billings +36%, Clients +7. TalkTalk: biggest RTB advertiser in UK. Global recognition from Sheryl Sandberg for CPW. #bringon2014

M/SIX
Type of agency Media
Company ownership 50% Group M; 50% CHI & Partners
Key personnel Jess Burley chief executive
Dan Harris joint managing director
Ross Barnes joint managing director
Andy Bellis director of data and analytics
Marc Caulfield director of acquisition
Declared income £148.9m
Total accounts at year end 23
Accounts won 7 (biggest: Brightsolid)
Accounts lost 0
Traditional 67%
Digital 33%
Number of staff 65 (+8%)

Score key: 9 Outstanding 8 Excellent 7 Good 6 Satisfactory 5 Adequate 4 Below average 3 Poor 2 A year to forget 1 Survival in question

Footnote: *indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.

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