School Reports 2012: Mother London

Mother was a runner-up in Campaign's Agency of the Year in 2011. It boasted enviable successes and there was, as has become usual, a lot of great work, awards and account wins. But 2011 didn't always go Mother's way.

Recent Stella Artois work
Recent Stella Artois work

Score: 8

Agency factfile: Mother London
Type of agency Creative
Company ownership Independent
Key personnel Stef Calcraft partner
  Robert Saville partner
  Mark Waites partner
  Stephen Butler partner
  Dylan Williams partner
Nielsen billings 2011 £161m
Nielsen billings 2010 £161m
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 43
Accounts won 9 (biggest: HTC)
Accounts lost 4 (biggest: Diet Coke)
Number of staff 204 (+28%)

Although its conversion rate wasn't up to previous years, the agency still saw some big wins such as Moneysupermarket.com and HTC.

New campaigns were abundant. Work for Stella Artois gained in confidence and beautiful spots such as "apartomatic" and the Cidre work were key to the brand nabbing Campaign's Advertiser of the Year in 2011. Mother also created a TV show for New Look as well as strong Pot Noodle and PG tips ads.

Nonetheless, there were some losses. The industry's most unlikely pairing, Butlin's and Mother, ended not long after it began. The agency also parted ways with its Travelodge and Diet Coke accounts.

The creative directors Ben Middleton, Ed Warren and Stuart Outhwaite left to join Creature London at the start of the year. But Mother shored up its creative department under Stephen Butler - who carries on the creative mantle from Robert Saville and Mark Waites - by hiring David Day and Larry Seftel from WCRS, and Oli Beale and Alex Holder from Wieden & Kennedy.

The agency also revamped its strategic line-up with the promotion of Loz Horner and Matt Hardisty from strategy directors to joint heads of strategy, while Dylan Williams, a partner, saw his role expand to take on responsibility for global strategy and across Mother's group of companies. And one of the agency's many highlights included bagging the joint Strategy Agency of the Year at the APG Creative Strategy Awards.

While Mother put in a year most agencies would be proud of, it will be aiming to raise its creative game even higher in 2012.

Score last year: 9

How Mother London rates itself: 8

"2011 was a year of creative firsts and one of Mother's strongest. First TV show (Style The Nation), first book (Operation Alphabet), first standalone design client (COI Investment & Tourism). A year for awards - APG Strategy Agency of the Year and British Arrows Most Successful Agency. And a stellar year for business - a 50 per cent pitch conversion rate including HTC, Moneysupermarket.com, Beck's and COI. Mother entered 2012 with improved billings, gross profit and 44 more people."

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