CAMPAIGN REPORT ON TOP 300 AGENCIES: Top UK agencies profiles (1 of 2)

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 23 February 2001 12:00AM

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO's sheer size did not affect the quality of its output, as the Gunn Report showed. Bates UK struggled for a second year, the loss of the Halifax taking the gloss off its gains. BDH TBWA's position at the top of the regional agency list was toppled and it lost Time

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO's sheer size did not affect the quality of its output, as the Gunn Report showed. Bates UK struggled for a second year, the loss of the Halifax taking the gloss off its gains. BDH TBWA's position at the top of the regional agency list was toppled and it lost Time



ABBOTT MEAD VICKERS BBDO

Sainsbury's

Declared billings 2000                 431m

MMS                                    410m

Declared income 2000                    n/s

Total accounts year end                  76

Accounts gained                          26

Accounts lost                            15

Total staff                             351

Company type: Omnicom subsidiary





Like Manchester United, to which it is most often compared, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is playing at a level at which none of its rivals have competed before.

Having maintained its place at the top of the UK rankings last year, AMV must now grapple with the sheer scale of its business. How does it maintain growth when increasingly boxed in by account conflict? How does it sustain and evolve its culture as its founding partners withdraw to the sidelines?

The pivotal figure in all this is Michael Baulk, AMV's chairman, who must ensure that it carries on via the emerging management line-up of Cilla Snowball, the managing director, and Peter Souter, the executive creative director. Their roles in helping the agency forward will be crucial with the upcoming departure of Andrew Paterson, the chief executive, for a top job with BBDO in the US.

In most respects, the transition has not caused AMV's momentum to falter.

The Gunn Report on international creativity named it the most awarded agency of the year. Meanwhile, new business from Reed Employment, St Ivel, Nicorette, Wrigley's and the mobile internet operation Genie, as well as appointment as the BBC's lead agency, bear testimony to its contention that biggest and best are not mutually exclusive.

Nevertheless, loss of lead status on the BT roster, an ET campaign less vigorous with each passing film and Jamie Oliver's TV commercials for Sainsbury's, which suggest a stop-gap solution until the real thing comes along, highlight the difficulties AMV faces.

Handling such demanding clients needs skill born of experience. And if the events of 2000 produced a few glitches, they still suggest that, in facing challenges unique in British advertising, AMV has few equals.

SCORE LAST YEAR 7

SCORE THIS YEAR 8



BANKS HOGGINS O'SHEA/FCB

DaimlerChrysler

Declared billings 2000                 160m

MMS                                     84m

Declared income 2000                    30m

Total accounts year end                  38

Accounts gained                          17

Accounts lost                             4

Total staff                             150

Company type: True North subsidiary





Just when you think it's possible to take an unobstructed view of the future prospects of Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB, another distraction always seems to get in the way.

In 1999, the loss of Kimberly-Clark's global tissue business by FCB put a damper on the newly wedded London operation. Last year DaimlerChrysler threw an almighty spanner in the works when it ditched FCB, taking pounds 10 million worth of business out of Banks Hoggins in the process. The departure of the pounds 10 million Buena Vista Home Entertainment business only added to the woe.

As a result, the question of whether or not FCB was right to choose Banks Hoggins as the vehicle to end its under-performance in the UK remains as difficult to answer as ever.

With agency and FCB group staffers now housed in one building, John Banks, the agency chairman, has been laying the hardcore on which to build for the future, with media at the top of his agenda.

An acquisition programme is aimed at extending the UK agency's offering into fully integrated communications.

At the same time, it is poised to beef up its media power by pooling its media buying into MBS, the UK's largest remaining media independent, which was acquired by FCB's True North parent at the end of last year.

It remains to be seen whether the broader offering, which the group claims is necessary to meet the demands of newly arrived global clients such as the pounds 188 million-billing Compaq, will prove equally alluring to more local business.

First, though, it will need to energise a creative product that, Waitrose aside, remains decidedly ho-hum. Perhaps the pounds 2.5 million Tic Tac account, whose execrable advertising has been surpassed only by its Ferrero Rocher sister brand, is the kind of challenge it needs.

SCORE LAST YEAR 4

SCORE THIS YEAR 4



BARTLE BOGLE HEGARTY

Lynx

Declared billings 2000                 248m

MMS                                    142m

Declared income 2000                    29m

Total accounts year end                  31

Accounts gained                           5

Accounts lost                             2

Total staff                             288

Company type: Private company



Bartle Bogle Hegarty literally had the Soul ripped out of it last year when five of its senior directors quit to launch a start-up under that name.

Nigel Bogle, BBH's chairman, has made no attempt to minimise the impact of the most significant breakaway in the agency's 18-year history, spearheaded by the executive creative director, Bruce Crouch. The extent of the effect of losing so much high-level talent in one go has yet to be seen.

The change has led some to feel that the place just isn't the same any more. Indeed, it may be no accident that John Bartle's retirement as a founding partner was followed only five months later by the departure of a group who always regarded themselves as 'Bartle's boys'.

At least the breakaway has provided an opportunity for re-evaluation, the spreading of creative responsibilities more evenly and a more clearly defined management structure in a place that has often seemed overburdened with chiefs.

Certainly, the hierarchy has a leaner look with two further losses - the deputy chairman Martin Smith's departure to become Grey's chief executive and the joint managing director Mark Collier's decision to leave to launch a digital design and production company. This year should start to show what the new managerial triumvirate - Crouch's successor, John O'Keeffe, the managing director, Gwyn Jones, and the planning director, Jim Carroll - is capable of.

Elsewhere, the absorption of BBH Unlimited, the total communications subsidiary, into the main operation reinforces the belief that BBH is too small to sustain an 'agency within an agency'.

