School Reports 2011: Beta

As you'd expect for an agency launched by Garry Lace and Robert Campbell, Beta was never far from the headlines in 2010.

Recent Beta work: Jackpotjoy
Recent Beta work: Jackpotjoy

Score: 6

Agency fact file: Beta
Type of agency Experimental group of communications people
Company ownership Independent
Key personnel Garry Lace founding partner
  Robert Campbell founding partner
  Toby Kay digital partner
  Phil Cockrell creative director
  Graham Storey creative director
The Nielsen Company billings 2010 £11m
The Nielsen Company billings 2009 £0.72m
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 4
Accounts won 2 (biggest: Iceland)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 25 (+92%)

In fact, the year was barely a week old when the agency first ran into controversy, with its campaign for the Outdoor Advertising Association (now the Outdoor Media Centre), which used the line "Career women make bad mothers. Discuss?", provoking very public criticism from Mumsnet.

Following the backlash, the OAA took the decision to withdraw the ad, and Beta was left to apologise for any offence caused.

But Beta found it was not just Mumsnetters that were criticising its work; the agency's first major TV campaigns - for Thomas Cook and Jackpotjoy - were roundly panned by adland too, predominantly for their cheesy tone and use of B-list celebrities.

However, Beta will point to the fact that the work turned out to be a big success - with Thomas Cook attributing a significant rise in summer holiday bookings to the agency's campaign. Its campaign for Iceland, starring Jason Donovan, was another example of work that offended the delicate sensibilities of adland's creative elite but apparently hit the spot with shoppers.

And, in May, there were more reasons for the agency to feel positive when it appointed the highly respected Fallon team of Phil Cockrell and Graham Storey as its first creative directors.

New business was the one front on which Beta was uncharacteristically quiet in 2010. Early in the year, it did win the £10 million Iceland business and only narrowly lost out to Albion on a pitch for Visit Britain, but after this initial excitement, the only news of note came when it picked up a TV brief from Gumtree.

Beta is now expected to embark on a renewed new-business push in 2011. While the agency is never going to be to everyone's tastes, you can be certain that it will tackle the year with typically brash and enthusiastic style.

Score last year: n/a

How Beta rates itself: 6


Back to full A-Z listings

You have

[DAYS_LEFT] Days left

of your free trial

Subscribe now

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off Campaign's relaunch than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...


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).