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
Craik Jones was the one agency that had an excellent year in all
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
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
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
- 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
The founding partners (left to right) are Phil Jones, Pamela Craik,
Robin Mitchell, David Watson and Jon Voelkel.