Campaign Report: Top 300 Agencies - Top UK Agency Profiles

1576
Declared billings 1997                    10.5m
AC Nielsen MEAL                           14.79m
% TV billings                             35
Total accounts year end                   16
Accounts gained                           7
Accounts lost                             1
Total staff                               20
Company type                              Private company

1576

Declared billings 1997                    10.5m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           14.79m

% TV billings                             35

Total accounts year end                   16

Accounts gained                           7

Accounts lost                             1

Total staff                               20

Company type                              Private company



Two wins made this a good year for Scotland’s favourite

hotshop,1576.



A couple of famous brands - the Herald newspaper and Rupert Murdoch’s

Sky Scottish - were complemented by Radio Forth, a new tourist

attraction called Scotland’s Secret Bunker and a Web developer,

Realise.com. The agency also found favour



with sporting clients and won work from the Heart of Midlothian football

club and the Scottish Claymores (Scotland’s American football team).



The agency’s bedrock client is Direct Line Financial Services, but the

awards came for work on other accounts including United Distillers and

Cheynes, a local hairdresser. At the Roses, 1576 matched the Leith

Agency and Faulds Advertising by winning five golds, and trumped both

Scotland’s big players by winning a silver at D&AD.



6



score last year -



ABBOTT MEAD VICKERS BBDO

Declared billings 1997                    328m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           355.86m

% TV billings                             50.3

Total accounts year end                   53

Accounts gained                           6

Accounts lost                             7

Total staff                               345

Company type                              AMV Group subsidiary



It’s a measure of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO’s pride in its past and

confidence in its future that the agency’s 20th birthday party in

November was marked by gifts of shares in the company and an extra

week’s holiday to every staffer. Small wonder that the UK’s biggest shop

was named as one of the top 100 places to work in a management magazine

or that its workforce should have helped deliver record profits - up

from pounds 4.7 million to pounds 6.1 million in the six months to June

1997.



Nevertheless, it may be that the most significant event of the year was

a humble all-staff memo announcing David Abbott’s vacating of the

creative directorship to devote himself exclusively to his greatest love

- copywriting.



Abbott, for so long the guardian of the agency’s conscience and culture,

is the first of the founding fathers to retire to the back benches. Now

the industry waits to see whether or not Peter Souter, the sorcerer’s

apprentice, can continue providing the creative alchemy.



Certainly, the agency is in excellent health, with spectacular

affirmations of faith from its largest clients. BT awarded AMV its

business task worth almost pounds 30 million, while Volvo assigned the

pounds 60 million global launch of an upmarket model. Aer Lingus,

English Heritage and British Digital Broadcasting were among the new

names coming across the threshold.



Meanwhile, with the capture of the direct marketing specialist, Craik

Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel - one of six acquisitions completed during

the year - the AMV group’s transformation into an all-round

communications operation continues apace with subsidiary companies

contributing more than half the group’s total operating profit.



8



score last year 9



AMMIRATI PURIS LINTAS

Declared billings 1997                    181.5m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           150.32m

% TV billings                             58

Total accounts year end                   46

Accounts gained                           6

Accounts lost                             4

Total staff                               225

Company type                              Interpublic subsidiary



This was a year of solid, if not sparkling, progress for Ammirati Puris

Lintas. The agency ended its barren run of new business: Burger King

switched its UK account to APL in February, Compaq appointed the agency

on a global basis with the dollars 33 million pan-European advertising

led from London, as did Air France, which handed the network its dollars

60 million business. In the UK, APL won the advertising for Radio 2.



Perhaps unfairly, 1997 may be remembered for Rover. The agency needed to

tread carefully with this key client, but instead produced the ’hostage’

spot - eventually pulled after a public outcry over bad taste. Andrew

Cracknell, the agency chairman, and his chief executive, William

Eccleshare, reacted by luring the Volvo guru, Chris Thomas, from Abbott

Mead Vickers BBDO to look after Rover. That meant goodbye, in August, to

Paul Jackson, who had run the account for a decade. It now appears

safer, though APL lost Rover’s direct marketing to Craik Jones Watson

Mitchell Voelkel.



