School Reports 2011: Wunderman

In the past, Wunderman has enjoyed a high profile in the direct marketing industry - particularly for its creativity - but in 2010, it was more a case of the agency keeping its head down and quietly getting on with business.

Recent Wunderman work: Pringles
Recent Wunderman work: Pringles

Score: 6

Agency fact file: Wunderman
Type of agency Digital direct
Company ownership WPP (Y&R Brands)
Key personnel Brendan Tansey chief executive
  David Harris executive creative director
  Mike Iles chief financial officer
  Roy Capon chief creative officer
  Sarah Atkins chief operating officer
Declared income £34m
Total accounts at year end 18
Accounts won 6 (biggest: Best Buy)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 403 (+6%)

Thanks to an already weighty client list, which includes Ford, Land Rover and Procter & Gamble, there was plenty of business to quietly get on with.

Wunderman did, however, make a big push on the new-business front to add to this roster, and successfully picked up work for Best Buy, Carphone Warehouse, Duracell and Triumph Lingerie last year.

It missed out on two of the biggest pitches of the year, though, losing out on Lloyds TSB and Virgin Media, despite making it down to the final pitch stage on both.

A number of key creative hires punctuated Wunderman's year: in May, it brought in the former Digitas creative directors Kelvin Tillinghast and Neil Barrie as its creative group heads. The appointments further boosted the agency's digital offering, and its "Oversharers" campaign for Pringles showed that it can create some nice work in this space.

On the innovation front, Wunderman partnered with its WPP sister agency, Mindshare, to launch the "Ninjas", a cross-agency unit developing social media activity for clients such as Ford, Nokia and Land Rover.

The initiative was an example of the quiet progress that the chief executive, Brendan Tansey, is making at Wunderman. It will need to step up its new-business performance if it is to convert some of the bigger pitches, but the agency is steadily finding form as a major network player.

Score last year: 6

How Wunderman rates itself: 7

"Good business growth balanced between iconic wins and strong organic growth. Wunderman found itself in the sweet spot of data and digital: greater digital strength than its DM competitors and greater data knowledge than digital agencies. Two biggest innovations were our approach to social networking and web monetisation. The 'Ninjas' developed proprietary ways of demonstrating ROI for social and ZAAZ drives online sales through the synchronisation of paid and organic search with on-site optimisation."

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