Campaign Report: Top 300 Agencies - A year in the life of MEDIA SHOPS - It was a year of going global and mergers, but the big news was Christine Walker and Peugeot Citroen deciding to change places

Principal                                 John Ayling
Declared billings                         79.2m
AC Nielsen MEAL                           73.32m
TV billings                               63%
Press billings                            30%
Outdoor billings                          2%
Radio billings                            5%
Staff 1997                                40
Staff 1996                                35
Total accounts year end                   101
Accounts gained                           23
Accounts lost                             3
Company type                              Private company


Principal                                 John Ayling

Declared billings                         79.2m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           73.32m

TV billings                               63%

Press billings                            30%

Outdoor billings                          2%

Radio billings                            5%

Staff 1997                                40

Staff 1996                                35

Total accounts year end                   101

Accounts gained                           23

Accounts lost                             3

Company type                              Private company

The John Ayling machine rumbled along nicely in 1997, causing few

ripples in a market otherwise dominated by mergers and absorptions.

Its new-business tally is impressive in number, even if many of the

accounts won billed below pounds 2 million. Aylings sailed through the

year, effortlessly skimming off pieces of business that may not be

terribly glamorous, but are very Aylings. Which

other agency could pick up the pounds 1 million campaign to promote the

Cricket World Cup? And, in all, the new-business tally came to a

respectable pounds 31.5 million from 17 clients.

A significant win came in May with the pounds 6 million centralisation

of Dairy Crest, for which Aylings pitched against the likes of

Mediapolis, MediaCom and BBJ. The biggest win of the year - pounds 8

million - came in October with the planning and buying for the

mail-order outfit, Brooks & Bentley.

The bad news came from Kimberly-Clark. After winning the hotly contested

pounds 20 million centralisation of the account in autumn 1996, it

became evident towards the end of 1997 that the client was preparing to

review its media again. The outcome is yet to be decided, but would

leave Aylings struggling for anything of similar size to replace it. The

agency also failed to walk away with the Mercedes buying task, losing

out to Mediapolis.

The normal prescription for a shop of this size is to get on to some big

pitch-lists. But Aylings doesn’t seem to want - or need - to.


score last year 5


Principal                                 Jerry Buhlmann

Declared billings                         175m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           153.91m

TV billings                               70%

Press billings                            16%

Outdoor billings                          8%

Radio billings                            3%

Staff 1997                                76

Staff 1996                                74

Total accounts year end                   17

Accounts gained                           1

Accounts lost                             1

Company type                              Part of Carat Group

BBJ has been internally focused for the past couple of years, pulling in

the odd bit of good business but mainly concentrating on shaping the


A scant year for new business began less than brilliantly with BBJ

losing its prestigious Tango buying task when Britvic centralised into

its sister agency, TMD Carat, ending a six-year relationship. However,

April’s pounds 10 million Guardian Royal Exchange and RAC Insurance

Services scoops softened the blow. Apart from a couple of small wins and

losses, that was pretty much it for 1997.

What BBJ had been concentrating on in 1997 was strengthening its

planning resource. In March, a spin-off communications consultancy, Full

Circle, was launched to address strategic planning in the youth sector.

The eventual goal is for Full Circle to pop up on pitch-lists alongside

the likes of Unity and Michaelides & Bednash. The agency indicated its

commitment to planning in October when three account directors, Jed

Glanvill, Tim Elton and Mark Greenstreet, were made board planning


Now the structure finally seems in place, the new-business machine has

to start grinding. A place on the Cable & Wireless pitch-list seems a

good omen for the future, whatever the outcome.


score last year 6

BMP Optimum

Principal                                 Paul Taylor

Declared billings                         344m*

AC Nielsen MEAL                           351.42m

TV billings                               61%

Press billings                            28%

Outdoor billings                          8%

Radio billings                            2%

Staff 1997                                80

Staff 1996                                75

Total accounts year end                   76

Accounts gained                           7

Accounts lost                             1

Company type                              Part of Omnicom Group

BMP DDB’s media department decided it was time to ditch its stance as

one of the few remaining in-house operations, and

became an independent business, BMP Optimum, in April. Despite losing

its joint managing director, Derek Morris, to the Unity start-up within

a month of opening its doors, the agency has stacked up a healthy number

of media wins and achieved a solid year’s performance.