Billy Mawhinney, the senior art director, left the agency in March for

Ogilvy & Mather. His partner, Nick Welch, took sole charge of the

creative department, whose offering needs improvement. Witty work from

Mother for Supernoodles (which APL lost in June) demonstrates that

advertising need not be drab just because the client is Unilever. APL’s

debut work for Burger King shows how it can get it wrong. But the year

threw up some nice touches - Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, Sure, Peperami

Cheezie and continued though-the-line excellence for the Mini.



In December, the agency moved to dazzling new offices in Soho

Square.



If the staff needed persuading that global and local management were

behind them, then surely now they have it.



5



score last year 5



BANKS HOGGINS O’ SHEA

Declared billings 1997                    70m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           34.35m

% TV billings                             25

Total accounts year end                   23

Accounts gained                           3

Accounts lost                             1

Total staff                               50

Company type                              Private company



In a mini boom following budget increases from the Referendum Party

among others, Banks Hoggins O’Shea hired six new staff in April. Two

were for the media department, which was growing under Jonathan

Stirling’s watchful eye.



Doubts were initially cast over the wisdom of bringing media in-house -

a rather unfashionable option - but Daihatsu demonstrated its faith in

Stirling by pulling its media buying out of Frontline and into Banks

Hoggins, which helped allay rumours that the department was only set up

to grab the lion’s share of the Referendum Party’s pounds 15

million.



On paper, the only official account losses were relatively small beer -

Sanyo’s pounds 1 million account went to Leagas Shafron Davis in January

and, when Vodafone bought People’s Phone, Banks Hoggins lost that

business to BMP DDB. However, unless it can win some substantial bits of

business, billings will suffer as the one-off spend for the Referendum

Party comes off the books.



Creatively, Banks Hoggins didn’t do too badly. Its press work for Amtico

Flooring won three Campaign Press awards, and it proved that it could

tap into the youth market with some edgy ads for Virgin Interactive’s

computer games. The biggest project of the year - apart from the

election - was the launch of Daihatsu’s Move and Grand Move cars. These

campaigns won several accolades and a couple of Creative Circle gongs to

boot.



In 1998, the agency needs to win some real, long-term business, not just

one-off projects.



6



score last year 6



BARTLE BOGLE HEGARTY

Declared billings 1997                    202m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           113.85m

% TV billings                             66

Total accounts year end                   32

Accounts gained                           7

Accounts lost                             6

Total staff                               289

Company type                              Private company



Bartle Bogle Hegarty ended 1997 with a bang, announcing its intention to

sell up to 49 per cent to the Leo Burnett Company and gaining at last a

global media partner.



The surprise move cleverly ensures that BBH will remain an independent

company and, barring disasters, a distinguished advertising brand in

perpetuity.



BBH and Burnetts will continue to operate as separate businesses apart

from in the media area.



Clients who moved to Kingly Street after successful pitches in 1997

included Monsanto, British Gas Services and Silver Spoon. New arrivals

without a pitch included Time Out, Lego, Emap Metro, TAG Heuer and extra

assignments from Cointreau.



On the downside, BBH failed to land the pounds 50 million Cable &

Wireless account in a contest against HHCL & Partners, Saatchi & Saatchi

and Rapier.



It lost Lukcy Lotteries after the Littlewoods takeover, and J&B whisky

and Metaxa after internal reviews. Club Med left the agency after a

reorganisation at its Paris headquarters and McCain and Haagen-Dazs

kicked off reviews in which BBH declined to participate.



Creatively, the year was rather low key given that so much is expected

of the agency. Highlights included the powerful One-2-One campaign,

appealing work for Lynx and Boddingtons advertising which reached new

heights of confidence that required no direct branding.



