CAMPAIGN REPORT ON TOP 300 AGENCIES: Top Media Agency Profiles

2000 was an up and down year for most media agencies, a trend bucked

most notably by BBJ's consistently strong performance, which landed it

Media Agency of the Year.



Declared billings 165m

MMS 136m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 66%

Press billings 18%

Outdoor billings 6%

Radio billings 5%

Staff 2000 75

Total accounts held 49

Accounts gained 16

Accounts lost 2

Company type: Aegis subsidiary

BBJ produced a true Media Agency of the Year performance in 2000 that

saw it dramatically reverse the disappointment of losing the £80

million Volkswagen account the previous year. Winning pitches in every

month of the year with the sole exception of March, the agency pulled in

£117 million of new business and surged to fourth in the Campaign

new-business table.

Furthermore, BBJ succeeded in wiping out doubts left at the start of the

year regarding the long-term viability of its independence from sister

agency Carat. Instead the agency proved its value to the Aegis group by

playing a key role in the dramatic series of car accounts pulled in over

the summer. PSA's (Peugeot-Citroen) agreement to place the entirety of

its £75 million business into BBJ enabled Aegis to pull off the

seemingly impossible in holding both that account and Renault.

However, BBJ was not content with playing a supporting role over the

past 12 months. Its 92 per cent pitch conversion rate saw it sweep up a

further £28 million in the shape of the Bertelsmann account and

take £7 million of Coke buying business (all except TV) and the

entirety of Coke's UK planning business from Universal McCann. The

agency also beat Zenith and BJK&E to grab the £8 million EasyJet


The morale blow of Volkswagen eventually resulted in only one departure,

with the planning director, Jed Glanvill, heading over to MindShare's

dotcom arm. Going into 2001, the managing director, Trista Grant, will

be looking to add more talent to her line-up.






Declared billings 95m

MMS 58m

Declared income 2000 4m

TV billings 33%

Press billings 44%

Outdoor billings 13%

Radio billings 4%

Staff 2000 25

Total accounts held 36

Accounts gained 10

Accounts lost 3

Company type: Tempus/True North subsidiary

BJK&E had an excellent year in terms of growth and new business. Back in

the summer, the agency was the fastest growing media outfit in

percentage terms - the Nielsen MMS figures published in August showed a

year-on-year growth rate of 103 per cent. Not many agencies manage to

double their billings in a matter of months and though the absolute

figures were relatively modest - £31 million to £63 million

- it was enough to propel BJK&E into the top 20.

But unfortunately that growth counts for relatively little in the story

of the agency's year - which came to be dominated by superpower

politics. BJK&E was originally set up to allow the media operation of a

smallish agency (Delaney Lund is its most recent incarnation) to plug

into the resources of a big media specialist (CIA) without losing its

identity. But now Delaney Lund's owner, True North, is revising its

media template and, having failed to buy BJK&E outright, is poised to

sell its 49 per cent stake to CIA.

The big question now is whether BJK&E can find a role for itself,

especially now that its managing director, Mark Patterson, has departed

to head MindShare's Japanese operation. Much of its business is planning

only and CIA's parent company, Tempus, has pledged to maintain it as a

second-string network - but it will have to find some pretty compelling

arguments in order to survive.







Declared billings 77m

MMS 42m

Declared income 2000 5m

TV billings 53%

Press billings 25%

Outdoor billings 9%

Radio billings 10%

Staff 2000 75

Total accounts held 50

Accounts gained 7

Accounts lost 0

Company type: Private company

2000 was a milestone for Booth Lockett Makin, marking the agency's tenth

anniversary. BLM remains a relative minnow but has proved itself a

far-sighted and flexible media operation, in spite (or more likely

because) of its size.

Now established as BLM Group, the operation has grown exponentially

beyond a simple planning and buying outfit to provide an intelligent

suite of services.

Quantum, BLM Group's new-media agency headed by Paul Longhurst,

continued to pile on revenue and by the end of the year had announced

plans for European expansion, starting in Scotland.

The former Ammirati Puris Lintas media director Matthew Pitt joined as

the head of a standalone planning and consultancy division, Leap

Communications; a joint venture creative and media unit, @the Hub, was

launched with TBWA/London; and a new creative division, Creative

Addition, was launched.

