School Reports 2011: OMD Group

In a year when it was all about holding tight to your business as if your reproductive organs depended on it, OMD did well to retain desirable clients in Carlsberg (£100 million) and easyJet (£25 million), international and pan-European accounts respectively. It also scooped the paid search account for Shop Direct PPC and the attractive YouView account, worth a reported £40 million over four years.

Recent OMD Group work: Carlsberg
Recent OMD Group work: Carlsberg

Score: 6

Agency fact file: OMD Group
Type of agency Media and marketing communications
Company ownership Omnicom Group
Key personnel Philippa Brown CEO, Omnicom Media Group, UK
  Steve Williams CEO, OMD UK Group
  Jonathan Allan managing director, OMD UK
  Robert Ffitch managing director, Manning Gottlieb OMD
  Alistair MacCallum managing director, M2M
The Nielsen Company billings 2010 £717m
The Nielsen Company billings 2009 £788m
Declared income £52.4m (2009)
Total accounts at year end 168
Accounts won 25 (biggest: Shop Direct PPC)
Accounts lost 5 (biggest: Aviva)
TV 48%
Press 29%
Outdoor 10%
Radio 6%
Internet 4%
Other (cinema) 3%
Number of staff 635 (+0.8%)

The biggest loss for OMD was the £27 million Aviva business. However, considering the group holds 168 accounts spread across OMD UK, Manning Gottlieb UK and M2M, things could have been worse in such a tough procurement climate. And it certainly wasn't as bad as losing the £90 million Reckitt Benckiser the year before to ZenithOptimedia.

The group itself admitted that 2010 was more about working on existing clients than shopping for more. Nevertheless, it did reel in more digital work from current clients such as John Lewis and Hasbro.

Structurally, the senior management team remained stable, with Jonathan Allan, Robert Ffitch and Alistair MacCallum still holding the MD reigns of its three agencies under the chief executive, Steve Williams.

The year ended with MG OMD battling to retain its £40 million Virgin Media account. The agency's 2011 will be quickly coloured by the result of this pitch and there's no doubt that it needs to gain some fresh momentum quickly.

Score last year: 6

How OMD Group rates itself: 7

"OMD proved its digital firepower - across the spectrum - in 2010 with over half of our new-business wins coming from search and social media; most notably Shop Direct, one of the largest paid search accounts in the UK. Our campaigns continue to produce outstanding business results for our clients; winning gold and silver for Waitrose and Virgin Atlantic at the IPA Effectiveness Awards is testament to the talent and energy of our people."

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