School Reports 2015: Brothers and Sisters

Betfred
Betfred

Score: 6  Last year: 5

Was 2014 the year that Brothers and Sisters finally became less reliant on Sky? It seemed to be the case.

The agency kicked off with a boost to its billings – winning the £20 million account for the e-cigarette brand Skycig (but which called a review in February 2015) – but, by February, had lost its managing director, Juliet Haygarth, to BMB. It then went quiet for a couple of months.

In April, after the dust had settled on January’s spectacular falling out at BETC London, its former chief executive and co-founder, Matthew Charlton, was announced as Brothers and Sisters’ new chief executive, taking an equity stake in the business.  

Brothers and Sisters secured Betfred’s account in July and the global business for the mobile messaging platform Viber in October. This was followed by a potentially interesting digital and content brief for Carphone Warehouse after a pitch against Adjust Your Set, CHI & Partners and Karmarama.

Brothers and Sisters also opened a mobile and digital production company called Making, headed by its former digital director, Kevin Brown.

Work included an ad for Sky Sports to promote its new European football channel, Sky Sports 5, which featured David Beckham testing innovations from the broadcaster in a spy-style lab. It also recruited Idris Elba, the actor known for portraying Stringer Bell in The Wire, to front a spot about Sky’s on-demand service.

Last year was solid, but what Brothers and Sisters needs now is a piece of standout creative work and some more high-profile client names to move the agency on to the next level.

How the agency scores itself: 7

How the agency rates itself: 2014 may prove to be a turning-point year. We hired a new CEO, rebranded/repositioned ourselves and had a record new-business year. The Carphone Warehouse win gives us the opportunity to innovate at the forefront of the industry in 2015. Our Sky work with Idris, Beckham and Joanna Lumley continued to be popular. Work for Betfred and Fableists was well-received. We launched our own in-house production business. We’re happy Brothers and Sisters.

Brothers and Sisters
Type of agency Advertising, content, digital, design
Company ownership Independent
Nielsen billings 2014 £54m
Nielsen billings 2013 £40m
Declared income £4.7m
Total accounts at year end 14
Accounts won 6 (biggest: Carphone Warehouse)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 52 (no change)
Key personnel Andy Fowler founder and executive creative director
Matthew Charlton chief executive
Phil Teer strategy director
Kevin Brown managing director, Making

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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