The key question for 2001 is whether John Hegarty, having ended his sojourn in the agency's US outpost, will allow O'Keeffe room to produce a more consistent output of creative work to rival the award-winning Lynx campaign.

'John doesn't go in for glory grabbing,' O'Keeffe says. We'll see.

SCORE LAST YEAR 7

SCORE THIS YEAR 6



BATES UK

Royal Mail

Declared billings 2000                 310m

MMS                                    206m

Declared income 2000                    32m

Total accounts year end                 n/s

Accounts gained                           9

Accounts lost                             2

Total staff                             406

Company type: Cordiant subsidiary





Toby Hoare, Bates UK's group chief executive, deliberately kept the agency's profile low last year and, in truth, there wasn't much to shout about.

Its pounds 28 million showpiece Halifax account left after the agency proved powerless to halt the momentum for change among the newly appointed marketers of the one-time building society turned bank. As if that wasn't enough, the once mighty Safeway account became a shadow of its former self.

Meanwhile, Bates' creative output - epitomised by the hard-working Royal Mail campaign - suggests it has a way to climb before it can reach award-winning levels and offers limited scope for improvement given the agency's retail-dominated client list.

At the end of his first full year in the hotseat, Hoare must have felt as if he was pushing water uphill with the Halifax loss effectively cancelling out gains such as DFS, the furniture retailer, Hoover, Thames Water, Emap's travel websites and the agency's rebuilt relationship with Heinz.

Hoare's answer to a beleaguered agency has been to get Bates in good battle order by quietly pruning a long-serving management that has been both the agency's strength and weakness by blocking emerging talent.

Having senior executives with unblinkered views will become increasingly important if the Bates group in London is to help fulfill the vision of its worldwide boss, Michael Bungey, of a versatile and diversified network less dependent on revenues from above-the-line advertising.

Putting John Stubbings, the experienced chief executive, in control of below-the-line operations may help. But reports suggest the management coherence Hoare seeks remains elusive.

'This is a much better agency than the market thinks it is,' Hoare claims.

He desperately needs a stonking win to convince the market he's right.

SCORE LAST YEAR 2

SCORE THIS YEAR 3



BDH/TBWA

Solvite

Declared billings 2000                  50m

MMS                                     32m

Declared income 2000                     7m

Total accounts year end                  50

Accounts gained                          12

Accounts lost                             2

Total staff                             105

Company type: Omnicom subsidiary





Just when BDH/TBWA seemed to have firmly established itself as the flagship of the regional agency fleet, it was hit by a couple of unexpected torpedoes that threatened to knock it off course.

The first damaging blow was struck by Time Computers, which chose to move its pounds 30 million account down the motorway from Manchester to HHCL & Partners in London, marking the end of BDH's two-year tenure of the business and of the TV campaign fronted by Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy.

The second missile was fired by Focus Do It All, forcing the agency to enter 2001 with a fight on its hands to retain the creative assignment on the retailer's pounds 7.2 million account.

These, as well as the loss of the pounds 2 million Britannia building society creative account to Walsh Trott Chick Smith, combined to make 2000 a year of not-so-plain sailing for the agency which had been recording 90 per cent year-on-year growth and seemed destined to become the first regional shop with a top 20 ranking.

There were some compensations, however. One gaping hole was plugged by Nissan's new pounds 15 million-plus dealer account which combines the carmaker's local marketing budget with the media spend of the dealers themselves.

Although it bagged a five-star award at last year's IPA Effectiveness Awards for its work on Henkel's Solvite and was named Effectiveness Agency of the Year for shops billing less than pounds 100 million, BDH's potential domination of a competition devalued by declining entries and apathy from the top agencies will not boost its credentials among the big boys.

SCORE LAST YEAR 7

SCORE THIS YEAR 5



Brann enjoyed a steady year, with good creative work tempered by a lack of big new-business wins. BMP DDB lost some major accounts but did well at the IPA Awards and, by the end of the year, was looking healthy again. BHWG Proximity rebranded and joined a network for an all-action 2000



BHWG PROXIMITY

Alliance & Leicester

Declared billings 2000                 125m

MMS                                     18m

Declared income 2000                    19m

Total accounts year end                  30

Accounts gained                           9

Accounts lost                             2

Total staff                             252

Company type: Omnicom subsidiary





Things never stood still for BHWG in 2000. It rebranded, formed an international network and made several key management changes.

The agency rebranded from Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray to BHWG Proximity to emphasise its place at the head of a new BBDO Worldwide network called Proximity. Simon Hall, BHWG's chief executive, was made the chief executive of the Proximity network.

In the past, Hall's forays abroad have been at the expense of the London agency but this year it has hired David Perkins from Carlson as the managing director to increase its CRM capability and pull together the various strands of Proximity in the UK.

BHWG had a good new-business year with wins from Sainsburystoyou (Sainsbury's online service), Granada's Boxclever, the controversial Postal Preference Service, Nicorette and WWF. A significant win was FT.com, which also enabled BHWG to put its alliance with the interactive agency Traffic to the test with some interesting joint work. However, BHWG lost the British Red Cross and suffered cuts in spend from First Line, Pizza Hut and Letsbuyit.com.

BHWG won awards for its work in 2000, particularly its memorable VW Passat 'schoolbook' mailing. Its advertising for Alliance & Leicester, featuring Snoopy, was also acclaimed. The agency reshuffled its creative pack with the chairman, Chris Barraclough, becoming more hands-on following the departure of the executive creative director, Nick Moore.

BHWG is well placed for strong growth in its 10th anniversary year through its connections with Proximity. Through its relationship with the new-media agency Traffic, it is also well placed to handle a mixure of new media and direct marketing.