As well as being named Advertising Age’s International Agency of the

Year, based on its creative work, BBH won the Queen’s Award for Export

Achievement for a second year. All eyes are now on the agency’s US

office, which will open its doors in 1998.



8



score last year 7



BATES DORLAND

Declared billings 1997                    n/s

AC Nielsen MEAL                           203.93m

% TV billings                             n/s

Total accounts year end                   51

Accounts gained                           13

Accounts lost                             3

Total staff                               260

Company type                              Part of the Cordiant group



Bates Dorland had a cathartic 1997 in which the firing of Tim Ashton as

executive creative director was the clearest declaration of intent so

far by its chairman, Graham Hinton, as to how he was going to get the

agency doing what it does best. Few at Westbourne Terrace fail to

acknowledge that the management upheavals of recent times have made

Dorlands introspective and caused it to take its eye off the ball at a

time when it was preparing to play a key role in a newly independent

Bates global network.



Now, with Jay Pond-Jones in creative command, Hinton believes he has the

last building block in place, allowing the agency to exploit its skill

at producing populist big-brand advertising that delivers commercial

results.



Pond-Jones joins a managerial front line changed by the departure of the

managing director, Chris Clark, for Bates in New York and augmented by

John Stubbings, who returned as chief executive after a spell at Bates

Europe, and John Ward, the vice-chairman and one of the agency’s best

strategic thinkers.



Ward’s promotion is indicative of Hinton’s determination to boost the

agency’s status with clients by incorporating planning into the highest

levels of its management structure.



That may be no bad thing, for Dorlands sustained some heavy hits during

the year, notably the Land Rover and Compaq computer accounts, billing a

total of pounds 13 million in the UK, and Spillers Petfoods. Also, the

pounds 7.5 million P&O European Ferries business sailed off to J. Walter

Thompson following the creation of a joint venture with Stena Line.



Nevertheless, a pan-European assignment from Energizer batteries, the

pounds 8 million task of relaunching Imperial Leather along with pounds

4 million worth of extra business from Heinz suggest Hinton is putting

Dorlands back on course.



4



score last year 5



BMP DDB

Declared billings 1997                    344m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           246.55m

% TV billings                             61

Total accounts year end                   54

Accounts gained                           5

Accounts lost                             1

Total staff                               410

Company type                              Omnicom subsidiary



A close contender for Campaign’s Agency of the Year, BMP DDB impressed

everyone with its creative output and internal stability in 1997.



The BMP year was dominated by Volkswagen, the Labour Party and D&AD

gold, but also work for the Meat and Livestock Commission, Sony and a

refreshing new campaign for Barclaycard.



The agency’s creative resurgence was underlined by Doritos, which earned

BMP and its creators, the dynamic team of Flintham and McCleod, the UK’s

first D&AD gold for 13 years. The ’affordability’ advertising for VW won

the Campaign of the Year award while,



in a unique double, Campaign named VW Advertiser of the Year.



If anything let the agency down, it was its new-business record, which

lacked the lustre and volume one might have expected. Business won

included Reuters, Easy Jeans, Volvic and extra work from the Health

Education Authority.



On the downside, BMP failed to win British Digital Broadcasting and

didn’t get on many pitch-lists of consequence. In mitigation, business

exiting was minimal - only Optrex and the pounds 2.6 million Strepsils

account.



Internally, BMP made some shrewd adjustments in 1997. Dave Dye came from

Leagas Delaney to succeed Peter Gatley as head of art, and Stuart

Archibald, former head of integration at Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, was

brought in to bolster the agency’s direct marketing capabilities. Jorian

Murray, the popular account director on VW, was made head of account

management, and Siamack Salari was brought in from JWT to keep research

and planning ahead of the game.



