School Reports 2012: Profero

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After a difficult 2010, which saw Profero part with the co-founder Daryl Arnold and post a global loss of £2 million, the agency pulled off something of a turnaround last year.

Score: 7

Agency factfile: Profero
Type of agency Full-service digital and marketing
Company ownership Independent
Key personnel Dale Gall chief executive
  Buster Dover managing director
  Ross Jenkins managing director, Profero Performance
  Richard Prankerd managing director, Profero Connect
Declared income £8.5m (2011 estimate)
Total accounts at year end 20
Accounts won 8 (biggest: Smirnoff)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 90 (no change)

Its UK fortunes improved as Dale Gall, who was promoted to the chief executive role in January 2011, presided over an improved new-business effort while introducing much-needed management stability and a client retention rate to be proud of.

Profero's impressive new-business record was topped by the capture of the global Smirnoff digital account, plus the UK business. Its other seven wins included HTC, Lipton Ice Tea, Western Union and a place on the global Barclays Wealth roster.

The agency was also limpet-like in its attitude towards existing clients, clinging on to all of them, including the Home Office Frank anti-drugs account despite a pitch for the business. Its resulting work, along with its activity for Mini and Smirnoff, was among the creative highlights of Profero's year.

In July, Gall moved to strengthen the management team with the appointment of Buster Dover, who had previously worked at VCCP, as the managing director. Matt Everitt, the former managing director, stayed with the agency as the business development director.

There were departures. The creative director, Matt Powell, left to join 20:20 and the client services director, Andy Buist, joined EHS 4D. But 2011 was a successful year for Profero, characterised by strong client relationships and winning performances against rivals in pitches.

More of the same, plus creative work that wins awards, would make for an even better 2012 for the agency. Its yet-to-be-appointed new ECD will have a role to play.

Score last year: 5

How Profero rates itself: 9

"In 2011, Profero achieved an outstanding turnaround. Starting the year restructuring and making key hires, Profero has not lost a client and grown existing relationships. It has achieved far more than much-needed management and client stability. Winning a string of creative and media awards; successfully repitching Talk to Frank and winning an impressive list of new clients, including Smirnoff, HTC, Barclays, Lipton Ice Tea and Western Union Global Search; and achieving record revenue growth."

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