Paul Van Barthold was poached from MediaCom to take over as BLM's

managing director in a move designed to allow the three BLM founding

partners (Steve Booth, Nick Lockett and Charlie Makin) to step back and

concentrate on future strategy.

2000 was more about laying foundations rather than piling on billings,

though with group income up more than 72 per cent year on year, its

proposition seems to be built on solid (if still small) ground.





Declared billings 739m

MMS 519m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 49%

Press billings 34%

Outdoor billings 7%

Radio billings 5%

Staff 2000 368

Total accounts held n/s

Accounts gained n/s

Accounts lost n/s

Company type: Aegis subsidiary

Carat enjoyed an impressive 2000 that saw it gain dramatically on Zenith

in the battle for the UK's number one billings spot.

A measure of the agency's performance is that in a year when it lost

more than £40 million of business, largely through the global

realignments of Nissan and Reckitt & Colman, it was still able to

establish itself as a contender for Campaign's Media Agency of the


Carat's success in winning both BMW and Renault while persuading PSA

(Peugeot-Citroen) to keep its own business within the Carat group, added

almost £100 million to its own billings and left the industry

speculating whether time might finally be called on the old perceptions

of client conflict.

However, Carat certainly did not restrict itself to winning car


LVMH, Cahoot, Tiny and Pfizer were all brought on board as the agency's

new-business billings swelled to £158 million.

However, it wasn't all one-way traffic for Carat in 2000. As well as

losing Nissan and Reckitt, it failed to hold on to the COI

Communications radio business.

The agency can point to several areas in which its business was improved

during the year. Strategic planning billings grew by 20 per cent and

sponsorship proved a growing area of Carat's activity. 2000, though,

will be remembered as Carat's year of the car. And the big test for this

year will be retaining all three auto accounts.





Declared billings 225m

MMS 242m

Declared income 2000 11m

TV billings 55%

Press billings 31%

Outdoor billings 7%

Radio billings 4%

Staff 2000 120

Total accounts held n/s

Accounts gained 20

Accounts lost 2

Company type: Tempus subsidiary

After a disastrous few years, things are definitely looking up for CIA

UK. David Wheldon's first full year as the chief executive began with

the departure of the managing director, Alan Brydon, and the directors,

Lee Collins and Kevin Shute. These were the last in a series of

departures designed to refocus the agency.

CIA also restructured around client service rather than media function

and promoted Tim Neligan and Andy Martin to joint managing


It has also developed an offering called 'media first', which seeks to

put media at the heart of clients' communications strategy.

A key priority for CIA was to start winning business again. It did not

win huge amounts of business in 2000 despite participating in 33


Over the year it gained £17 million in billings with wins

including InStyle magazine, the luxury goods company Richemont and World

Online. It lost CGU to MBS Media.

In 2001 CIA needs to pitch, and win, more of the £20 million-plus


If its good performance towards the end of the year is anything to go

by, it is building the momentum to do this.

The virulent health of the Tempus group, which posted record profits

last year, should also help CIA in 2001. CIA will work more closely with

its sister companies, including Added Value and Outrider, which should

bring more, and more interesting assignments. It seems there is life in

CIA after all.






Declared billings 277m

MMS 313m

Declared income 2000 12m

TV billings 64%

Press billings 23%

Outdoor billings 5%

Radio billings 4%

Staff 2000 145

Total accounts held 46

Accounts gained 7

Accounts lost 4

Company type: IPG subsidiary

Interpublic is finally merging its UK media operations - bringing

Western International and Initiative together - a year after other


Initiative's loss of the PSA (Peugeot-Citroen) account, a conflict with

Western Media's Vauxhall business, removed the last stumbling block.

The new agency (which is too young for Campaign to award a score this

year) is the third largest in the UK with £450 million in

billings. Observers have warned of an initial culture clash between the

'accountants' of Initiative and the 'car salesmen' of Western, but such

talk disguises what should be a good fit.

Initiative filled the top positions with Roy Jeans taking the role of

chief operating officer in the UK and Ireland. The agency will be given

some impetus with the arrival of Jerry Hill, the former chief executive

of TSMS, as the group chief executive. Western's managing director,

MikeTunnicliffe, has moved to a wider role at Interpublic.

The PSA loss aside, Initiative last year strengthened its grip on the

Unilever business by winning the £16 million Bestfoods account

from OMD UK. It also landed the media for a joint venture between

Merrill Lynch and HSBC and the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society.

