CAMPAIGN REPORT: Top 300 Agencies - Top UK agency profiles for 1999. (3 of 3)

9 Outstanding
8 Excellent
7 Good
6 Satisfactory
5 Adequate
4 Below average
3 Poor
2 A year to forget
1 Survival in question


Declared billings 1999                       218m
MMS                                          220m
Declared income 1999                        29.7m
% TV billings                                  60
Total accounts year end                        41
Accounts gained                                 8
Accounts lost                                   2
Total staff                                   246
Company type                       WPP subsidiary


9 Outstanding

8 Excellent

7 Good

6 Satisfactory

5 Adequate

4 Below average

3 Poor

2 A year to forget

1 Survival in question





Declared billings 1999                       218m

MMS                                          220m

Declared income 1999                        29.7m

% TV billings                                  60

Total accounts year end                        41

Accounts gained                                 8

Accounts lost                                   2

Total staff                                   246

Company type                       WPP subsidiary

It was a nerve-wracking year for Ogilvy & Mather’s London office.

Staff had to wait until April to be informed of the hiring of the group

chairman, Paul Simons, who replaced the ousted chief executive,Tom


In May Simons’ recovery programme emerged: grow the agency out of its

problems. He then spent much of the year restructuring the new-business

department, hiring Jonathon Hall as business development director in

September and appointing Andrea Giacobbe to run international new


The fruits of his labour began to emerge at the end of the year with the

winning of Harp lager and projects from Ford Credit. A major loss,

however, was the Woolwich account.

Creative output this year included the launch of Open, the interactive

TV platform.

O&M has yet to solve its problems with creative leadership. Simons’

appointment of Steve Dunn as joint executive creative director at the

end of the year was the surprise result of a long search initiated in

the spring. The search for a partner for Dunn continues.

In November the agency’s vice-chairman and executive creative director,

Patrick Collister, quit to set up a creative training school.

O&M’s managing director, Richard Pinder, is also moving. He and the

creative director, Marcus Vinton, will run OgilvyInteractive.

Simons was brought in to turn around a flagging agency. He has

introduced change and new faces, working towards a new culture which he

calls ’Safe Sex’, but which seems far away from the culture established

by the agency’s recently deceased founder, David Ogilvy. O&M’s next

challenge will be persuading its global clients that the change is for

the better.

OgilvyOne had an unremarkable year. It was included on some of the

year’s most important pitchlists, but failed to gain any significant





Co-op Bank

Declared billings 1999                        91m

MMS                                           37m

Declared income 1999                         9.5m

% TV billings                                  42

Total accounts year end                        17

Accounts gained                                 5

Accounts lost                                   3

Total staff                                   106

Company type     Snyder Communications subsidiary

Marked growth was the hallmark of 1999 for Partners BDDH. In September

it nudged into the MMS top 30 for the first time, thanks to increased

billings from existing and new clients.

The agency’s most remarkable achievement was winning re-pitches for

three of its biggest clients - Mercedes, Emirates Airlines and the Co-op

supermarket chain. In every case, Partners BDDH picked up extra work

from the client as a result of the review.

Other pitches were less successful. British Midland and BT Business

slipped through the agency’s fingers, as did Glenfiddich and Calloway

Golf. But the balance finished in Partners BDDH’s favour thanks to wins

on Eden Vale, Yell and Energis. Partners Andrews Aldridge, its

below-the-line sister shop, helped the tally by pulling in Walt Disney

World Florida.

The agency group, which also includes the media planning arm, MSc,

performed well. The group’s sale to Snyder Communications at the end of

1998 had a negligible effect on the fortunes of Partners BDDH.

Despite this expansion, billings were not the agency’s only goal. There

was some reshuffling of the creative department, with John Dean taking

over the creative directorship while Simon Green, who was responsible

for agency campaigns such as Co-op Bank, took a back seat as he

finalised plans to direct full time.

Dean persuaded two respected teams - Jo Tanner and Mark Dickens, and

Jason Fretwell and Greg Milbourne - to join the top ranks of his

creative department. All four cited the strong client list as a pull but

drew attention to the fact that the work has not, so far, excelled for

brands such as The Guardian and Mercedes.

Partners BDDH must bring out the best in these new teams to maintain its






Declared billings 1999                       260m

MMS                                          244m

Declared income 1999                          n/s

% TV billings                                  47

Total accounts year end                        36

Accounts gained                                 7

Accounts lost                                   4

Total staff                                   245

Company type                  Publicis subsidiary

Despite its undoubted success last year, Publicis remains an enigma.

