CAMPAIGN DIRECT AWARDS 2001: Campaign Gold Award - Direct Agency of the Year. Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel

Craik Jones, this year's winner, did not win any silvers in the

Direct awards but scored highly on all other criteria.



A word first for Saatchi & Saatchi, which deserves massive recognition

for winning most awards this year. However, we discounted Saatchi's from

the reckoning because it has steered away from launching a specialist

direct operation and is still focused on advertising.



The decision to make such an award is never easy and unlike last year,

where WWAV Rapp Collins had a clear business case for winning, several

leading agencies had stunning financial performances and shared the big

pitch wins.



Craik Jones was the one agency that had an excellent year in all

departments.



Celebrating its tenth anniversary, it had its most successful financial

year with income growing by 67 per cent and pre-tax profits reaching

close to pounds 2 million. This was a great achievement when set against

a terrible 1999, where pre-tax profits were a rock bottom pounds

300,000.



Highlights included winning the biggest pitch of the year, the pounds 25

million Orange business, against much larger agencies WWAV and Lowe

Live. It also landed Foreign & Colonial, UDV business for Bailey's and

Bell's and a place on the Barclay's roster.



Creatively, Craik Jones continues to flourish. It won top creative

awards for its Land Rover and Virgin Trains work and creative directors

Phil Keevill and Simon Kershaw run a stable and high-quality

department.



Stability has sometimes counted against Craik Jones but this year it

used it as a strength. Craik Jones' management team, all five founders

of which are still involved ten years on, has contributed to Craik

Jones' strong performance in the past year. David Watson and Robin

Mitchell rolled up their sleeves and led the new-business effort.

Planning, under Jon Voelkel, remains central to the agency's approach

and impressed new clients.



Craik Jones showed it is not content with going through the motions

after its first 10 years. More significantly it has made a massive leap

from being a cottage industry to an agency that almost doubled in size

and can take on any opposition on the biggest of pitches.



Claydon Heeley Jones Mason ran Craik Jones close. It won some big

pitches (One2One and MobilExxon stand out) and defied critics to produce

some excellent creative work for crocus.co.uk and Smirnoff. The launch

of digital agency Agency Republic, a joint venture with Agency.com, is a

sign that Omnicom rates Claydon Heeley very highly and we can expect

further developments in the next year.



Honourable mentions must go to ehs:realtime and LIDA, M&C Saatchi's

direct marketing operation. Ehs:realtime made a real success of a

potentially difficult merger and LIDA is currently the best of the small

agencies in town if creativity is balanced against business

performance.



- It's been a dynamic year for Craik Jones. Not only did the agency win

one of the biggest pitches of the year (Orange), but its consistently

high creative standards (think of the Gordon's Gin loyalty scheme and

its Virgin Trains work) combined with spectacular financial growth have

established it as a smaller shop that's able to pack some tough

punches.



The founding partners (left to right) are Phil Jones, Pamela Craik,

Robin Mitchell, David Watson and Jon Voelkel.



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