Jeans will focus, post-merger, on growing core business and developing

new services, including Initiative's online advertising division,







Declared billings 215m

MMS 266m

Declared income 2000 10m

TV billings 46%

Press billings 30%

Outdoor billings 13%

Radio billings 6%

Staff 2000 105

Total accounts held n/s

Accounts gained 20

Accounts lost 2

Company type: Omnicom subsidiary

Manning Gottlieb Media celebrated its tenth anniversary with another

strong performance. Last year, Campaign said it needed a car account to

take it into another league. So it went out and won the pan-European

Nissan business as part of the newly created TBWA.OMD network.

The blot on a great year was the loss of the £12 million UK Nike

account after a pan-European consolidation into MindShare. Manning

Gottlieb was unfortunate to lose the business given the quality of its


But losing an account which gave the agency opportunity to be really

creative should not overshadow its year. It still managed to increase

declared billings from £120 million in 1999 to £215 million

in 2000 with wins including Nissan, Alliance & Leicester, Royal & Sun

Alliance, The Independent,, npower, Starbucks and Virgin


The agency almost doubled its staff size. It restructured and promoted

Matt James to the post of managing director. It also launched

consultancy services - ROI, Consumer Insight and Creative Media - as it

remains convinced that clients still want serious planning advice.

The agency's interactive team worked for clients including Sony Music

and Eurostar and is working on interactive TV projects for several


Manning Gottlieb has made the move into the big league but still cares

about quality.





Declared billings 90m

MMS 91m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 54%

Press billings 35%

Outdoor billings 2%

Radio billings 8%

Staff 2000 55

Total accounts hekd 60

Accounts gained 7

Accounts lost 1

Company type: True North subsidiary

It was a strange year for MBS Media. The deal which saw True North

snapping it up was almost certainly better for MBS than it was for True


Since falling out with Publicis and thus having to pull out of the

Optimedia joint venture, True North has been desperate to find

alternative - and, of course, credible - media arrangements.

It remains to be seen whether MBS is the answer. When the deal went

through in November, MBS was the largest media independent still in

private hands.

At more than £80 million, its billings are pretty decent - it is,

after all, a top 20 operation.

But in many eyes, MBS is a tired brand with uninspiring clients, the

most prominent being the £20 million Norwich Union account, Allied

Carpets and Michelin Tyres. Of these, the jewel in the crown is Norwich

Union and MBS must have been mightily relieved to retain the enlarged

account following the company's merger with CGU to create CGNU.

True North insists it has big plans on the media side and this could

offer a new lease of life for MBS. On the other hand, True North has

been notoriously backward in its media thinking and sceptics will wonder

where the needed inspiration will come from. The MBS mission for this

year is to confound the sceptics and provide vigorous leadership in

helping to redevelop the True North media product.





Declared billings 490m

MMS 478m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 52%

Press billings 39%

Outdoor billings 4%

Radio billings 3%

Staff 2000 280

Total accounts held n/s

Accounts gained 43

Accounts lost n/s

Company type: Grey subsidiary

MediaCom had another very strong year and is viewed as an efficient

media operation which does exactly as it promises. The only facet the

agency needs to work on is building its strategic credentials and adding

some creative sparkle.

Clients clearly recognised the agency's strengths with MediaCom gaining

its first foothold on the COI Communications roster with the £36

million press-buying account. It also secured an additional £43

million in billings from the centralised Royal Bank of Scotland and

NatWest account, following a pitch against the fellow incumbent Starcom

Motive and the outsider Media Planning. Other wins included De Agostini

and the frozen food brand Young's Bluecrest.

In terms of account losses, the only two slip-ups were the departure of

Midland Mainline's £500,000 account and Danbury Mint's £3.5

million business.

MediaCom scored a first when it used COI Communications to trail a new

media buying service, iMediabrief, which allows an advertiser to put a

brief out to media owners before negotiating deals.