Other agencies are better at hyping themselves, yet Publicis sits

comfortably in the middle of the top ten. Others surpass it creatively,

yet Publicis still manages more than its fair share of pitch


Twenty per cent of the agency’s revenue came from new-business wins,

complementing a 24 per cent revenue growth through extra assignments

from existing clients. Only one UK pitch - for William Grant whisky -

was lost.

Moreover, some big names joined the Publicis roster. The Woolwich ended

a 30-year relationship with Ogilvy & Mather to hand over its pounds 10

million account. Meanwhile, Publicis in London will be lead agency on

the global business assigned to the network by Ericsson.

Publicis also boosted its standing with existing clients. United

Biscuits consolidated all global creative work on its McVitie’s and KP

brands within the agency, while Whitehall Laboratories, worried about

conflicting SmithKline Beecham business at Grey, returned its pounds 3

million Anadin account to Publicis after a three-year absence.

The only significant dampers were the loss of MasterCard, globally

aligned within McCann-Erickson, and Nescafe’s multi-million pound global

branding campaign, also to McCann.

The agency’s stealthy approach, rather than rushing headlong for growth,

is paying dividends. Maurice Levy, the Publicis worldwide chief, insists

his London operation is all the stronger for putting down solid


Why, then, has the agency not reached full bloom? Some former senior

executives point to the lack of a clearly defined culture and the

difficulty in keeping the creative momentum going on long-running

campaigns. If the managerial triumverate of Richard Hytner, Grant Duncan

and Gerry Moira can sort that, Publicis in London will have gained its

place at the top table.




Virgin Cola

Declared billings 1999                       250m

MMS                                          225m

Declared income 1999                          n/s

% TV billings                                  53

Total accounts year end                        36

Accounts gained                                 8

Accounts lost                                   2

Total staff                                   215

Company type           Young & Rubicam subsidiary

Advertising’s biggest London news story of 1999 was the merger of Rainey

Kelly Campbell Roalfe and Young & Rubicam to create a new top ten

agency. The merger came as a surprise but, with the benefit of

hindsight, looked to be a logical solution to Y&R’s need for critical

mass in London.

Since the August announcement, the two agencies have been wrestling with

the challenges presented by such radical change. So far the transition

has been neat. Once Rainey Kelly’s General Motors account had been

jettisoned in favour of Y&R’s Ford business, the fallout from the merger

was not dramatic, with Dairy Crest and Carphone Warehouse being the only

major client casualties. Relationships with others, including Virgin

Cola, remained intact.

The deal was, effectively, a takeover by Rainey Kelly with the

consequence that Y&R’s top brass was surplus to requirements. Toby

Hoare, the chairman and driving force behind the agency’s recovery,

turned down a choice of big Y&R jobs in New York and went to Bates UK,

while Stevie Spring, the managing director, went to the More Group.

Mike Cozens, the creative director, was content to be shunted along

Y&R’s mighty corridors, making room for the famous foursome of MT

Rainey, Jim Kelly, Robert Campbell and Mark Roalfe.

By the end of the year, it seemed that most of the tough decisions had

been made, leaving Rainey et al with the even tougher task of building a

cohesive agency and ringing up the kind of success that Y&R will expect

for its (reported) pounds 25 million.

The merger shows great promise. But as the main protagonists are only

too well aware, 2000 will be a crucial and testing time for Rainey





Cable & Wireless

Declared billings 1999                        40m

MMS                                            9m

Declared income 1999                     5m (est)

% TV billings                                  10

Total accounts year end                        11

Accounts gained                                 3

Accounts lost                                   0

Total staff                                    78

Company type                      Private company

Rapier is one of the few remaining independent agencies left in the UK,

and probably the most attractive, but founder Jonathan Stead refuses to

let it be swallowed. However, international expansion has been somewhat

impeded by this independence, so the agency made an effort in 1999 to

build European relationships.

In the UK, the first week of the year saw the departure of the managing

director, Simon Toaldo, after a year at the company. While a replacement

for Toaldo has not yet been found, Rapier still appears to be the sort

of size where Stead can run it himself without being spread too thin,

especially with the creative director, John Townshend, by his side.

Losing out on the Legal & General pitch in April may have come as a

disappointment, but at least it cleared the way for the agency’s biggest

win of the year - America’s fourth-largest bank, Bank One, with an

annual spend of pounds 20 million-plus. Furthermore, the Guardian Direct

client brought extra business in as a result of its merger with Axa, as

Rapier won the centralised business without a pitch.