SCORE LAST YEAR 5

SCORE THIS YEAR 7



BMP DDB

Volkswagen

Declared billings 2000                 450m

MMS                                    288m

Declared income 2000                    n/s

Total accounts year end                  56

Accounts gained                          13

Accounts lost                             4

Total staff                             520

Company type: Omnicom subsidiary





'I don't mind losing to BMP,' one competitor says, and such an observation typifies the industry attitude. But being known as a seminal agency means that when you're not on absolute top form, people notice.

BMP DDB, the winner of Campaign's Agency of the Year two years ago, did not have a vintage year in 2000, but the agency has taken it characteristically in its stride.

Despite winning new accounts in the shape of Nikon, National Dairy Council, Madame Tussauds, Etam and Online Travel Portal, BMP nevertheless found new business from large, international blue-chip companies elusive. The agency desperately needed this to plug the gap left by the surprise exit of both Marks & Spencer and Compaq in February, followed by Scoot, Nicorette and Alliance & Leicester.

But by the end of the year, it had partially resurrected itself with the resounding triumph of winning The Guardian's newspaper account and the Hovis business, so things are looking back on track.

On the new-media front, its BMP interAction brand, relaunched as Tribal DDB, became a global agency within the DDB network. BMPTVi was also created and the BMP stalwart Alison Parker was made the managing director of sister company Billco New Media.

The agency's creative output continued to be widely recognised in industry awards, most notably winning golds at Cannes and the BTAA Awards for the Volkswagen Polo and Marmite.

The agency also won the IPA Effectiveness Agency of the Year award and the E-commerce/ Internet award for the departed Scoot.com.

Looking ahead, the agency will need to recapitalise on its formidable new-business reputation.

SCORE LAST YEAR 7

SCORE THIS YEAR 6



BRANN

Guinness

Declared billings 2000                 104m

MMS                                      3m

Declared income 2000                    88m

Total accounts year end                 208

Accounts gained                          25

Accounts lost                            13

Total staff                           2,800

Company type: Havas subsidiary





The biggest event in Brann's year was the sale of its owner, Snyder Communications, to Havas. So far there is little sign of any integration with other Havas below-the-line agencies but Brann now has the opportunity to reap the benefits of sitting in a large network.

The Brann group of agencies is producing some good work, but failed to pull in a large amount of new business during 2000. Brann London picked up Barnardo's legacy work, build-online.com and Mitsubishi Motors. However, it lost the Sainsbury's online service Sainsburystoyou.

Brann as a group continues to be solid financially, partly due to its large production and fulfilment facilities. However, while its London agency is growing, it has not won the big pitches it set out to.

There were some creative highlights during 2000, including Brann London's Guinness work, Circle.com's interactive work for Peugeot and work from Brann Cirencester for The Economist and Peugeot. Brann London's creative directors, Brian Storey and Xanthos Christodoulou, hired at the start of 2000, are starting to make an impact but there is room for improvement outside of Guinness.

Another development was the launch of Brann Digital, a division aimed at integrating new media with core direct marketing skills. Clients include Barclays.

The agency's chief executive, Chris Gater, stepped aside for Dennis Eastham to move up, with Gater continuing as the chairman.

The signs are that Brann needs to introduce new blood at the top levels as its veteran management team can not carry on for ever.

SCORE LAST YEAR 5

SCORE THIS YEAR 5



The effects of merging with Griffin Bacal and becoming part of Omnicom have yet to be seen at Burkitt DDB. Defeat in Honda pitches and inconsistent creative work and leadership have hindered CDP in 2000. Carlson needs to achieve good work across accounts



BURKITT DDB

Action Man

Declared billings 2000                  55m

MMS                                     34m

Declared income 2000                     7m

Total accounts year end                  25

Accounts gained                           8

Accounts lost                             4

Total staff                              90

Company type: Omnicom subsidiary





The news in June that Hugh Burkitt, the chairman of the privately owned Court Burkitt, was finally throwing his hat in the ring and becoming part of Omnicom came as no great shock to industry pundits, as it had been on the cards for some time.

The agency's international expansion had been impeded by its independence, so merging with its sister Omnicom-owned agency Griffin Bacal added the international Hasbro toy business, including the Action Man account, along with the benefits of the global reach offered by Omnicom's DDB network.

Before the merger, much of Court Burkitt's glue was its work for United Distillers & Vintners and 2000 saw Bell's Whisky, Archers and Pimm's No 1 seep out of its doors, leaving the agency holding only Tony's Freezer Cocktails and Drambuie.

Still, the three months since the merger have already seen it notch up some notable wins.

It poached the TravelSelect account from J. Walter Thompson, consolidated pounds 6 million of Hasbro business from TBWA/London, and took the pounds 5 million account from Grey for The Open University. And T&T's sponsorship of the Popstars television show will, hopefully, help to build the agency's profile.

The agency's Archers work won a three-star award at the IPA Effectiveness Awards.

Post-merger, the agency is rolling up its sleeves and getting down to some hard graft to make it a success. Going into 2001, Burkitt DDB needs an aggressive new-business programme to create a niche for itself in a crowded market if it is to be more than a second-string UK agency to BMP DDB.

SCORE LAST YEAR 6

SCORE THIS YEAR 5



CARLSON

HSBC

Declared billings 2000                  45m

MMS                                      2m

Declared income 2000                    27m

Total accounts year end                  80

Accounts gained                          14

Accounts lost                             4

Total staff                             585

Company type: Carlson Companies subsidiary





A year of much needed consolidation and reorganisation for Carlson Marketing Group puts it in a healthy position for growth this year.

Its new chairman, Marcus Evans, was promoted in September after joining from Bates Communications in 1999 as the business development director.

