School Reports 2011: WCRS&Co

Faced with the prospect of defending two of its biggest accounts - one of which was its founding client - 2010 inevitably saw WCRS&Co do a lot of running in order to stand still.

Recent WCRS&Co work: The Sun
Recent WCRS&Co work: The Sun

Score: 5

Agency fact file: WCRS&Co.
Type of agency Creative
Company ownership Engine
Key personnel Penny Herriman chief executive
  Jonathan Moore chief strategy officer
  Leon Jaume executive creative director
  Yan Elliott creative director
  Luke Williamson creative director
The Nielsen Company billings 2010 £174m
The Nielsen Company billings 2009 £194m
Declared income £16.9m (2009)
Total accounts at year end 24
Accounts won 5 (biggest: Glenmorangie)
Accounts lost 2 (biggest: Ferrero – resigned)
Number of staff 146 (+14%)

And given that it was successful in retaining both BMW and Santander, it would be somewhat forgivable if the agency allowed its eye to drift off the new-business and creative balls, while it threw everything at keeping key accounts.

Some agencies would have gone into meltdown faced with such a prospect, so it is credit to WCRS that it actually managed to strengthen its grip on the Sky account - picking up Sky Movies from Mother, along with the Broadband and News business - as well as Boden and the global Glenmorangie account.

Its losses, in Ferrero (which it resigned) and the Carbon Trust, were small in scale and shouldn't result in any long-term damage.

Creatively, WCRS's product also didn't seem to suffer too much given that it was on the backfoot - one particular high point was its "maybe" spot for The Sun. Mind you, though its creative work certainly wasn't any worse than in recent years, it still lacked the highs of WCRS at its best.

It was all change on the management floor too. The keys to the executive washroom were handed to Jonathan Moore, the former Unilever global brand vice-president, who became the chief strategy officer, while Penny Herriman was finally promoted to the 15-month vacant chief executive role, after the digital agency Altogether was merged into WCRS.

With Leon Jaume moved to an Engine executive creative director job, Yan Elliott and Luke Williamson have been given their heads on the board, so we should finally see the strength of their creative mettle over the coming year. Now the agency has no excuses for not powering forward.

Score last year: 3

How WCRS&Co rates itself: 6

"2010 started with defending and winning our founding client BMW and ended with defending and winning another biggie - Santander. In between, we grew our Sky business, picking up Broadband, Movies and Sky News.

We won Glenmorangie globally, Boden locally and developed our first iPhone apps for The Sun.

We even had time to resurrect Terry Venables' singing career for the World Cup."

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