School Reports 2011: Maxus

Maxus hit the ground running in 2010 under the new UK chief, Lindsay Weedon. Group M's youngest agency scooped the £75 million BT account from VivaKi's Starcom and Zed Media, which along with Fiat moving its £24 million media account out of sibling MEC and into Maxus, contributed to the agency trebling its billings last year. This was reflected most obviously in Maxus more than doubling its staff to 73 by the end of 2010 and a move to bigger offices on Theobald's Road.

Recent Maxus work: BT
Recent Maxus work: BT

Score: 7

Agency fact file: Maxus
Type of agency Media
Company ownership WPP (Group M)
Key personnel Lindsay Weedon chief executive
  Tim Irwin managing director
  Adrian Carpenter investment director
  Martin Lawson data and insights director
  Tom Dunn digital strategy director
The Nielsen Company billings 2010 £153m
The Nielsen Company billings 2009 £53m
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 35
Accounts won 10 (biggest: BT)
Accounts lost 1 (Marie Curie Cancer Care)
TV 33%
Online 25%
Press 20%
Search 12%
Outdoor 5%
Radio 4%
Cinema 1%
Number of staff 73 (+121%)

BT's switch from the Publicis network to WPP two years into a three-year contract was a talking point. In April, Adrian Carpenter, who had worked on the BT account at Starcom, joined Maxus after a period of leave from Starcom that coincided with the final stages of contract negotiations between BT and competing agencies for the business.

Carpenter was promoted to UK investment director in July, at the same time as Maxus established a new investment structure aimed at securing better trading deals for clients. Maxus also appointed the ex-i-level heads Tom Dunn as its digital strategy director and Martin Lawson as the global data and insights director.

Other wins of note came in the £8 million Experian account and the £5 million Plusnet. Maxus suffered its first loss under Weedon when Universal McCann won the £5 million Marie Curie Cancer Care in October.

As WPP's ambitious challenger media brand, Maxus needs to keep pushing itself in 2011 to acquire new business fast while minimal conflicts exist.

Score last year: 7

How Maxus rates itself: 8

"We have won major new business. Our billings have trebled in less than 12 months. Industry leaders have joined us: Tom Dunn (digital strategy), Martin Lawson (data and insights) and Adrian Carpenter (investment). Our global network has grown to more than 60 offices and we now work on international business with those other offices from London. We have moved to spectacular new offices - a fitting end to a brilliant year for Maxus UK."

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