He presided over changes that included relocation to a single office and moving its several offerings, including Smith Bundy Carlson and Eleven, under the Carlson flagship brand.

Evans also led Carlson into a period of relatively aggressive acquisition with the takeover of the independent agency Brewer Blackler and the design consultancy Whitmore Thomas Angell. Evans also strengthened Carlson's key management team by hiring Mark Hollander, from ehsrealtime, as the associate director and Mike Oliver as the planning director. However, there were redundancies (less than 5 per cent of the total workforce).

Carlson had a solid new-business year with pounds 16.5 million of wins from Waterstones, Telewest Communications, Thomas Cook, Dunlop Tyres and Ufi, the Government's flagship for lifelong learning. However, this was balanced by the loss of a large chunk of United Distillers & Vintners' business.

Carlson also showed that it could handle digital media activity across its client list but has not gone down the route of acquiring or building a separate digital media offering.

Trevor Pettet, Carlson's executive creative director, left to join McCann Relationship Marketing. He departed two months after the elevation of Chris Martin, Smith Bundy Carlson's creative director, to the role of group creative director. Carlson has produced some good work for the likes of HSBC, Ski Direct and BA, but Martin's task is to bring this to a consistent level across the board.

SCORE LAST YEAR 5

SCORE THIS YEAR 5



CDP

Matalan

Declared billings 2000                  79m

MMS                                     47m

Declared income 2000                    n/s

Total accounts year end                  28

Accounts gained                          12

Accounts lost                             2

Total staff                              97

Company type: Dentsu subsidiary





CDP has an increasingly invisible profile in UK adland.It claims to have added pounds 18 million to its billings this year from existing clients such as Gallaher and Scottish Courage, but it missed out on key pitches from its flagship client Honda.

Creatively, the agency is still suffering from a lack of leadership following the departure of the former creative director Adrian Kemsley more than a year ago. Rob Kitchen and Loz Simpson teamed up to run the department as an interim measure and Andy Amadeo and Mick Mahoney have just joined to spice things up in 2001.

The year also saw the stepping-down of the chairman and one-time creative head, John Salmon, who retired once and for all from CDP after 25 years with the agency.

The agency did, however, produce new creative work for the high-street retailer Matalan. It also scooped the gold at the Ariel radio awards for its Hamlet work.

On the planning front, CDP hired Glynn Allanson as its strategic planning director.

CDP has been working on the creation of sister divisions, such as the direct marketing specialist Crossing O'Sullivan and the website building shop Determinet, a collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers that has already led to the agency being hired by Webswappers.com for its estimated pounds 6 million account.

2001 will see how these new divisions fare. But CDP will need a wholesale revitalisation if it is to find a place as a player on the agency map.

SCORE LAST YEAR 4

SCORE THIS YEAR 3



Having finally become a full direct marketing consultancy, Claydon Heeley Jones Mason had a good year, with some major wins. Craik Jones maintained its high standards of previous years, while Conquest seems to have sorted out the attitude problem that had been holding it back



CLAYDON HEELEY JONES MASON

Pepsi

Declared billings 2000                 134m

MMS                                     16m

Declared income 2000                    17m

Total accounts year end                  33

Accounts gained                          18

Accounts lost                            10

Total staff                             206

Company type: Omnicom subsidiary





This was the year that Claydon Heeley Jones Mason finally completed its transformation from a sales promotion shop to a planning-driven direct marketing consultancy.

This was achieved through the merger between Claydon Heeley and the Omnicom-owned sister agency Jones Mason Barton Antenen. Claydon Heeley gained Jones Mason's reputation for creative and strategic direct marketing and one of the best planners around - Nigel Jones, the joint chief executive.

There was some fallout. Steve Barton, a key part of the Jones Mason team, decided to leave, as did Simon Antenen, the creative director of Jones Mason Barton Antenen.

It was also the year that the original Claydon Heeley management team completed their earnout. Mason left the agency toward the end of the year and Heeley is taking a back seat but the merger and a series of new hirings means that the agency has a good succession management strategy in place.

New arrivals included Gina Larter, formerly Grey Direct's managing director, as the business director, and Mark Rapley, BMP's deputy managing director, as the deputy chairman. Two further arrivals were the creative directors, Dave Woods and Peter Harle, from TBWA/London.

New business included Nike, BAA, Credit Suisse, MobilExxon, United Distillers & Vintners and BBC Worldwide. These more than offset the loss of Compaq and BP. The agency also produced its first work for Pepsi in 2000.

2001 will be a key year for the newly merged agency as it embarks on an aggressive international expansion within the network. Those who doubted Claydon Heeley's ability to adapt to the data and digital boom must now be eating their words.

SCORE LAST YEAR 6

SCORE THIS YEAR 7



CONQUEST

Singapore Airlines

Declared billings 2000                  50m

MMS                                     17m

Declared income 2000                     7m

Total accounts year end                  15

Accounts gained                           5

Accounts lost                             2

Total staff                              55

Company type: WPP subsidiary





A small but significant event in Conquest's evolution occurred with the publication in Campaign of a candid letter by its creative director, the appropriately named Simon Frank.

At a time when the ad industry is massively over-supplied and agencies invariably bite their lip at perceived shabby treatment by would-be clients, Frank waded in where few others have dared, to accuse Bid-up TV of abusing the pitch process and 'playing us like suckers'.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of this public spat, Frank's letter is indicative of a growing self-belief and confidence in an agency that has not always been sure of its raison d'etre.

Once criticised as a place where there was too much play and too little work, Conquest seems determined to prove it's no pushover. Indeed, it was prepared to show Sunday Business the door after only 18 months because of an impasse over future ad strategy.