The agency also fine-tuned its structure, hiring Paul Chard from Viacom

to head a division handling sponsorship and advertiser-funded


In September it boosted its new-media credentials with its online buying

arm,, announcing a formal strategic partnership with Grey


It also hired Jason Dooris from Organic as the managing director of

Alan Rich ceded his title of chief executive to Steve Allan and became

the executive chairman. Key departures included the commercial director,

Paul Van Barthold, and its second most senior broadcast director Ivan






Declared billings 490m

MMS 186m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 52%

Press billings 39%

Outdoor billings 4%

Radio billings 3%

Staff 2000 280

Total accounts held n/s

Accounts gained 43

Accounts lost n/s

Company type: Havas subsidiary

Media Planning's bright start to 2000 was not sustained through to the

end of the year. However, there was much to cheer in the agency's

performance and the attention given to development over the 12-month


Perhaps the most obvious change for the agency came in March. The

Mediapolis name was ditched to reflect parent Havas' purchase of the

Spanish Media Planning network. A third change of moniker in as many

years is clearly less than ideal. However, the new identity should

hopefully enable the agency to brand itself more successfully as an

international operation.

Media Planning's strategy division, Catalyst, will now be exported

throughout Havas' newly acquired operation, reflecting a new emphasis on

planning that has been evident in its policy this year. The success in

poaching Marie Oldham from BBC Worldwide to become a managing partner

for strategy was the high point here, sending a clear signal that the

agency is prepared to invest in expanding its offering beyond high-yield


On the new-business front, there were indications that such an approach

could bring dividends. Media Planning landed Ask Jeeves and Thomson,

both worth £10 million, and Reed Employment, which brought in a

further £15 million. However, the flow of wins dried up in the

second half of the year and there were losses to be registered too - the

£4 million Bayer and £4.5 million Scottish Widows TV


To put real flesh on the bones of their expanded offering, Media

Planning must strive to land larger businesses such as the Royal Bank of

Scotland and COI Communications that it missed out on at pitch this

year. Barclays could well provide such an opportunity in 2001.





Declared billings n/s

MMS 355m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 53%

Press billings 35%

Outdoor billings 3%

Radio billings 4%

Staff 2000 206

Total accounts held 148

Accounts gained 16

Accounts lost 3

Company type: B-Com3 subsidiary

MediaVest's 2000 was a year of two halves; a first period that bordered

on the disastrous, buoyed up by an increasingly robust performance later

as the year progressed.

The agency began the year with its international position as uncertain

as ever. Internal morale suffered when the creation of the Starcom

MediaVest Group in May looked set to position the agency as a second

string to Starcom Motive in the UK. Adrian Birchall, the chairman of

MediaVest UK, failed to land the SMG top job and had left by the end of

the year.

Things on the domestic front hardly improved as a number of high-profile

accounts came under pressure. Scottish Courage announced a review,

Barclays Bank publicly planned its own for the year's fourth quarter and

MediaVest faced a massive task defending its COI Communications TV and

press buying accounts in a statutory summer review.

As it turned out, the agency proved surprisingly tenacious in defending

these accounts. The COI Communications press might have gone to

MediaCom, but MediaVest kept hold of the equally lucrative TV business.

The agency then stunned the industry by holding on to Scottish Courage's

£48 million account, beating Manning Gottlieb Media, Walker Media,

New PHD and Optimedia.

Finally, Barclays opted to delay its review until at least the first

quarter of 2001.

But even if MediaVest got out of 2000 relatively unscathed, it still

needs to reinvigorate its domestic performance. Account wins such as

StarTV, Misys, the Conservative Party and the Bristol Myers business are


But the industry will be looking to see how Jim Marshall, MediaVest's

chief executive, restructures his agency.






Declared billings 61m


Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 31%

Press billings 32%

Outdoor billings 12%

Radio billings 6%

Staff 2000 19

Total accounts held 13

Accounts gained 6

Accounts lost 1

Company type: Private company

Michaelides & Bednash's challenge for 2000 was to stand out from an

increasing number of agencies converted to its

brand-strategy-above-all-else offering. It did so in vigorous style with

an impressive series of account wins and a summer of strong Channel 4

work, particularly around Big Brother and Test Cricket.

The year began with some promising dotcom wins, most notably for the US

financial website MotleyFool. However things really picked up with the

arrival of the £8 million account in May. M&B's

appointment to handle strategy for this Guardian Media Group spin-off

predated the creative and media pitches and strengthened the agency's

claim to top-of-the-corporate-tree positioning.

M&B's sole major loss also came in the summer, with Anchor Butter opting

to return to the more traditional Zenith. However, this deficit was

offset by an extremely impressive close to the year as the agency

swooped in at the close of traditional creative and media pitches to

grab the planning and strategy for Ananova and Coffee Republic.

