School Reports 2012: CMW

After a couple of years of steady growth - which has seen it rise to become one of the UK's best direct and digital agencies - 2011 turned out to be a year of transition for CMW, following the news in June that its managing director, Martin Nieri, was leaving to join Partners Andrews Aldridge.

Recent work for Kellogg's
Recent work for Kellogg's

Score: 6

Agency fact file: CMW
Type of agency Integrated creative agency
Company ownership MSQ Partners
Key personnel Liz Wilson chief executive
  Jamie Bell creative director
  Iain Hunter creative director
  Paul Vallois business development director
  Ben Rachel planning director
Declared income £5.1m
Total accounts at year end 14
Accounts won 6 (biggest: Associated British Foods)
Accounts lost 1 (Aviva Investors)
Number of staff 72 (-8%)

Nieri had led a stable management team and been responsible for some key hires that had helped define CMW's culture, so it is to the agency's credit that his departure didn't completely hamper its progress.

Albion's managing director, Liz Wilson, was brought into a newly created chief executive role, and she has wasted little time in gelling with the CMW team, establishing a firm relationship with the agency's creative directors, Jamie Bell and Iain Hunter.

Wilson comes with a good reputation, and her experience at Albion will stand her in good stead as she works with an agency that is looking to embrace innovation in a similar way.

She also made an immediate impact in terms of new business, with the agency picking up the Elastoplast digital account soon after her arrival. This followed wins from Associated British Foods and Cadbury Twirl that were achieved earlier in the year.

With Bell and Hunter keeping a strong hand on the creative tiller - work for McCain, Kellogg's Krave and Cadbury Creme Egg stood out - and further progress being made on the agency's digital offering, there's little reason why CMW cannot shift up a gear under its new management team in 2012.

Score last year: 8

How CMW rates itself: 7

"2011 was a year of quiet consolidation and transition for us: we grew our current client relationships with Cadbury, Beiersdorf and McCain, we enjoyed new-business success with Associated British Foods, we grew our digital and technical skills, and, despite lots of change, the work 'remained consistently strong throughout' (Campaign Annual 2011), notably Krave, Creme Egg and Nivea for Men. Now with a new chief executive in place, we've laid strong foundations for an exciting future."

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