And, although there were no wins to rival the1999 capture of the Bank of Scotland's pounds 30 million account, the agency did pick up the Singapore Tourist Board to complement its Singapore Airlines business, the pounds 5 million Clinomyn account and the relaunch assignment for the Times Supplements titles.

Why the change of attitude? The new management team led by the chief executive, Julian Saunders, clearly has something to do with it. Another key factor is its upcoming participation in the fourth network being planned by its WPP parent, which will link Conquest's European offices with Singapore's Batey Advertising and Cole & Weber in Seattle.

What's more, the promotion of John Wringe, the agency's managing director, to second-in-command of the Conquest group should ensure a strong UK influence in WPP's new venture.

SCORE LAST YEAR 6

SCORE THIS YEAR 6



CRAIK JONES

Gordon's Gin

Declared billings 2000                  40m

MMS                                      7m

Declared income 2000                     6m

Total accounts year end                  18

Accounts gained                           7

Accounts lost                             1

Total staff                              55

Company type: Omnicom subsidiary





Craik Jones' tenth year was one of its most successful since launch. Considering its size, it won unusually large amounts of new-business and continued to win creative awards.

The new-business wins started with the pounds 8 million Dolphin Telecom through-the-line account and others followed including Foreign & Colonial, Virgin Energy, Lunn Poly and United Distillers & Vintners' Bell's and Bailey's brands. It also secured a place on the Barclays roster. The only problem came with the agency resigning Rover Cars.

Craik Jones is continuing to deliver thanks to the stability of its senior management team (all five founders are still with the agency), and is also bringing through a new layer of management with the promotion of Fiona Scott to deputy managing director.

Craik Jones looked at launching an e-commerce division but instead integrated interactive activity with the rest of its services and appointed Benjamin Parr from the new-media agency AKQA to head this activity and to train agency staff.

Creatively, the agency continued to win awards. Land Rover work won DMA gold awards, but creative for Gordon's Gin, Virgin Trains and Charles Schwab also picked up prizes. The creative department has been strengthened by the appointment of the senior creative team Mark Buckingham (ex-Joshua and CMB creative director) and David Brown (formerly of WWAV and Leo Burnett).

Craik Jones continues to deliver high quality direct marketing for all its clients while delivering nice profits for BBDO.

SCORE LAST YEAR -

SCORE THIS YEAR 7



D'Arcy is in good shape, despite three big losses, but it needs to pull in some big business to set industry tongues wagging again. After a bad start, Delaney Lund is on good form and must prove it can stay there. Duckworth Finn rejigged its top management and recorded a flurry of new business at the end of the year



D'ARCY

Fiat

Declared billings 2000                 264m

MMS                                    178m

Declared income 2000                    23m

Total accounts year end                  29

Accounts gained                           7

Accounts lost                             3

Total staff                             191

Company type: B-Com3 subsidiary





D'Arcy remains something of an enigma. People think of it as a solid operator but struggle beyond this.

We said last year that D'Arcy needed to win more big pitches and it says it wants to become a 'must have' on any pitchlist drawn up by clients in the know. But, with the notable exception of Alliance & Leicester, it failed to win big last year.

It did add pounds 23.8 million in billings in 2000 from Alliance & Leicester, more COI Communications work and the Roche brand Supradyn. However, it lost Mars' Twix brand, St.Ivel's pounds 9 million yellow fats business and resigned Hovis.

It also suffered from client indecision when it won the Beck's account only to have the appointment vetoed by the European client.

However, based on the strength of its 2000 reel, D'Arcy is in good shape.

The Fiat work, including 'women/men' and the spot featuring crash test dummies, was also strong. Government work, particularly for Nurse and Childcare recruitment, was strong. The Maltesers creative continues to impress and work for Mars Bar, Wickes and McCain is solid.

D'Arcy said goodbye to David Jones, the former group chairman, and Alfredo Marcantonio, the European creative director. John Poorta took over as the head of planning and David Farrow was promoted to marketing director.

There are some positive signs for D'Arcy: it is developing pan-European Mars work out of London and is also finding favour with Procter & Gamble for its Charmin and Alldays work. But D'Arcy needs to win some big pitches to get people talking about it again.

SCORE LAST YEAR 6

SCORE THIS YEAR 6



DELANEY LUND KNOX WARREN & PARTNERS

Imperial War Museum

Declared billings 2000                 106m

MMS                                     47m

Declared income 2000                     8m

Total accounts year end                  35

Accounts gained                          12

Accounts lost                             3

Total staff                              95

Company type: Private company





Last year, Campaign said that the first few months of 2000 would be crucial for DLKW. It had to stem client reviews and prove that it was better than its former incarnation, Delaney Fletcher Bozell.

Well, things didn't get off to the best of starts. January and February saw a loss of pounds 11 million in billings in the form of Typhoo and Unilever's Bestfoods work.

DLKW touched rock bottom in April, however, with the news that it had lost the pounds 3 million Teacher Training Authority account to McCann-Erickson Manchester.

Things started to turn around with the arrival of the pounds 5 million COI pensions task and the pounds 2 million FT MarketWatch business wins.

The agency did lose out on the pounds 10 million Ask Jeeves account to TBWA/London but by July it was back on track with wins from COI for the teenage pregnancy task and the pounds 14 million Teletext account.

The comeback was completed by September when DLKW saw off Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R to clinch the pounds 25 million Halifax account.

Creative highlights included the agency's affecting campaign for the Imperial War Museum's Holocaust Exhibition.

Greg Delaney relinquished control of the creative department to become chairman and was succeeded by Gary Betts and Malcolm Green. Charlie Snow came over from D'Arcy as the planning director.

Now the agency has had time to settle down after a distinctly rocky first six months of 2000, this year should hopefully see more of the same level of performance that occurred in the second half of last year.