The announcement of a new agency outpost in New York indicates the next

step for M&B. International expansion could allow the agency to make the

same impact abroad as it did in the UK two years ago.

On the domestic front, however, M&B's partners must hope that at least

one of its new clients provides an outlet for high-profile strategic

work equal to that of Channel 4.






Declared billings 475m

MMS 403m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 57%

Press billings 31%

Outdoor billings 5%

Radio billings 4%

Staff 2000 220

Total accounts held 130

Accounts gained 33

Accounts lost 2

Company type: WPP subsidiary

MindShare turned in a strong performance this year, becoming a force to

be reckoned with on the pitch front while beginning to deliver on its

'house of media' positioning.

In terms of new business, its two key highlights were the gain of Boots'

£60 million media account from OMD UK and the clinching of Nike's

£60 million centralised European account.

Other notable wins included the final pieces of Ford's media with Volvo

and Land Rover, BP Amoco, EasyEverything's global internet cafe business

and the launch of the internet venture, Marketsunlocked. MindShare also

prised away Bass's restaurant business from BBJ.

Business losses were restricted to Lycos (£4 million), Thomson

Holidays (£10 million) and P&O Stena Line (£5 million).

In terms of personnel, the agency brought in Jed Glanvill from BBJ as a

managing partner to head its new-media division, mdigital, and to help

build new business. Ita Murphy was poached from Initiative Media to lead

the new Boots account. Key departures included the deputy managing

director, Kevin Razvi, and MindShare's client services director, Ron de


The one thing preventing MindShare from scoring a close-to-perfect nine

was the fact that its management structure needed to be fortified beyond

its chief executive, Mandy Pooler, and the managing director, Simon

Rees, even before it emerged in January that Pooler is to step down.

In 2001, the agency needs to sharpen up its management team, while

fine-tuning its specialist capabilities and keeping up its new-business






Declared billings 79m

MMS 354m

Declared income 2000 18m

TV billings 54%

Press billings 26%

Outdoor billings 10%

Radio billings 6%

Staff 2000 212

Total accounts held n/s

Accounts gained n/s

Accounts lost n/s

Company type: Omnicom subsidiary

New PHD had a rollercoaster year in 2000, faring pretty well in

new-business terms, but facing a management issue with the departure of

three of its key staff.

The year began well with the gain of's account (£5

million), the planning for Mars' Whiskas, the awarding of

(£5 million) and the internet cosmetics company Beautyspy. In

July, however, John Harlow, the managing director of New PHD's

second-string agency Rocket, Jon Wilkins, the joint managing director of

New PHD, and Will Collin, its director of strategic services, left to

set up their own communications agency, Naked.

New PHD responded in the short term by buying out Partners BDDH's 50 per

cent stake in its strategic consultancy joint venture, MSc, and bringing

the managing director, Louise Jones, and the managing partner, Daren

Rubins, on board. The chairman, Ken New, stepped down at the end of the

year and Jeremy Tester, its client services director, also left.

While New PHD's status in Omnicom's portfolio of companies appeared

unclear, the announcement early last year that the agency was to launch

its own global media brand, PHD, which would work in parallel to OMD,

resolved this issue.

In terms of new-business losses, New PHD lost its £25 million

Volvo business, which joined Ford's centralised media in MindShare, and

PHD Compass's Cellnet business went to Zenith.

PHD rounded off the year by climbing on to COI Communications' first

new-media agency roster and accruing £13 million in billings from

Weetabix following a hotly contested centralisation pitch.

This year, after bedding down its new management figures, New PHD needs

to evolve and hone its strategic acumen.





Declared billings 480m

MMS 413m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 60%

Press billings 23%

Outdoor billings 6%

Radio billings 9%

Staff 2000 135

Total accounts held 101

Accounts gained 13

Accounts lost 5

Company type: Omnicom subsidiary

It has not been a blistering year for OMD UK, which began as BMP OMD

and, after becoming the lead UK agency in the Omnicom media network,

rebranded itself as OMD UK. The agency seems to have lost none of its

confidence, but it has lost a lot of business.

The loss of Boots' £60 million media account to MindShare as part

of a centralisation was a bitter blow. In fact, this, followed swiftly

by the departure of the Bestfoods £16 million account, which went

into Initiative as part of a pan-European consolidation, made it a bit

of an annus horribilis for the agency.