BMP featured in a number of media centralisations this year including

those of the food giant, CPC, Gillette, Spillers Petfoods and


The latter represented the agency’s best win of the year, with an

additional pounds 15 million worth of billings coming from the

associated brands, Talkland and Peoples Phone. Its other notable win was

the Reuters pounds 7 million account, following the information

provider’s decision to centralise its global business into BMP DDB.

BMP suffered just pounds 3.5 million in account losses - the Spanish

Tourist Board and Children’s World.


score last year 7


Principals                                Booth, Lockett, Makin

Declared billings                         62m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           30.1m

TV billings                               47%

Press billings                            34%

Outdoor billings                          10%

Radio billings                            4%

Staff 1997                                28

Staff 1996                                26

Total accounts year end                   41

Accounts gained                           12

Accounts lost                             0

Company type                              Private company

As talk of mergers and super-agencies gained ground in 1997, a number of

media companies continued to prove there’s still life at the smaller end

of the market.

Across the year, Booth Lockett Makin notched up a respectable

new-business record with a client list increasingly peppered with

well-known brands.

Wins in 1997 totalled more than pounds 20 million, with new clients such

as the pounds 3 million-spending East Midland Electricity, the Paramount

Channel, worth around pounds 2 million, and French Connection, with a

media budget which tops pounds 3 million.

BLM’s international network, EuroLab, is also beginning to show its

worth, with the operation winning the Lee Jeans business across Europe.

The Bristol-based second-string agency, CBLM, also had a respectable

year, with new business from clients such as Winterthur Insurance and


The benefits of such geographical expansion - BLM has affiliated offices

in Japan, China and the US - cannot be underestimated. Yet it still

seems that, despite the calibre of its team, the agency is smaller than

the sum of its parts. With the media industry now suffering from a

dearth of top talent, the likes of Steve Booth,

Nick Lockett and Charlie Makin would be in high demand on the open


Independence, though, has compensations. The task now is to capitalise

on this increasingly scarce commodity.


score last year 4


Principal                                 Mike Elms

Declared billings                         n/s

AC Nielsen MEAL                           245.78m

TV billings                               n/s

Press billings                            n/s

Outdoor billings                          n/s

Radio billings                            n/s

Staff 1997                                n/s

Staff 1996                                101

Total accounts year end                   n/s

Accounts gained                           n/s

Accounts lost                             n/s

Company type                              Public company subsidiary

CIA Medianetwork staggered into 1997 after its TV trading dispute with

Laser Sales in 1996 left it pounds 1.8 million poorer and with its

reputation in tatters.

The creation of a group TV buying operation, the Negotiation Centre,

headed by the formidable Tony Kenyon, provided a smart sticking


But it will take time before TNC is able to trade free from the

exigencies of resolving the chaos. And the wisdom of removing the TV

department from the direct control of the Medianetwork management must

be questioned.

Nevertheless, CIA survived the year without significant client


Losses such as the pounds 8 million S. C. Johnson and pounds 8 million

Brooks & Bentley businesses were countered by wins including the pounds

15 million Rank centralisation and pounds 4 million from Wedgwood. But

it was hardly a sterling new-business year. Rather, 1997 was yet another

year of distractions. The agency gained Alan Brydon as deputy managing

director but his arrival was followed by the departures of the planning

director, Nick Kelvin, the marketing director, Mike Anderson, the

managing director, Mike Tunnicliffe, the vice-chairman, Marco Rimini,

and the TNC director, Nigel Allmond.