SCORE LAST YEAR 6

SCORE THIS YEAR 7



DUCKWORTH FINN GRUBB WATERS

Daewoo

Declared billings 2000                  80m

MMS                                     36m

Declared income 2000                     8m

Total accounts year end                 n/s

Accounts gained                          12

Accounts lost                             0

Total staff                              80

Company type: Private company





Duckworth Finn had a pretty ordinary 2000 until the end of the year when a flurry of new business gave it reason to feel better about itself.

Earlier in the year, it won the pan-European account for the car manufacturer Daewoo, which was then called into question after the parent company in Japan was declared bankrupt. It also won the pounds 3 million task to advertise the launch of Mothercare.com, which was later resigned.

This instability was offset, however, by new business later on. Duckworth Finn won the pounds 16 million Buena Vista account and also beat Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO to the pan-European Prudential campaign, as well as securing a spot on the prestigious BBC roster.

Hirings for the agency have included the head of planning, Hugh Cameron, recently promoted to be the joint managing director with Tom Vick, who joined from McCann-Erickson in August. The year also saw the departure of the former managing director Charlie Dawson, who left to set up the Foundation, a management and brand consultancy in which Duckworth Finn has a minority stake.

The agency has also begun work on the setting-up of two complementary businesses, details of which the agency is reluctant to release until they are ready to launch.

Speculation continued throughout the year that the agency was looking for a buyer, but it still continues to stress its independence. Will this change in 2001?

SCORE LAST YEAR 6

SCORE THIS YEAR 6



Ehsrealtime displayed its intention to master digital media. Euro RSCG launched an interactive arm and produced a provocative commercial for the CRE. Having proved itself to be a fierce opponent, Fallon must now pursue international business



EHSREALTIME

Diesel.com

Declared billings 2000                 147m

MMS                                     17m

Declared income 2000                    22m

Total accounts year end                  31

Accounts gained                           7

Accounts lost                             1

Total staff                             300

Company type: Havas subsidiary





2000 was a big year for Evans Hunt Scott as it showed it was deadly serious about digital media. A full merger with the sister Havas new-media agency Real Time created a new agency with more than 300 staff.

EHS, one of the longest established DM agencies, demonstrated the entrepreneurial spirit that has seen it survive the tough times and ehsrealtime has led it to offer a range of digital and direct services.

The agency deserves recognition for the smoothness of the merger. There were no redundancies or client fallout. The merger also made EHS's positioning clear: its previous dabbling in new media, through a minority share in Zinc, smacked of experimentation.

The agency performed solidly in new business with wins of pounds 14 million.

It also won new business from existing clients including National Savings and Microsoft. It lost Express Newspapers, following its change of ownership, OneTel and Vodafone.

The merger with Real Time strengthened the agency's core management team with the arrival of Phil Jones, Real Time's managing director, as the deputy chairman. The creative directors Ray Howard and Paul Snoxell moved to Zinc following the merger but the Real Time team Trevor Chambers and Patrick Baglee filled the gap. The chairman, Terry Hunt, is now hunting a creative supremo to take the department by the scruff of the neck.

The agency's work has impressed across all media. Many accounts are integrated through digital and direct. Its work for Diesel.com was its biggest award-winner.

Ehsrealtime is an agency that is among the best placed for growth in the relationship marketing field and it is reaping rewards after grasping the digital opportunity where others are merely dipping their toes in the water.

SCORE LAST YEAR 7

SCORE THIS YEAR 8



EURO RSCG WNEK GOSPER

Commission for Racial Equality

Declared billings 2000                 251m

MMS                                    176m

Declared income 2000                    20m

Total accounts year end                 n/s

Accounts gained                           5

Accounts lost                             1

Total staff                             200

Company type: Havas subsidiary





This was the year that Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper's work was as talked about as its management team. Its appointment to handle Ken Livingstone's advertising followed by a memorable Mayor for London campaign, and its acclaimed Commission for Racial Equality work, created as many headlines in the press as Mark Wnek's infamous Sunday Times interview.

2000 was a better new-business year for Euro than 1999. It won the pounds 30 million international Alberto Culver account, talkSPORT, Trebor Bassett and the pounds 6 million NHS account from COI Communications. It also picked up the task for publicising the Transport for London strategy.

The Livingstone relationship continued following his appointment as Mayor with Euro winning the task of designing the GLA logo.

The losses were Ask Jeeves, due to a conflict with MSN, and the launch of BBC Worldwide's Eve magazine, which moved to WCRS close to launch.

There is still room for improvement on the new-business side but Euro moved to address this with the appointment of Emma Trotman from TBWA/London as the new-business director. The key management team was strengthened further with the arrival of Adam Leigh from Bates UK as the deputy managing director. The agency also launched Euro RSCG Interaction.

On the creative side there are signs of improvement. The CRE work was an obvious highlight. Other work that won plaudits included The Independent and the Peugeot 'stop liking, start loving' campaign. Abbey National also continues to be solid. The promotion of Chris Herring and Andy McKay to joint creative directors brings extra focus to the agency's work.

If Euro can fill a few gaps in its client portfolio and produce quality creative more consistently, it is well placed to have a good 2001.

SCORE LAST YEAR 6

SCORE THIS YEAR 7



FALLON

Skoda

Declared billings 2000                  30m

MMS                                     11m

Declared income 2000                     5m

Total accounts year end                  12

Accounts gained                           6

Accounts lost                             0

Total staff                              40

Company type: Publicis subsidiary





Fallon's performance in 2000 proved it had outgrown its start-up image and showed it was capable of strong creative work.