On the creative front, Rapier won a silver at the Campaign Direct Awards

for its Cable & Wireless work.

A big issue for 2000 is what will come of the pending merger of Cable &

Wireless Communications with NTL. As NTL would be the dominant partner,

and the C&W consumer branding - which Rapier created - would disappear,

it would make sense to centralise the advertising into J. Walter


However, Rapier’s position on the account and, especially, on the direct

marketing side is strong. Rapier might take the below-the-line business

as a fat consolation prize.





Declared billings 1999                        54m

MMS                                           40m

Declared income 1999                         4.6m

% TV billings                                  55

Total accounts year end                        15

Accounts gained                                 3

Accounts lost                                   2

Total staff                                    50

Company type                      Private company

The highlight of the year for Roose & Partners was gaining a car

account. Mitsubishi was added to the agency’s roster in July after a

pitch against the incumbent, RPM3, Mitchell Patterson Grime Mitchell and

Bates UK. In order to handle the business in the UK, Roose formed a

partnership with the Japanese agency, Asatsu, which works for Mitsubishi

in most other parts of the world.

Roose was charged with handling the launch of the Carisma in August,

which meant tailoring Asatsu’s work for the UK market. Nevertheless, the

account is worth pounds 8 million to the agency - after the ailing car

manufacturer slashed its ad budget from pounds 16 million the previous


The agency’s only other wins of note were the children’s satellite TV

channel, Nickelodeon, and Bob Martin pet care products - both worth

under the million mark. However, Roose lost only one of its existing

clients - the pounds 1.5 million Onken Dairy account, which went to

Poulters in Leeds.

Creatively, the agency unveiled its respectable debut work for

Caffrey’s, with the line ’a storm brewing’. Other interesting work was

the launch campaign for Nestle’s new product, Toffee Crisp Clusters,

along with some humorous TV work for the parent brand.

Now the agency’s traditionally low profile also looks likely to change

with the appointment of its first marketing director, Nikki Abraham.





Declared billings 1999                       355m

MMS                                          273m

Declared income 1999                          n/s

% TV billings                                  53

Total accounts year end                        90

Accounts gained                                11

Accounts lost                                   9

Total staff                                   474

Company type         Saatchi & Saatchi subsidiary

Although it improved on last year’s performance, Saatchi & Saatchi

didn’t live up to its expectations of a fruitful year, unless you count

some upset apple carts.

It began well with the pounds 5 million Bisto account - which later gave

it a ticket to the pounds 15 million pitch for fellow RHM Foods brand,

Mr Kipling.

It then took a nosedive with a series of losses in rapid succession

including BhS, Energy Savings and the pounds 9 million Flash account

which Procter & Gamble gave to Grey.

Other serious losses were Anchor and the pounds 10 million Muller


Saatchis also seems to be out of favour with the COI, losing the pounds

5 million nurses account despite its award-winning and effective


Saatchis’ fortunes suddenly improved when it scooped the win of the

year, the pounds 50 million pan-European Sony account from BMP DDB.

Spurred on by former losses, the agency restructured, aiming to give a

much-needed boost to client servicing. It created new managing partners

which included the former Leagas Delaney client services director, Paul

Tredwell. Planning has also been given a boost with the arrival of the

new planning director, Kevin Dundas, from FCB San Francisco.

Despite this, the NSPCC called a shock review in October, amid rumours

of client servicing problems, but Saatchis managed to hang on to the


In the same month, Saatchis lost its joint CEO, Adam Crozier, to the

Football Association; its joint creative director, Alex Taylor, to a

directing career and the pounds 13 million Norwich Union account because

of a clash with Lloyds TSB.

But the future looks good. A chairman is promised by March. Creative

work, particularly on P&G, is improving, and given sufficient freedom,

the creative director, David Droga, should go from strength to






Declared billings 1999                        90m

MMS                                           64m

Declared income 1999                         8.6m

% TV billings                                  50

Total accounts year end                        13

Accounts gained                                 6

Accounts lost                                   2

Total staff                                   105

Company type                      Private company

St Luke’s has moved from being an experimental prototype to becoming a

respectable agency. This is demonstrated by its skill in scoring some

major blue-chip wins that have enabled it to sit unchallenged at the top

of the new-business league for the entire year.

It began the year brilliantly by winning four pitches in a row - The

Express, the COI family tax and Sky Networks accounts in January,

totalling around pounds 27 million of new business.

It then secured a place on the prestigious BT roster, picking up the

pounds 5 million youth account.