9



score last year 7



COLLETT DICKENSON PEARCE

Declared billings 1997                    96.01m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           96.97m

% TV billings                             23

Total accounts year end                   30

Accounts gained                           10

Accounts lost                             2

Total staff                               120

Company type                              Dentsu subsidiary



With 1996’s upheavals mostly complete, the past 12 months have been

characterised by consolidation rather than spectacular advance for the

agency.



A steady stream of modest new-business wins trickled into CDP over the

last year, although nothing stood out. Two of the gains were from

Japanese companies - Canon cameras and the energy drink, Lipovitan -

reflecting the fact that CDP is owned by the Japanese giant, Dentsu.



Other wins included the fast-growing media service, Bloomberg, the

high-profile but low-budget Radio Advertising Bureau, the Early Learning

Centre and some government work in the form of Business Links.



CDP’s creative output was subtle rather than startling. A campaign for

Canon’s stylish Ixus camera, for example, was shot by fashion

photographers.



Other campaigns included a colourful but obscure generic commercial for

Honda - CDP’s showpiece integrated account - featuring a futuristic

solar-powered car and later ads that employed the stars of Men Behaving

Badly. A series of witty ’reasons’ to buy things using plastic informed

the ’it’s time to Switch’ work.



5



score last year 4



COURT BURKITT AND COMPANY

Declared billings 1997                    26.7m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           18.64m

% TV billings                             51

Total accounts year end                   25

Accounts gained                           6

Accounts lost                             1

Total staff                               47

Company type                              Private company



As if the past few years haven’t been eventful enough, 1997 was another

difficult year for Court Burkitt and its chairman, Hugh Burkitt.



Burkitt put Mike Court’s name above the door in 1996, but the creative

director’s response was to leave for McCann-Erickson in September this

year. Nick Scott, Court Burkitt’s head of art, looked after the

department until December when he followed Court to McCanns. In the same

month, Jon Canning, a creative director at Bates Dorland who was closely

linked to the Safeway account, stepped in to become Court Burkitt’s new

creative director.



IDV, a bedrock client, awarded its pounds 700,000 Gonzalez Byass

business to Court Burkitt in February, but took away Southern Comfort,

worth pounds 2.5 million, which went to DMB&B in July. The agency’s

weakening link with Scottish Courage was severed entirely in May when

the drinks giant dropped Coors from its portfolio.



It wasn’t all one way, though - Court Burkitt beat Mellors Reay &

Partners and WCRS to win the Natural History Museum account in April,

and followed that in June by taking the pounds 3 million Video

Collection International business.



2



score last year 6



DELANEY FLETCHER BOZELL

Declared billings 1997                    101.2m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           62.8m

% TV billings                             40

Total accounts year end                   40

Accounts gained                           10

Accounts lost                             2

Total staff                               78

Company type                              True North subsidiary



Delaney Fletcher Bozell is by many measures a successful agency.



Internal figures claim a 22 per cent increase in income in 1997, and its

corridors are still full of the kind of veteran advertisers that the

industry was built on - two brothers from the Delaney dynasty, Barry and

Greg, and, of course, the wily Winston Fletcher, European chairman of

the Bozell network.



Why, then, does the name Delaney Fletcher fail to conjure up the

enthusiasm that it should? In the past 12 months, the agency has

produced some creditable advertising, including a noteworthy campaign

for the Teacher Training Authority, which featured Tony Blair, and the

relaunch of Hush Puppies in the UK. But these stand out from a mass of

advertising which is increasingly generated for Bozell’s international

clients.



While some enviable names are sitting on the agency client list, such as

Chrysler, Samsung and Rayban, these have been international wins. Typhoo

tea departed the London office for Saatchis in 1997 (it has recently

returned, however) and SeaFrance left for Doner Cardwell Hawkins.



Bozell’s owner, BJK&E, merged with True North last year, although the

two networks will remain separate. This may not be true of Bozell’s

media operation, BJK&E Media, however, as speculation is rife that the

newly merged American networks may pool their media resources. Through

1997, BJK&E Media notched up around pounds 10 million in new business

and launched a division specialising in technology accounts - BJK&E

Advance.