The agency kicked off the year with the celebrated Skoda campaign which picked up a raft of awards. Other notable work came from clients such as BBC Radio 1, Starbucks, Timex and Nando's.

Under the robust direction of its managing partners, the agency pitched for 14 pieces of business, picking up the likes of Budweiser, Umbro, First-e and Royal & Sun Alliance, while also being reappointed to the BBC roster to handle its youth activity.

Doubling in size over the year, the agency reached new heights in terms of billings, income, stability and staff. It hired talent from the cream of London agencies such as Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, Lowe Lintas and St Luke's, and opened its doors to Duffy, a sister design outfit.

Lengthy pitches for the sought-after Guardian and Hovis business at the end of the year proved fruitless, and the agency has yet to cut its teeth on a piece of leading international business. However, it is hungry for such a challenge, and its invitation on a number of notable pitchlists indicates that, conversion permitting, this year is likely to see it grow into a serious player to be reckoned with.

The future looks promising for this young agency, whose creative direction continues to mature under the quiet direction of the creative directors Richard Flintham and Andy MacLeod.

SCORE LAST YEAR 7

SCORE THIS YEAR 8



Faulds must now seek out business in the South. Confident after a managerial rejig, Grey believes 2001 will see its best financial performance for five years. HHCL has hired Jay Pond-Jones to bolster its creative output



FAULDS

Auto Trader

Declared billings 2000                  50m

MMS                                     33m

Declared income 2000                     5m

Total accounts year end                  24

Accounts gained                           7

Accounts lost                             1

Total staff                              75

Company type: Private company





Faulds appeared to stabilise itself after the management rejig of the previous year, but speculation about a buyout, headed by the managing director, Dennis Chester, continued to abound.

The agency won Weight Watchers and the Northern Ireland Industrial Development Board business in March, followed by Work 24, the joint venture between Scottish Power and the Royal Bank of Scotland. It also won Learn Direct, a pounds 3 million Scottish Government education initiative, plus the Lomond Shores tourist account, and it retained its place on the BBC roster after a statutory review.

But although it had commendable creative and got on to the top pitchlists, the rising profile of rival The Leith Agency highlighted Faulds' problem in attracting international business. It had to shelve plans for the London agency it had intended to open following the loss of British Midland.

The agency needs to get business south of the border to maintain its growth, and has pledged that half its business should become England-based.

And it started the process by picking up the pounds 3 million Emap Performance Big City Network business in August.

Staff departures included the marketing director, Ian Wright, to become the managing director of Yellow M, and the art director Brian McGregor to The Union.

However, the influence of the respected creative director, Billy Mawhinney, was evident at the Roses Awards and at the Scottish Advertising Awards and the agency continued to produce good work on its flagship clients such as Auto Trader.

Faulds has proved it has the creative strength to take itself forward.

However, it still has some way to go to consistently win pitches against the top London agencies.

SCORE LAST YEAR 5

SCORE THIS YEAR 6



GREY

Pringles

Declared billings 2000                 395m

MMS                                    167m

Declared income 2000                    32m

Total accounts year end                  61

Accounts gained                          11

Accounts lost                             3

Total staff                             276

Company type: Grey subsidiary





Getting pipped at the post for Land Rover's pounds 50 million global account was Grey's biggest disappointment of 2000.

The agency yearns to shed the reputation long synonymous with its name and the capture of the business - Grey lost in a final shoot-out with Young & Rubicam - would have presented the opportunity to produce some showcase work.

Instead, Tim Mellors, Grey's chief creative officer, has been concentrating on raising standards steadily across its broad range of accounts. It's a tough struggle, particularly in the case of Procter & Gamble - the manufacturer of Pringles - whose torrid year has made it even more risk-averse than usual.

Moreover, the UK agency has had to continue its creative and management catharsis amid change at the top - Steve Blamer, its American chief executive, having been called home to head Grey's flagship New York office.

Blamer is credited not only with getting the London agency's finances in order - it expects to record its best financial performance for five years in 2001 - but with ending its perceived isolation from the Grey network.

He 's also responsible for fragmenting the creative department and establishing five colour-coded 'agencies within an agency'. Time will tell if Grey's juggernaut clients such as P&G and SmithKline Beecham will prevent the restructure diluting the agency's revitalised culture.

Martin Smith, Blamer's successor, has had to change his mindset after quitting as the deputy chairman of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, where lifestyle accounts far outnumber FMCG assignments, for an agency where the reverse is true.

His priority must now be to build on more London-led international business and to exploit Grey's expertise at running powerful global brands to lure more local work through the door.

SCORE LAST YEAR 5

SCORE THIS YEAR 5



HHCL & PARTNERS

Egg

Declared billings 2000                 200m

MMS                                    116m

Declared income 2000                    22m

Total accounts year end                  33

Accounts gained                          17

Accounts lost                             2

Total staff                             220

Company type: Chime subsidiary





HHCL & Partners had the difficult task last year of living up to its status as Campaign's Agency of the Decade. 2000 was not a sparkling year.

The agency lost its Guinness accounts after it they were consolidated into Saatchi & Saatchi and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. It also lost Amazon and had to admit that it was too small for the task. It needs to establish international capabilities if it wants to hang on to its global clients.

It also won and lost Unilever's Sure for Men with the TV work named Campaign's Turkey of the Year, along with an ASA rap over the knuckles for being too risque.

That said, it won Time Computers' pounds 30 million account in September and the pounds 13.5 million account from the Association of Investment Trust Companies.

Then came the pounds 5 million win for the new-media company 365 Corporation, as well as a further injection of business from Unilever with its pounds 3 million Bird's Eye potato products account.

Creatively, the agency didn't keep up to its usual standard, but Jay Pond-Jones was hired as its fifth creative director at the end of the year to bolster the agency's creative department. The campaign for egg.com both infuriated and impressed consumers, largely fed up with conventional bank campaigns.

