School Reports 2011: Beattie McGuiness Bungay

Beattie McGuinness Bungay earned a reputation as a trailblazer after it was founded five years ago. Last year, that reputation flagged a little. The creative work did not reach its usual high standards and the agency struggled to fill gaps in its client portfolio, converting only around one-third of its pitches into wins.

Recent Beattie McGuiness Bungay work: The Independent
Recent Beattie McGuiness Bungay work: The Independent

Score: 5

Agency fact file: Beattie McGuinness Bungay
Type of agency Advertising, digital, experiential, sponsorship
Company ownership 49% owned by Cheil Worldwide
Key personnel Trevor Beattie partner
  Andrew McGuinness partner
  Bil Bungay partner
  David Bain partner
The Nielsen Company billings 2010 £70m
The Nielsen Company billings 2009 £81m
Declared income £9.8m (2009)
Total accounts at year end 20
Accounts won 8 (biggest: William Hill)
Accounts lost 3 (biggest: Confused.com)
Number of staff 91 (-1%)

The £23 million Confused.com ad account left BMB when the comparison site brought its creative work in-house. It also lost Ikea to Mother. On the plus side, BMB hired Wieden & Kennedy's award-winning creative duo Ben Walker and Matt Gooden as its creative directors.

The management line-up was also strengthened with the promotion of Dan Gregson, the former joint head of account management, to become BMB's first managing director. However, James Denton-Clark, the group account director, left for Karmarama and the creative duo Ian Heartfield and Matt Doman went to BBH.

The agency set up a social media division called BMB Social, led by the London School of Economics social psychology lecturer Dr Asi Sharabi, which aims to empower brands to take control of conversations with consumers themselves.

Despite the Confused.com loss, the agency did net some interesting new accounts, including Center Parcs, The Independent and the launch of a cookery show for Channel 4. Standout campaigns included the pre-election campaign for The Independent, the Yorkshire Tea work and the World Cup ads for Carling that featured the score after the match ended.

The agency furthered its international ambitions with a joint venture in India with Madison World, one of that country's largest communications groups.

Walker and Gooden, who now lead the agency's ten creative teams, will hopefully make more of a creative mark in 2011. But BMB needs to get some highspending clients back on board and some much-needed buzz around the agency again.

Score last year: 6

How Beattie McGuinness Bungay rates itself: 6

"We rang the changes in 2010. And we're feeling all the better for it. We hired Matt and Ben as our new creative directors and promoted Dan Gregson to homegrown BMB MD. We expanded into India and gained three BMBs in the world's fastest-growing ad market. We parted company with Ikea and Confused.com (who subsequently opted for a spot of DIY). Last year was a pre-prod. This year, we shoot."

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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).