School Reports 2014: Crispin Porter & Bogusky London

Paddy Power
Paddy Power

Score: 6  Last year: 7

Crispin Porter & Bogusky London continued to play up to its enfant terrible reputation in 2013, but it is a philosophy that comes with its own set of problems.

At three years old, the agency is still in its infancy, but the executive creative directors, Ben Walker and Matt Gooden, see that as no good reason to compromise on how they achieve success. That means they only pitch for brands that will let them create the kind of work they like to make. While this no doubt makes CP&B a fun place to work, it also means that the agency is not growing as fast as others. With that ethos, even turning a profit is hard work in this market.

Luckily, CP&B has Paddy Power to help keep it on the map. The bookmaker with a devil-may-care approach to marketing remains the agency’s most high-profile client. Milka is bigger, at least in terms of spend, but the Mondelez-owned chocolate brand is only marketed in countries where Cadbury isn’t, so few people here know the work.

CP&B’s biggest win in 2013 was the global Turkish Airlines account, for which it saw off stiff competition from agencies including 72andSunny and Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam. The shop also picked up Captain Morgan business and project work for Microsoft’s Xbox.

There were no account losses, but the agency did say goodbye to the creatives behind some of its best Paddy Power output, Christen Brestrup and Bertie Scrase, who joined W&K. Shortly after they departed, "lost" posters began to appear in East London asking for the pair to be returned to their home in King’s Cross.

None of the TV and online work for Paddy Power in 2013 quite matched the brilliance of 2012’s "chav tranquiliser", but the "right behind gay footballers" campaign and rainbow laces initiative (alongside Lucky Generals) were inspired.

How Crispin Porter & Bogusky London rates itself: 7

Crispin Porter & Bogusky London's year in a Tweet: 185 late nights. 55 jugglers.  35 shiny awards. 10 new hires. 3 new biz wins. One trashed coach. Bring on 2014

Crispin Porter & Bogusky London
Type of agency Advertising
Company ownership MDC Partners
Key personnel Ben Walker executive creative director
Matt Gooden executive creative director
Sheryl Marjoram chief marketing officer
Clyde McKendrick executive planning director
Charles Faircloth head of client services
Nielsen billings 2013 £8m
Nielsen billings 2012 £6m
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 7
Accounts won 3 (biggest: Turkish Airlines)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 47 (-8%)

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.

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