School Reports 2014: iProspect

British Airways
British Airways

Score: 8  Last year: n/a

This is the year Aegis Media’s digital performance specialist iProspect makes its School Reports debut, and few can argue with it making a beeline to the top of class. Once the centralised digital muscle for Aegis Media’s established media agencies, iProspect now wins as many accounts independently as it does pitching with its siblings Carat and Vizeum.  

Dubbed "the media agency of the future" by some, iProspect does not handle any TV, press, outdoor or radio spend but focuses entirely on digital marketing, with search accounting for 80 per cent of billings and "other" digital activities – including pay per click, affiliates, display and social – making up the remaining 20 per cent.

The range and depth of 11 new-business wins in 2013 confirm iProspect’s growth trajectory, including: Asda Money, British Airways, Burberry, Confused.com, Hilton, MoreTh>n and Sky. The agency also extended its relationship with Santander alongside Carat, picking up the affiliate and SEO business to consolidate its media and digital work.

IProspect continues to grow to keep up with demands, with headcount rising by more than a third last year (90) to total 270 staff in the UK. The agency’s model has proved so successful that few were surprised when Ben Wood was promoted twice last year, first from managing director to chief executive, and then to global president in charge of iProspect’s growth across 43 markets.

The agency is credited by Google UK for its approach to using bid adjustments in Enhanced Campaigns as a way to reach people based on context – such as their location, time and device. Google’s European sales director, Mark Howe, told Campaign that iProspect represented best in class among the larger media agencies.

Now in the capable hands of the chief executive, Chris Whitelaw, the agency shows no sign of slowing its rocket-like trajectory any time soon.

How iProspect rates itself: 8

IProspect's year in a Tweet: @iProspect UK An excellent 2013: driving digital growth for clients, winning new business, retaining key clients and growing global reach

IProspect
Type of agency Digital performance marketing
Company ownership Dentsu Aegis Network
Key personnel Chris Whitelaw chief executive
Mark Fagen chief performance officer
Nishma Robb chief client marketing officer
Chris Speed chief operations officer
James Parr finance director
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 66
Accounts won 11 (biggest: Sky)
Accounts lost 5 (biggest: Avon)
Number of staff 270 (+35%)

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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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).