Other pieces of business to leave the agency included Alliance &

Leciester (£5 million) and a chunk of the Marks & Spencer account

(£10 million) following a centralisation into Walker Media. The

agency, however, retained the £9 million National Dairy Council


Its high spot in new-business terms was clinching the COI Communications

£9 million radio account from Carat, but this didn't start to make

up for the billings that had gone out of the door.

OMD's sister agency, BMP Solutions in Media, fared well last year,

raking in the rest of the centralised Reckitt Benckiser business as well

as AXA's £22 million centralised account.

OMD has bolstered its strategic credentials with its appointment

following a pitch against management consultancies, to advise on the

commercial development of British Cricket online.

This year, the agency needs to refresh its new-business record, build

the OMD brand and reassert its strategic credentials in the media






Declared billings 280m

MMS 227m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 48%

Press billings 32%

Outdoor billings 5%

Radio billings 5%

Staff 2000 105

Total accounts held 97

Accounts gained 23

Accounts lost 1

Company type: Publicis subsidiary

Optimedia was rocked by the loss of Renault to Carat in the UK and

Europe, resulting in £76 million of lost billings for the agency.

Although there were some interesting developments at the agency, these

were overshadowed by the loss of a third of its billings.

Optimedia has worked hard to replace the Renault account and has pulled

in a solid £54 million in new business from the likes of

Hewlett-Packard, Sara Lee,, Conde Nast and L'Oreal.

On the negative side, it also lost the buying account for Marks &

Spencer's food business. Due to the Renault loss, there is still a large

shortfall and the agency needs to win big in the next six months to

replace it.

On the positive side, Optimedia launched a new digital department called

interactive@Optimedia to provide clients with consultancy on interactive

media and it became the first agency to combine TV and online buying,

with the formation of a new department called i-trade. It also won

awards for its work for Go and Pentax.

Optimedia's holding company, Publicis, following its acquisition of

Saatchi & Saatchi and the accompanying 50 per cent stake in Zenith, is

looking at ways of more closely integrating its two media networks.

Publicis' president, Maurice Levy, has ruled out a full merger and the

creation of a single global brand but there is likely to be change in

the relationship.

2001 is destined to be a challenging year.





Declared billings 400m

MMS 370m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 69%

Press billings 16%

Outdoor billings 6%

Radio billings 5%

Staff 2000 160

otal accounts held 72

Accounts gained 21

Accounts lost 5

Company type: B-Com3 subsidiary

2000 could hardly have been more of a mixed bag for Starcom Motive. The

agency's planning credentials were dramatically re-emphasised as it once

again dominated the Campaign Media Awards. However, Starcom's

new-business record proved disappointing and the agency suffered a

serious blow towards the end of the year with the loss of the £43

million NatWest account.

Starcom picked up Campaign's Media Campaign of the Year Award for the

second year running with its Stella Artois 'movies that matter'


Further accolades came with the Levi's Engineered Jeans launch winning

in the Best International Campaign category on the same night. And yet

the agency struggled to make such strategic prowess pay in client


The first half of the year brought a steady stream of wins, such as P&O,

the Discovery Channel, Scottish Power and Lego. But Starcom failed to

convert on the lucrative Coca-Cola pitch in the autumn and the £30

million of new business brought in was outweighed by the loss of the

£43 million NatWest business in the review that followed the RBS

takeover. The media director, Kevin Brown, also left to join the Bartle

Bogle Hegarty breakaway agency Soul in May.

If the agency failed to set the UK on fire in 2000, then part of the

reason surely lies with the after-effects of last year's merger of

Starcom and Motive. And the formation of B-Com3's Starcom MediaVest

Group will give Mark Cramner, the chief executive for Europe, the Middle

East and Africa, more food for thought. He must hope that internal

distractions will not deflect Starcom from applying its acumen more

effectively in 2001.





Declared billings 392m

MMS 367m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 54%

Press billings 29%

Outdoor billings 7%

Radio billings 6%

Staff 2000 n/s

Total accounts held n/s

Accounts gained n/s

Accounts lost n/s

Company type: Interpublic subsidiary

Universal McCann did not have a brilliant year, nor did it have a

particularly calamitous one.