5



score last year 6



DMB&B

Declared billings 1997                    206m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           177.45m

% TV billings                             58

Total accounts year end                   46

Accounts gained                           10

Accounts lost                             2

Total staff                               227

Company type                              Private company



Whether deliberately or not, new recruits were the focus of DMB&B’s

1997. David Jones took over from John Farrell as group chairman, and

Nigel Marsh brought new vigour to the agency’s new-business drive when

he joined as marketing director from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. Ron Mudge

came in from Saatchi & Saatchi to add enduring media intelligence.



However, the impact of new top-quality advertising talent could not be

felt immediately, and the arrivals came too late to save the Burger King

and Express Newspapers accounts. The creative flagship, Umbro, wandered

back to its Manchester roots, leaving an emotional hole.



DMB&B’s new-business record was more than satisfactory in 1997: Scholl

(pounds 1.2 million), Southern Comfort (pounds 2.5 million) and Gateway

2000 (pounds 3.8 million) all came in over the first half of the year.

But the wins were eclipsed by the continuing drama of the Lloyds TSB

pitch - it is still not clear whether DMB&B or Saatchi & Saatchi (or

even another candidate) will win the long-term battle.



In the last few weeks of the year, a momentum developed which the agency

will be hoping to sustain in 1998. Sunday Business and the European

provided some compensation for the loss of Express Newspapers, and

Victim Support and the Sci-Fi channel were positive signals. The year’s

best win, however, must be Wickes - a solid pounds 5 million account

that was won fair and square.



Just as it failed to win Bass in 1996, DMB&B again failed to net its

biggest pitch of the year when St Luke’s beat it to the Welfare to Work

account. However, if the agency’s renewed faith in itself can be

communicated externally, 1998 should be a good year.



6



score last year 5.



DONER CARDWELL HAWKINS

Declared billings 1997                    35m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           6.71m

% TV billings                             45

Total accounts year end                   16

Accounts gained                           5

Accounts lost                             1

Total staff                               53

Company type                              Private company



It’s just over two years since Doner Cardwell Hawkins was created when

the ailing GGK was bought by the US giant, Doner. In this time,



Andrew Hawkins, the agency’s managing director, and Paul Cardwell, its

creative director, have taken responsibility for expanding the agency to

bill a claimed pounds 35 million (AC Nielsen MEAL records less than a

fifth of the claimed figure).



The agency has gained a couple of fairly high-profile accounts. In July

it won the task to launch a pan-European campaign for TDK, co-ordinating

the drive with Mellors Reay.



Another good win was the pounds 5 million SeaFrance account from Delaney

Fletcher Bozell in February. Doner Cardwell created a TV and press

campaign for the cross-Channel ferry company featuring a madcap French

captain in a bath.



The Rugby Union championships were used to great effect in a tactical ad

for Fuller’s London Pride beer. The ads featured the voice of the

retired England hooker, Brian Moore, against elaborate on-screen

typography.



As years go, 1997 was satisfactory, but the agency still needs a

prestigious creative campaign to raise its profile.



6



score last year -



DUCKWORTH FINN GRUBB WATERS

Declared billings 1997                    60m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           33.41m

% TV billings                             65

Total accounts year end                   23

Accounts gained                           7

Accounts lost                             0

Total staff                               63

Company type                              Private company



Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters’ most notable achievement in 1997 has to be

reaching number three in Campaign’s business performance league, behind

Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper and M&C Saatchi.



The peak of the agency’s year was winning the pounds 10 million task to

relaunch Commercial Union, the UK’s second-largest insurance group,

after vying against Saatchi & Saatchi, Young & Rubicam and Leo Burnett

for the account.