The pounds 8 million task of relaunching IPC’s women’s weekly magazines

was another key win. Then, its policy of pursuing bigger clients paid

off when it secured more Sky business, worth an impressive pounds 36


There were just two losses. After months of speculation sparked by St

Luke’s famous ad turkey, The Express finally shifted its advertising

account to The Bridge. The other departure was Eurostar, worth pounds 9


Creatively, the agency produced more good work for Ikea which also

garnered acres of press coverage, and some very effective work for the

Working Families Tax Credit, which exceeded its targets almost


Bravery - or madness - depending on your view of it, was displayed in

September when the agency allowed a Cutting Edge documentary team to

film them - warts and all. Nevertheless, St Luke’s survived with its

principles intact. Someone who might disagree is Naresh Ramchandani, the

last founding creative director, who quit in May claiming that the

agency was ’too corporate’.

St Luke’s’ growth should continue into 2000 with its new creative

consultancy, film company and international expansion plans. Bedding

down work for new and existing business will also be a challenge.




Sony PlayStation

Declared billings 1999                       300m

MMS                                          220m

Declared income 1999                          n/s

% TV billings                                  62

Total accounts year end                        68

Accounts gained                                18

Accounts lost                                   5

Total staff                                   270

Company type                   Omnicom subsidiary

TBWA GGT Simons Palmer was a whisker away from being Campaign’s agency

of the year. This is probably no consolation.

As any pitching agency says, it’s better to lose outright than be a

close second.

But TBWA should still be incredibly proud. Trevor Beattie, executive

creative director, deftly divided his time between the office and the

stage of the Grosvenor, collecting major awards for Sony PlayStation’s

’double life’ and ’nipples’, along with work for the Tate Gallery, Fcuk,

Absolut,Waterstones and the COI.

This creative excellence was maintained in new work. PlayStation faced a

serious challenge with the launch of Sega’s Dreamcast, but with

Beattie’s cyber-pixie ’Fi-Fi’ the brand continued to outsell Sega and

hit the headlines.

The same was true for the ubiquitous Fcuk which proves as fresh and

provocative as ever.

Opinion on the Nissan and NatWest TV work is divided, but poster work

continues to be strong with Liberty, Habitat, Sharwoods, PlayStation and

Fcuk among the highlights.

TBWA didn’t score many major blue-chip wins and the search for a big

food client continues. But it picked up pounds 47.5 million of new

business, including Habitat, Liberty, the pounds 10 million JMC account,, the International Olympic Committee, Ministry of Sound and Talk

Radio. And all this from an agency which merged only 18 months ago.

The future looks promising with the former planning director, Simon

Clemmow, now at the helm as chief executive and Paul Bainsfair becoming

the UK group chairman. Beattie has been criticised for taking too much

creative credit, but with new hirings Ben Priest and Brian Campbell from

Lowe Howard-Spink, and Frazer Jelleyman and Alasdair Graham from BMP,

this may change.





Declared billings 1999                       105m

MMS                                            8m

Declared income 1999                        15.5m

% TV billings                                 n/s

Total accounts year end                        23

Accounts gained                                 3

Accounts lost                                   1

Total staff                                   210

Company type                   Omnicom subsidiary

The merger of Tequila with Payne Stracey in 1998 appeared painless.

But staff dribbling out of the agency during 1999 showed that the Payne

Stracey people, unused to global clients and hardcore sales promotion

tasks, were not happy with the new Tequila culture.

In October, matters came to a head when both the joint chairman and

chief executive, David Payne, and the joint executive creative director,

Mike Cavers, announced their resignations.

While Payne’s departure can partly be put down to a winding-down leading

up to retirement, Cavers was unhappy.

By the end of the year, Ben Stephens (formerly the managing director of

Payne Stracey) had also resigned and the new planning director, Bates

Communications’ Jeremy Hall, quit after less than a month in the


Clients aside, by the end of the year it was almost as if the merger

hadn’t happened. The Tequila people have thrived, with Tom Wass at the

helm and the remaining chief executive, Jane Asscher, being thrust into

the spotlight. The creative director and joint managing directors are

all Tequila-bred.

Though he may not be the most popular of bosses, Wass seems keen to make

waves for the TBWA group on the global stage.

Meanwhile, with the eye taken off the ball, new business was

uninspiring, Thomas Cook being the only significant win.