But on the hirings front, HHCL also brought in the former FCA! creative directors Shaun McIlrath and Ian Harding to set up the new digital agency Rainmaker, which has since been renamed Heresy.

The agency has clearly signalled that it wants to expand into other areas. Exactly which ones should become clear in 2001.

SCORE LAST YEAR 8

SCORE THIS YEAR 6



Not a great new-business year for IMP. Though creatively, it remained solid. A name change followed shortly by a change of CEO has put a question mark over Impiric, despite increasing billings to pounds 55 million. Interfocus and Osprey joined forces in 2000



IMP

Rugby Football Union

Declared billings 2000                  96m

MMS                                      2m

Declared income 2000                    13m

Total accounts year end                  55

Accounts gained                          10

Accounts lost                             4

Total staff                             196

Company type: B-Com3 subsidiary





If 1999 was an up and down year for IMP. 2000 was just flat.

2000 income remained static owing to a relatively poor new-business performance.

Some new business, generating pounds 1.5 million of income, came from the likes of Arcadia, Procter & Gamble and Clicksure. However, it lost three big accounts: United Distillers & Vintners, Chanel and Ericsson.

There were several senior management changes including the departure of the new-business director, Ian Millner (to launch an agency, Iris), and that of his successor, Rob Quick. However, the London agency strengthened its management team with the promotion of Suzanne Barnes and Mike Spicer to joint client services directors.

Creatively, things at IMP seem solid under the creative director, Jeremy Pemberton, who joined at the end of 1999. Highlights last year included work for the Rugby Football Union, Orange, Twix, Fiat and Bell's.

Other pluses were the continuing growth of its interactive agency, Blue Marble (which doubled in size and created campaigns for clients including Coca-Cola, Mars, Fiat, P&G and Alfa Romeo), and the international expansion of the IMP brand in 13 markets across Europe.

In 1999, IMP was on virtually every big pitchlist but this seemed to change in 2000. Over the past three years, it has reinvented itself as a database and digital agency, but it has lost its sparkle a little. Having finally completed an arduous office move along with sister agency D'Arcy, it now has the chance to roll up its sleeves, win some new business and work more closely with other agencies in the group.

SCORE LAST YEAR 5

SCORE THIS YEAR 4



IMPIRIC

AA

Declared billings 2000                  52m

MMS                                       -

Declared income 2000                    32m

Total accounts year end                  14

Accounts gained                           4

Accounts lost                             1

Total staff                             496

Company type: WPP subsidiary





A turbulent year for the agency formerly known as Wunderman Cato Johnson. It began with a name change followed by an ownership change and culminated with the departure of the agency's worldwide chairman and chief executive.

The agency was rebranded as Impiric in a bid to emphasis its CRM credentials and to make it sound like a fancy management consultancy. But many observers were left scratching their heads as to why one of the most famous brands in direct marketing, WCJ, had been dropped.

WPP then bought Impiric's owner, Young & Rubicam. While we will have to wait to see the full effects, the change of ownership has already cost Jay Bingle, the US-based chairman and chief executive, his job.

Given that Bingle's model of running an agency and his obsession with CRM jargon was transplanted into the London agency, there may be changes afoot following his departure. Mark Grindeland, the European chief executive, stayed less than a year before being replaced in October by the former FCB man Stewart Pearson.

Despite this, Impiric London had a good year financially, increasing billings from pounds 43 million in 1999 to pounds 55 million. New-business wins included Procter & Gamble, Marks & Spencer and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. However, it lost its Fuji account.

The agency is attempting to build its creative reputation in response to qualified criticism that it offered strong consultancy but lacked good delivery. Awards for DuPont, Citibank, the AA and Jaguar have gone some way to improving this reputation.

But however solidly Impiric is performing, there are doubts that it has got its offering exactly right.

SCORE LAST YEAR 5

SCORE THIS YEAR 4



INTERFOCUS

India Tourist Office

Declared billings 2000                  72m

MMS                                      9m

Declared income 2000                    11m

Total accounts year end                  38

Accounts gained                          10

Accounts lost                           n/s

Total staff                             125

Company type: Maxxcom subsidiary





2000 was a big year for Interfocus, which has evolved over the years from a sales promotion outfit to a full-service agency.

In September it bought itself out of the Lowe Group after a difference of opinion over future direction. A deal with the Canadian group Maxxcom, which bought 60 per cent of Interfocus, swiftly followed.

The Maxxcom deal will enable Interfocus to pursue its rapid expansion plans. It has already purchased the ad agency Osprey London, which had clients including Seiko and Jordans, and has successfully integrated it into the Interfocus operation. Osprey's Chris Still joined as the joint chairman alongside the agency founder, Matthew Hooper.

Despite this upheaval Interfocus had a good new-business year, winning ten accounts and losing none. Its biggest win was Coral's online betting service, Eurobet, with pan-European billings of pounds 25 million. It also won the India Tourist Office, the relaunch of Seiko watches and below-the-line work for Transport for London and Evolvebank.com.

Creatively, Interfocus has been strengthened by the Osprey acquisition and the arrival of its creative director, Mike Reynolds, to work with Interfocus' executive creative director, Mike Cox. Its work for India Tourist Office and the Savoy Group has been strong.

Interfocus can now genuinely claim to offer skills across the board. Just 35 per cent of its billings are below the line, but it remains to be seen if Hooper and Still's lofty ambitions can be fulfilled. Their plan to compete with the top ten ad agencies seems unlikely but expect further acquisitions this year.

SCORE LAST YEAR 6

SCORE THIS YEAR 7



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.





This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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