Another high point was winning Co-operative Retail Services, one of four

accounts it won in 1997 without a formal pitch. Of a total of nine

pitches, the agency lost only two - COI/New Deal and the Oftel account

for the year 2000 telephone code change.



The agency’s only weakness was a lack of new campaigns, although its

work for its long-standing clients, Daewoo and Toshiba, scooped a

handful of awards. The Health Education Authority’s innovative press and

poster campaign to promote drugs awareness among teenagers won the

Account Planning Group gold award.



7



score last year 7



EURO RSCG WNEK GOSPER

Declared billings 1997                    191m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           134.14m

% TV billings                             54

Total accounts year end                   58

Accounts gained                           10

Accounts lost                             8

Total staff                               184

Company type                              Havas Advertising subsidiary



Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper sat pretty in the top spot of Campaign’s 1997

business performance league for almost the whole year, impressing the

industry by winning competitive pitches and securing work from existing

clients.



Abbey National was the year’s biggest prize, captured in February when

the agency added pounds 32 million worth of press and poster work to its

existing TV business. From then on, it was always going to be hard for

other agencies to catch up with Euro RSCG, especially as it continued to

pull off new-business triumphs throughout the year.



Two prize brands, Haagen-Dazs and Wonderbra, elected to work with Euro

RSCG, and business also came in from Procter & Gamble (Whitewater),

Cadbury’s (Astros) and two Reckitt & Colman brands, Lemsip and Disprin,

among others.



Losses were negligible.



Peugeot continued to make a creative impact but the rest of the work

failed to shine. Although the Whitewater launch received plenty of

publicity, the response to its work for Milk Tray, replacing the famous

’man in black’, was lukewarm.



The Euro trinity of Mark Wnek (executive creative director), Brett

Gosper (chief executive) and Chris Pinnington (managing director), may

keep looking to new business for the measure of their success, but if

the agency is to establish a lasting reputation, it needs to demonstrate

the creative muscle to match its business strength. There is little

point in winning Wonderbra and Haagen-Dazs if the resulting campaigns

are average.



8



score last year 8



FAULDS

Declared billings 1997                    39.3m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           34.03m

% TV billings                             36

Total accounts year end                   45

Accounts gained                           5

Accounts lost                             3

Total staff                               107

Company type                              Private company



Year after year, Faulds continues to put in the best financial

performance of any Scottish agency. In 1997 it announced profits of more

than pounds 1 million for the first time since 1991, the latter being an

exceptional year as a result of government privatisation campaigns.



Despite this, Faulds was threatened from all sides as a new generation

of agencies started to have a real impact in Scotland, with the Leith

Agency in particular pulling in an enviable amount of new business.



In 1997 Faulds lost Standard Life to the Leith; General Accident Direct

took Faulds’ work in-house; and Martin Currie Investment Management, its

first client, left after 12 years.



The Scottish Tourist Board, another prized client, began a statutory

review which, while inevitable, still puts an unwanted extra strain on

the agency.



Significantly, Faulds held on to the Scottish Office when a statutory

review ended in September and the agency netted the Scottish part of the

Government’s high-profile Welfare to Work campaign. Faulds also won the

Daily Record, Strathmore mineral water and National Galleries of

Scotland.



Scotland Against Drugs renewed a three-year contract with the agency,

although not without controversy.



Awards were not a problem - Faulds won five golds at the Roses Awards in

May, three of which were for its Scotland Against Drugs campaign. Work

for the Scottish Tourist Board took a gold at the Campaign Poster Awards

for the most effective use of the outdoor medium.



4



score last year 5



FCA!

Declared billings 1997                    91.3m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           43.1m

% TV billings                             30

Total accounts year end                   36

Accounts gained                           15

Accounts lost                             3

Total staff                               81

Company type                              Publicis subsidiary



Thanks to its joint creative directors, Ian Harding and Shaun McIlrath,

FCA! has carved itself a rare positioning as a through-the-line creative

hotshop.