New business should be a priority, as well as minimising the potential

damage that British American Tobacco’s merger with Rothmans could

inflict on Tequila Worldwide. Much of the network’s glue is its work for

Rothmans and Philip Morris, and this account seems to be





First Choice

Declared billings 1999                        18m

MMS                                           15m

Declared income 1999                          n/s

% TV billings                                  25

Total accounts year end                        17

Accounts gained                                 6

Accounts lost                                   1

Total staff                                    30

Company type                      Private company

Walsh Trott Chick Smith has undergone a rapid growth spurt since its

birth four years ago, hence its appearance in The Sunday Times Fast

Track 100 companies.

But the agency was lucky that The Sunday Times league table stopped at

1998’s figures, because its growth was disappointing last year.

The absence of a new-business director seemed to affect it


There were no big blue-chip wins like Channel 5 the previous year

Instead, the agency picked up more business from its existing client,

First Choice, a pounds 1 million financial services client, Johnson Fry,

in March and the pounds 2 million K Shoes account in September. It held

on to Marston’s bitter after the hostile takeover bid by Wolverhampton &

Dudley, but lost out to Ogilvy & Mather when the brewer reviewed


Talk Radio, which it has held since 1996, and for which it created the

controversial bare bottom work, also dealt it a blow after the client

moved its pounds 1.2 million account to TBWA GGT Simons Palmer.

Creatively, the agency maintained the shock tactics for which it’s now

famous. It continued its witty and tactical approach for Channel 5,

poking fun at Peter Mandelson and making repeated jibes at ITV.

But Walsh Trott must be careful not to overdo the publicity stunts. Its

First Telecom press, poster and taxi-side campaign was pulled after just

one day when BT objected to the line BT.con.Worse still, press coverage

was negligible.

Amanda Walsh courted more controversy in her Marketing Forum speech on

the Oriana, criticising advertising for being ’decorative’. Overall, the

agency needs to secure some big accounts next year and to make its

creative work more diverse.





Declared billings 1999                       186m

MMS                                          177m

Declared income 1999                        19.6m

% TV billings                                  45

Total accounts year end                        41

Accounts gained                                17

Accounts lost                                   4

Total staff                                   200

Company type                     Havas subsidiary

With a magnificent new-business record for 1999, WCRS gave its Golden

Square rival, M&C Saatchi, some spirited competition for Campaign’s

Agency of the Year title.

WCRS’s series of wins included BUPA (pounds 4.5 million), Sega (pounds

60 million across Europe), Anchor (pounds 8 million), Rover

International (pounds 30 million), Buzz (KLM’s low-cost airline), the

Mayor of London and

WCRS had a lot to celebrate, including its 20th birthday, which it

marked by drinking the Roundhouse dry and strapping the chairman, Robin

Wight, to a naked Argentinian acrobat.

The agency reached new heights in terms of billings, income, ranking,

staff and stability. New business meant new people and the agency’s head

count soared, with 60 staff recruited between June and December.

Dynamism continued at the highest levels when Stephen Woodford became

chief executive, Charles Vallance became managing director, and Debbie

Klein was promoted to head of account planning.

Creatively there were also some highs. The Orange work continued to

build the brand into one of the UK’s most coveted; Sega Dreamcast did

its best to rival Sony PlayStation with a big launch in August; BUPA

work was well-received and the global launch of the Land Rover Discovery

lived up to the car marque’s reputation for classic advertising.

On the downside, WCRS’s Team Sky never cracked BSkyB, which ended up at

St Luke’s; the Camelot relationship never blossomed into the sort of

ground-breaking advertising that it promised and the Bass relationship

foundered with the loss of Worthington and Caffreys.

WCRS has proved that it can beat the best. The agency needs to

consolidate this with some top-notch creative work and a move forward

for Campus, its would-be global network.




Cartoon Network

Declared billings 1999                        10m

MMS                                            9m

Declared income 1999                          n/s

% TV billings                                  85

Total accounts year end                         4

Accounts gained                                 1

Accounts lost                                 n/s

Total staff                                    20

Company type                      Private company

Wieden & Kennedy has still failed to make any impact on the UK market

since its launch here in 1998 - despite its creative pedigree.

Its problems last year continued to centre on its inability to retain

key staff and a dismal new-business record.

The year got off to the worst possible start when Mike Perry, the

agency’s managing director, quit just six months into his role.

Five months later, Perry’s replacement arrived from AMV BBDO in the form

of Hugh Derrick, just as Susan Hoffman, the agency’s creative director,

was heading back to the US.

Hoffman, well known for being protective of everything that is West

Coast W&K and trying to recreate that culture here, was widely thought

to have seriously affected the agency’s chances of cracking London.