The year ended with the chief executive, Mike Elms, and Brydon working

to refocus the agency. With few senior management left to leave, CIA

ought to be able to focus on growth in 1998, though this will require

the speedy implementation of a clear strategy and some prestigious new



score last year 2


Principal                                 Tony Manwaring

Declared billings                         258m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           259.48m

TV billings                               73.1%

Press billings                            19.4%

Outdoor billings                          5%

Radio billings                            1.1%

Staff 1997                                n/s

Staff 1996                                87

Total accounts year end                   n/s

Accounts gained                           n/s

Accounts lost                             n/s

Company type                              Part of Interpublic Group

After almost two years of tinkering, 1997 was the year that Initiative

Media had to prove that it had been doing more than rearranging the

deck-chairs on the Titanic. And it most certainly did.

In one fell swoop, Initiative changed from a one-client monolith, top

heavy with Unilever brands, into a more balanced agency, now dominated

by two giant advertisers. Winning the pounds 90 million Peugeot Citroen

business put Initiative back on the media map in what was the shock

account move of the year.

Unfortunately, Initiative was also responsible for the shock management

move of the year, when its chief executive, Phil Georgiadis, resigned in

November, astounding the industry with his decision to join Walker

Media. The news rattled Peugeot and Citroen, but Initiative moved

swiftly to promote Tony Manwaring from managing director to chairman and

the newly arrived press director, Roy Jeans, to managing director.

In such an eventful year, it’s easy to overlook other triumphs such as

the media planning coup, which saw Initiative snaffle planning from

Unilever’s UK creative agencies, the pounds 7 million Compaq win and the

launch of the Go Figure consultancy.

For all the excitement, though, Initiative still has some things to

prove: that it can handle a range of clients and that its new management

team is strong enough to carry the ball forward in the face of the

urgent need to bed down Peugeot Citroen.


score last year 5


Principals                                Manning, Gottlieb

Declared billings                         93.8m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           97.4m

TV billings                               51.8%

Press billings                            29.9%

Outdoor billings                          9.9%

Radio billings                            4.7%

Staff 1997                                26

Staff 1996                                29

Total accounts year end                   41

Accounts gained                           9

Accounts lost                             1

Company type                              Part of Omnicom Group

It is easy to sum up Manning Gottlieb Media’s year in one word:


But this giant deal aside, the agency also had a good new-business year:

nearly pounds 30 million came its way, with more than pounds 12 million

coming from new Virgin products.

But the big news of the year was Omnicom’s acquisition of the agency in

a deal valuing it at more than pounds 13 million. Carat stepped in for a

brief bidding war to up the ante, but MGM went Omnicom’s way when the

network agreed a ’business as usual’ approach. To prove Omnicom’s trust

in MGM, a separate deal came off in December which saw Nigel Allmond,

formerly of CIA’s Negotiation Centre, receiving backing from MGM to

launch the Allmond Partnership, which has its eye on the pounds 110

million BT buying account.

Problems could have arisen when MGM’s affiliate creative agency, Simons

Palmer, was bought by TBWA, whose media agency of record was Eurospace.

But it worked out peachily when TBWA served notice on Eurospace and

MGM’s position as TBWA Simons Palmer’s agency of record was


Setting up a new layer of management in December showed that Manning and

Gottlieb were confident enough in the brand to start handing

responsibility over to the seven associate directors concerned.

score last year 9


Principal                                 Allan Rich

Declared billings                         240m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           239.67m

TV billings                               45%

Press billings                            42%

Outdoor billings                          7%

Radio billings                            5%

Staff 1997                                101*

Staff 1996                                76

Total accounts year end                   135

Accounts gained                           19

Accounts lost                             2

Company type                              Public company

The Media Business had a respectable year in terms of wins but perhaps

needs to adopt a higher planning profile.

The agency launched an office in Scotland in July and set up a


regional sports division. It has also established the Entertainment

Media Group to target youth sectors, indicating that it is waking up to

the fact that it needs to put greater emphasis on differentiated


Notable new-business wins included the media buying for Cable &

Wireless’s relaunch following its merger with Bell Cablemedia, Videotron

and Mercury, which added a healthy pounds 50 million to billings. The

shine was taken off slightly when the account was put up for pitch again

at the very end of last year. Sega’s pounds 6 million account was also a

useful piece of business for the agency.