The big news in 1997 was its merger, in July, with Kelly Weedon

Shute.



The idea was to pool the creative ability and direct marketing heritage

of Impact FCA! with the marketing nous of KWS, whose founding partners,

James Kelly and David Shute, had previously worked as marketing

directors at Unilever.



A broad spread of clients entrusted the agency with their business in

1997. These included Fidelity Investments, Wisdom Toothbrushes and Netto

Foodstores (via KWS), plus AT&T Europe, the Welsh Tourist Board,

Littlewoods Lotto, Lego, Siemens GEC and CIC International.



Impact may have disappeared from the agency’s name in 1997 but the

concept continued to define the shop’s work. Highlights included the

’prostitute phone card’ for Aids Awareness, Siemens’ talking cabbies and

the Hotpoint ’reckless’ campaign - a leap of faith from one of the

agency’s oldest clients.



On the downside, the Children’s Society hired a new marketing director

and left the agency, and two dormant accounts, Chivers Hartley and Mr

Mash, went up for review with FCA! declining to repitch in each

case.



The flipside of being able to offer all disciplines is that FCA!

continues to fall between various stools, with clients unable to

pigeonhole it and most of its budgets lurking on the wrong side of

pounds 1 million. The challenge in 1998 for FCA is to continue to

produce arresting work while attracting bigger - and, by definition,

more conservative - clients.



6



score last year -



FOOTE CONE & BELDING

Declared billings 1997                    82m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           61.01m

% TV billings                             80

Total accounts year end                   17

Accounts gained                           2

Accounts lost                             3

Total staff                               82

Company type                              True North subsidiary



Nineteen ninety-seven - the 50th anniversary of FCB’s presence in London

- might have been a watershed. Left to rebuild a European network almost

from scratch after the dissolution of the joint venture between their

True North parent and Publicis, FCB chiefs in Chicago lost no time in

imposing their authority on the London agency over which they now have

total control.



They aim to restore the London office to the status it enjoyed 20 years

ago as one of the UK’s most successful shops and make it the centrepiece

of a European network.



They signalled their intention to be less obsessive about their US

domestic market and place more emphasis on Europe by moving Geoff

Thompson, FCB’s worldwide creative director, to London to help attract

more creatively led accounts. John Bacon, given sole creative command in

London on the departure of his partner, Alan Midgley, might be forgiven

a nervous glance over his shoulder.



More dramatic still was the firing in December of the London office’s

chief executive, Chris Rendel, and the acknowledgment by FCB that it may

seek the necessary critical mass in London either through acquisition or

reverse takeover.



It’s one hell of a predicament for Harry Reid, FCB’s international

president.



The London agency’s recent new-business record has been indifferent and

’hand-me-down’ international accounts have proved less reliable than

before: pounds 15 million worth of Laboratoires Garnier business was

switched into Publicis and Tambrands went to Leo Burnett in a pounds 45

million global realignment.



Reid will need no reminding that so many of FCB’s problems in the UK

stem from ill-starred attempts to recreate its past and having its

culture diluted through a series of mergers.



3



score last year 6



GGT

Declared billings 1997                    160m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           118.96m

% TV billings                             55

Total accounts year end                   n/s

Accounts gained                           n/s

Accounts lost                             n/s

Total staff                               124

Company type                              Omnicom subsidiary



Drama for the GGT group in recent weeks and in 1997 too. The biggest

event was the merger of its London agencies, BST-BDDP and GGT, to form

BDDP GGT (now GGT) in October. John Sharkey and Paul Bainsfair, the

founders of BST, were installed as joint chairmen, Grant Duncan stepped

up from managing director of GGT to the same post in the merged

operation, and a host of vice-chairmen jostled for position below the

top level.



In March, GGT hired Trevor Beattie as creative director following his

resignation from TBWA two months earlier. Beattie initially worked with

Jay Pond-Jones, and became creative chief in May when Pond-Jones left

for a spell at Mother, later emerging as the creative director of Bates

Dorland.



