Score: 7 Last year: n/a
Razorfish had considered itself as one of adland’s best-kept secrets. Of course, many chief executives would describe their agency that way. But if you compare Razorfish’s £24 million turnover and 280 staff with its renown in the UK, you can understand where it is coming from.
That said, Razorfish picked up two big accounts in 2013 that could go a long way to raising its profile.
The agency was appointed to Argos’ digital account in August and aims to transform the retailer’s fortunes after it took a battering from more internet-savvy competitors. Razorfish will also help Lloyds Banking Group develop digital products and services across its brands.
There were other wins, including C&A, Michelin and Net-A-Porter, but none so newsworthy as Argos and Lloyds. Razorfish did make a big-name hire, however – Måns Tesch, one of the brothers behind the award-winning (now-defunct) Swedish agency Tesch & Tesch, joined as the executive strategy director.
On the downside, Weight Watchers reviewed its digital media, for which Razorfish declined to repitch, and the agency failed to land Desperados in a pitch. In addition, the head of planning, Adrian Gans, departed for Brand Union, while the associate creative director, Jon Adolfsson, left for TBWA\London.
Razorfish was responsible for some good creative work in 2013, including 100 McDonald’s Moments. It also created another Audi City, a shop in which people can use technology to browse car models and add their specifications – this time in Beijing.
In spite of this, the work still suffers from relative obscurity. Until Razorfish produces more things that cross over into the mainstream, it will be hard for the agency to shake off its "best-kept secret" label.
How Razorfish rates itself: 7
Razorfish's year in a Tweet: Razorfish’s 2013? Won 10 clients, lost zero. Doubled Creative Dept., 21 awards. Hired Måns Tesch. Double-digit growth. New building in 2014.
|Type of agency||Full-service digital|
|Company ownership||Publicis Groupe|
|Key personnel||Chris Mellish chief executive|
|John Cunningham chief technology officer|
|Sean Chambers executive creative director|
|Megan Harris media director|
|Måns Tesch executive strategy director|
|Total accounts at year end||28|
|Accounts won||10 (biggest: Lloyds Banking Group)|
|Accounts lost||1 (Weight Watchers – resigned)|
|Number of staff||280 (+10%)|
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.