The two bits of news that made the agency hit the headlines were the

departure of the joint managing director Fiona Smedley, who decided not

to return to the agency after maternity leave and instead set up her own

business, leaving Chris Shaw on his own to drive the agency. The other

was Coke's decision, following a pan-European review, to move its media

out of Universal, with the exception of TV buying, into BBJ. While the

latter showed the strength of Universal's TV credentials, losing a chunk

of one of its most prestigious accounts was a serious blow.

Universal, however, with the exception of Coke and Esso (£1.3

million), did not lose any other major business and did chalk up some

moderate wins, including the Teacher Training Agency (£3 million),

the Irish Tourist Board (£2 million) and the clothing retailer

Hennes (£4 million). It also retained COI Communications' £3

million cinema account.

The agency set up a new-media unit, Universal Interactive, and poached

Damian Blackden, a managing partner from Zenith Interactive, to head the

division. It also set up Universal Programming, led by Phil Cresswell,

to handle its sponsorship, programme origination and barter


This year, with Shaw moving up to the position of chairman, while Pru

Parkinson from Western is brought in as the new chief executive,

Universal needs to work on improving its strategic credentials.

The agency would benefit from being turned into a leaner, more

aggressive organisation that can win more business independently from

its sister agency, McCann-Erickson.






Declared billings 200m

MMS 172m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 41%

Press billings 46%

Outdoor billings 7%

Radio billings 5%

Staff 2000 55

Total accounts held 30

Accounts gained 22

Accounts lost 2

Company type: Private company

Walker Media's third year in existence wasn't exactly legendary in terms

of breathtaking wins and eyecatching headlines, but its new-business

machine was relentlessly consistent throughout the year.

It picked up more than 20 new accounts, the most satisfying of which

must have been Marks & Spencer, which was the biggest (at £27

million) and most blue chip of its wins last year. Getting on to the COI

Communications roster, as it did by picking up the Census and the Police

accounts, was also a highlight.

Critics might point out that most of the wins were less than £10

million - but if you win them in quantity they soon start to mount up,

especially when you're not losing much. The only account loss of note in

2000 was BOL, which shifted its £7 million account to Carat Group

as part of an international alignment. The icing on the cake last year

would have been the £48 million Scottish Courage business but it

dropped off the pitchlist after the first round.

The agency needs just a few more top-notch accounts. It continues to

exude the confidence of a top ten operator and its principals, Christine

Walker and Phil Georgiadis, are clearly top ten players.

The challenge for this year must be to join the premier league of media

agencies. The goal should be to break comfortably through the £200

million billings barrier.





Declared billings 679m

MMS 660m

Declared income 2000 n/s

TV billings 62%

Press billings 25%

Outdoor billings 5%

Radio billings 5%

Staff 2000 220

Total accounts held n/s

Accounts gained n/s

Accounts lost n/s

Company type: Cordiant/Publicis subsidiary

It was a rollercoaster year for Zenith Media, with terrific highs and

terrible lows. Being the biggest media agency isn't easy, and while the

agency has benefited from some media centralisations, others left it


On the plus side, Zenith is building up its planning credentials under

the auspices of Gerry Boyle, who was promoted to head of planning last

year, and the addition of Rhona Tridgell, who was taken on to head the

BT business. Three planning accounts snaffled by the agency included New

Zealand Milk, Capital and Toyota.

The agency has recently restructured and Zenith Interactive Solutions

has expanded to 17 people since its launch at the end of last year,

under Chris Ketley.

Other notable business wins included the centralised Scottish Widows

business, the gain of BT Cellnet from PHD Compass, British American

Tobacco's duty-free account, ExxonMobil's global account and the

centralisation of Rover's European media. It has also retained Kraft,

which was a founding client.

Business lows included the loss of BMW, whose European account was

centralised into Carat, the centralisation of Bristol-Myers Squibb's

media into Starcom MediaVest and the loss of Hewlett-Packard, whose

£100 million global media business was put into Optimedia.

This latter action sparked off a bitter legal spat between Optimedia's

parent company, Publicis, which in June merged with Zenith's joint owner

Saatchi & Saatchi, and Zenith. The latter claims Saatchis could be in

breach of its commitment to Zenith, underlining how Zenith is still

captive to a complex and restrictive parentage that is preventing it

from growing, thriving and consolidating on the global stage.




9 Outstanding

8 Excellent

7 Good

6 Satisfactory

5 Adequate

4 Below average

3 Poor

2 A year to forget

1 Survival in question


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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).