Telewest, worth pounds 10 million, went to GGT in January after a pitch

against Lowe Howard-Spink. BST landed a portion of the BBC Flextech

business in the same month. Several high-profile accounts followed

Beattie out of TBWA: Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum, Pretty Polly and the

National Canine Defence League.



Beattie’s creative surprises included the ’fcuk advertising’ blitz for

French Connection. But GGT’s Holsten Pils work - once a jewel in the

agency’s creative output - was a disappointment in 1997.



The biggest loss - the pounds 14 million Nationwide account - came in

January amid reports that the building society no longer required a

full-service agency (it has since returned to Leagas Delaney for TV

work). Capital Radio also held a pitch, which GGT declined to enter, and

Reckitt & Colman realigned Lemsip out of the agency.



This year promises to be as dramatic as 1997, following Omnicom’s bid

for the



GGT Group.



6



score last year 6



GREY

Declared billings 1997                    281m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           214.86m

% TV billings                             72

Total accounts year end                   n/s

Accounts gained                           n/s

Accounts lost                             n/s

Total staff                               412

Company type                              Private company



Grey is the London office of a major multinational network, servicing

such robust clients as Procter & Gamble and Mars. In light of this, the

agency is going from strength to strength as London becomes an even

stronger hub for the whole of Europe. But Grey faltered last year in its

quest to forge a strong and individual creative profile in London.



This is partly because of the departure of the man installed to

mastermind this profile - Grey’s managing director, Nigel Sharrocks. His

departure meant that Grey was ruled by a six-man committee for the last

three months of 1997, while the agency’s chairman, Roger Edwards,

searched for a replacement.



New-business wins were thin on the ground in 1997, with the claimed

pounds 20 million Worldspace win and the pounds 10 million integrated

Freeman’s account.



Both Canon and Nynex moved elsewhere through the year. Creatively, the

agency is still presided over by its executive creative director, Paul

Smith, who has done a commendable job in developing Fairy Liquid

advertising.



But there have been turkeys, such as the Lee Jeans commercials set in

space and the decision to ditch Opal Fruits’ famous ’made to make your

mouth water’ line in favour of ’fruity enough to make anything

water’.



Edwards hopes to have his new managing director in place this

spring.



6



score last year 5



HHCL BRASSERIE

Declared billings 1997                    n/s

AC Nielsen MEAL                           n/a

% TV billings                             95

Total accounts year end                   n/s

Accounts gained                           5

Accounts lost                             n/s

Total staff                               9

Company type                              Private company



The HHCL Brasserie kicked off its second year on a high, winning a

further brief for Sega, worth pounds 6 million, to create four spots

concentrating again on the computer company’s games launches. The

Brasserie also beat strong competition from BMP DDB and Quiet Storm to

land the pounds 2 million task to position the Paramount Comedy Channel

as a comedy station specialising in classic shows. Its first work for

the channel broke in May and comprised four executions focusing on the

channel’s strong programming schedule.



The campaign was such a success that it netted the agency a second

pounds 1.5 million project. This brief gave the Brasserie the chance to

create what Paramount billed as ’the UK’s first lesbian commercial’,

featuring the lesbian comedienne, Rhona Cameron, enthusing about Ellen

DeGeneres, the actress and star of the US sitcom, Ellen.



The Disney Channel appointed the Brasserie in September and it

relaunched the station with a series of three ads revolving around two

eccentric godmothers who starred alongside several celebrities.



At the end of 1997, the four founding partners - Mischa Alexander, Chris

McDonald, Liz Whiston and Dave Shelton - announced they were leaving the

agency to set up a project-to-project agency of their own, christened

the Advertising Brasserie. The future of HHCL Brasserie is yet to be

decided.



6



score last year 7



HHCL & PARTNERS

Declared billings 1997                    126.12m

AC Nielsen MEAL     

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