The arrival of Saatchi & Saatchi’s Adam Kean as creative director in

September perhaps signalled a move to overcome these barriers.

The Cartoon Network remained the agency’s only win of the year, although

it did secure a brief to create a pan-European campaign for AltaVista -

the internet search company - on the back of its parent’s appointment in

the US.

The work that was produced was good, but with such a sketchy client

list, campaigns were few and far between. Work for the Cartoon Network

was well received and the agency created campaigns for Nike around the

London launch of NikeTown and the Rugby World Cup.

W&K also made it on to some pitchlists - Barclays, Drambuie, BT Youth

and Harvey Nichols were all contended, but with no success.

London is increasingly being outperformed by the W&K Amsterdam office,

which picked up an international launch task for Lego and a European

assignment for the Audi AL2 last year.

The jury is still out over whether W&K will ever make its presence felt

in London.





Declared billings 1999                        43m

MMS                                            2m

Declared income 1999                        32.2m

% TV billings                                  15

Total accounts year end                        14

Accounts gained                                 1

Accounts lost                                   1

Total staff                                   534

Company type           Young & Rubicam subsidiary

Wunderman Cato Johnson appears to have recovered admirably from its

far-from-perfect 1998. The influence of Jay Bingle, the worldwide

chairman and chief executive, with his predilection for Customer

Relationship Marketing and consultancy, is filtering through to the

agencies, and London is no exception. Ford, for example, is a flagship

client which is taking advantage of the CRM expertise.

The European network continued to sort itself out, with the appointment

of Mark Grindeland to the post of European chief executive being one

highlight, especially as he is based in the London office, rather than

Frankfurt, where his predecessor, Helmut Matthies, resided.

London’s managing director, Richard Bagnall-Smith, went out on the

recruitment trail, and pulled in some top-flight people, in particular

OgilvyOne’s Graham Mills and Jack Nolan as joint creative directors.

This latter appointment signalled an intention to put the agency on the

creative map once more. Since their arrival in April, the team have

knocked the old department down and built a new one from scratch.

Towards the end of the year, work for Ford, Citibank and TV brand

advertising for its new client, Fuji, in particular proved that the

investment was worth it.

But while the agency is a far happier place, and appears to have

distinctly more credibility than it did this time last year, the notable

omission is those domestic new-business wins promised at the beginning

of the year.

Campaign’s advice last year was to make the agency less like the outpost

of a global monolith and more like a UK agency competing with the likes

of WWAV and EHS for domestic business. If WCJ is to become a ’proper’

London shop, this must happen before the international reins are pulled






Declared billings 1999                       143m

MMS group billings                            43m

Declared income 1999                        21.4m

% TV billings                                   8

Total accounts year end                        40

Accounts gained                                10

Accounts lost                                   1

Total staff                                   271

Company type                   Omnicom subsidiary

While WWAV Rapp Collins’s emergence as the year’s direct marketing

winner is as predictable as a Status Quo comeback, 1999 was a blinder

even by those standards.

The claim may seem overstated given that WWAV’s year opened with the

loss of Renault to Publicis Dialog. But the agency knocked on every door

in town until Toyota answered. Serendipitously, WWAV began work on the

business the day after Renault had said goodbye.

In October, WWAV won the year’s biggest direct marketing pitch - the

pounds 35 million pan-European Dell Computers account. The Telegraph,

British Midland, Yellow Pages and Norwich Union Healthcare also came on

board, while the First Line Telecom win allowed WWAV to prove how

effective it was at direct response TV. Extra business was gained

through existing clients Legal & General and Lloyds TSB


Business development was a high priority, with a specialist planning

outfit, Zalpha, launching in September, headed by Phil Harrison, former

marketing director of Allied Carpets. Along with a joint media venture

with BMP OMD - BMP Optimum Action - this should spread WWAV’s talents

farther and wider.

The agency takes its status as market leader seriously, apparent in its

relentless lobbying against the Royal Mail’s monopoly and Government

proposals to include an opt-out clause on the electoral roll.

One criticism levelled at the agency, however, is the creative


Its reputation as a direct marketing factory is no criticism, as nobody

does it better, but it’s unlikely to get into D&AD.

It did pull in Ian Haworth from Saatchi & Saatchi Direct in New Zealand

as creative director to replace George Boyter. Younger, fresher and with

a wider range of experience than his predecessor, WWAV is optimistic

that he may provide the missing ingredient for beautiful work.


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