Campaign unveils its first ’new-business sin bin’ this week - a
selection of agencies which overclaimed the billings on certain accounts
and, as a consequence, gained a higher-than-deserved position in last
year’s business performance league.
We took the claimed figures for individual accounts from the 1996
business league - which are supposed to equate to the next 12 months’
above-the-line spend - and compared them with the AC Nielsen MEAL
figures for the corresponding period.
There was a consistent 25 per cent mark-up across the board, although
our efforts to block overclaiming by referring to already existing MEAL
figures in the absence of client confirmation clearly paid dividends in
However, some slipped through the net. J. Walter Thompson was awarded
pounds 5 million when it won Railtrack in February. According to MEAL,
the company has so far spent pounds 900,000 on advertising.
Similarly, McCann-Erickson won pounds 5 million for the launch
advertising campaign of Midnight Sun, a ’soon-to-be-launched cruise
line’, in June.
There is no record of this company in MEAL.
Saatchi & Saatchi and Bartle Bogle Hegarty also find themselves in the
’bin’: Saatchis was awarded pounds 6 million in January for Pepcid AC,
Johnson & Johnson’s antacid brand, which spent just pounds 1.2 million
in the 12 months to December. BBH won the ’pounds 7 million’ Golden
Wonder account in May, which spent only pounds 3.8 million.
Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson, which has since merged with TBWA to form
TBWA Simons Palmer, also doubled its money on the Goldfish account, for
which it was awarded a pounds 20 million spend in May. Goldfish spent
just over pounds 10 million in the following 12 months, according to
HHCL Brasserie achieved a threefold inflation rate on its Sega games win
last August. Sega spent less than pounds 2 million, compared with the
pounds 6 million claimed.
Ogilvy & Mather added pounds 10 million for its Impulse win last April.
The account registered pounds 3.3 million in MEAL billings in the 12
months to June this year.
But St Luke’s escaped the ’sin bin’ and won a place on the pedestal of
virtue, claiming pounds 6 million for Eurostar, which spent pounds 13.5
million, and pounds 4 million for Ikea, which spent pounds 5.6 million.