Score: 7 Last year: 6
After forming a joint venture with the WPP network Bates Asia in 2012, CHI & Partners continued to rethink its structure last year, creating a holding company called The&Partnership with its affiliates. The idea is to keep agency founders involved in their businesses as senior partners, instead of them losing interest at the end of their earn-outs, and to integrate disciplines. Naturally, WPP has a significant minority stake in the venture.
The good news for CHI & Partners is that the makeover hasn’t hit the agency where it hurts – in the creative department. No single ad stood above the rest in 2013, but the quality was consistently high.
CHI & Partners started the year strongly with TV spots for Anchor and Samsung – even if the latter was marred by claims of plagiarism by the former Beta Band singer Steve Mason – and kept standards high in lower-profile ads for The Prince’s Trust and Wing-Co, before rounding 2013 off with the charming "date night" film for TalkTalk.
The agency will be sore about having to repitch for Argos following its "alien family" work – justly so given its ads were so successful for the retailer – but perhaps less concerned about losing a place on the Government roster after gloomy tales were told by those who have subsequently pitched for business through the Government Procurement Service.
In 2013, CHI & Partners also waved goodbye to Danny Josephs, who left after 12 years to run WPP’s Team News.
On a cheerier note, the agency won Lexus’ first global brief, landed more work for British Gas and captured Vertu’s creative account. Not too shabby a performace, but there’s still daylight between CHI & Partners and the industry’s elite.
How CHI & Partners rates itself: 7
CHI & Partners' year in a Tweet: We launched a new business and we won new business aplenty and we picked up lots of creative awards for lots of our clients along the way
|CHI & Partners|
|Type of agency||Full service|
|Key personnel||Johnny Hornby founding partner|
|Sarah Golding chief executive|
|Nick Howarth chief executive|
|Jonathan Burley executive creative director|
|Neil Goodlad chief strategy officer|
|Nielsen billings 2013||£170m|
|Nielsen billings 2012||£182m|
|Total accounts at year end||28|
|Accounts won||6 (biggest: Vertu)|
|Accounts lost||2 (biggest: COI)|
|Number of staff||276 (+3%)|
Score key: 9 Outstanding 8 Excellent 7 Good 6 Satisfactory 5 Adequate 4 Below average 3 Poor 2 A year to forget 1 Survival in question
Footnote: *indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.