Total losses for the year amounted to pounds 12.4 million, including

Revlon’s pounds 3.9 million account and the RAC’s pounds 4.6 million,

which the Media Business resigned because of growing conflict with an

existing client, Direct Line.


score last year 8


Principal                                 Andy Troullides

Declared billings                         258m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           252.86m

TV billings                               58%

Press billings                            34%

Outdoor billings                          4%

Radio billings                            2%

Staff 1997                                72

Staff 1996                                n/a

Total accounts year end                   57

Accounts gained                           11

Accounts lost                             0

Company type                              Grey subsidiary

Once again MediaCom sailed through the year causing barely a ripple on


media scene.

Extra business came mostly from existing clients such as Mars and

Procter & Gamble, a clear testament to what the agency is capable of.

But new business was negligible - pounds 1.5 million from Time Warner,

pounds 1.5 million from the Weather Channel (now defunct) and pounds 3.6

million from Debonair.

TDK and Canon Cameras walked out of the agency, although the

resulting loss of billings was slight.

The biggest event of the year came in March, when MediaCom’s deputy

managing director, Andrew Goulborn, left to join Saatchi & Saatchi as

communications director. His departure left a gaping hole in the

agency’s already thin management line-up, and its chief executive, Andy

Troullides, was still exposed without a strong management team behind

him by the end

of the year.

The agency itself looks increasingly marginalised when it comes to

competing for new business, appearing on fewer high-calibre reviews than

its size and blue-chip client list would dictate. Years of low profile

and no personality have served to undermine the more innovative work the

agency has done for its existing clients, leaving MediaCom in danger of

being the forgotten brand in media.


score last year-


Principal                                 Bob Offen

Declared billings                         300m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           276.14m

TV billings                               48%

Press billings                            44%

Outdoor billings                          5%

Radio billings                            2%

Staff 1997                                80

Staff 1996                                65

Total accounts year end                   80

Accounts gained                           24

Accounts lost                             5

Company type                              Havas/Y&R joint venture

Two words will be written in blood in the 1997 volume of the history of

Mediapolis: Peugeot Citroen.

Between them, Peugeot and Citroen spend up to pounds 90 million on

advertising and comprise one of the UK’s largest and most prestigious

media accounts - one which Mediapolis had held, in one guise

or another, for 15 years.

Their decision to review the business

in 1997 sparked the biggest media

pitch of the year. Mediapolis fought desperately to hold on to the


but lost out in a two-way shoot-out against

Initiative Media.

It’s impossible for the event not to overshadow any assessment of

Mediapolis’s year, denting as it did the agency’s reputation, morale and

income stream.

But Mediapolis’s 1997 was not just about Peugeot Citroen.

The agency took a significant step forward in August when it merged with

the media department of WCRS, winning itself an extra pounds 70 million

of WCRS billings and a new managing director, Marc Mendoza. Coinciding

as it did with the loss of Peugeot Citroen, the move signalled a fresh

start for the agency.

Mediapolis went on to win accounts such as Mercedes Benz, Revlon,

Littlewoods Lotteries and Playtex, and while the year’s new-business

total by no means made up for Peugeot Citroen, it helped restore some


Mediapolis goes into 1998 with a few cobwebs cleared, having

re-evaluated its business after losing its biggest account. The only way

is up.


score last year 7


Principal                                 Jim Marshall

Declared billings                         394m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           381.11m

TV billings                               45%

Press billings                            44%

Outdoor billings                          4%

Radio billings                            5%

Staff 1997                                96

Staff 1996                                84

Total accounts year end                   81

Accounts gained                           10

Accounts lost                             4

Company type                              Part of MacManus Group

Strictly speaking, MediaVest - the MacManus Group’s first real throw of

the international media dice - didn’t really exist until midway through

the year.

Born in the UK out of the Media Centre brand, MediaVest brought with it

a management reshuffle which included the promotion of Jim Marshall to

chief executive, with Chris Locke and Robert Ray as joint managing


In truth, though, the changes were cosmetic and MediaVest seamlessly

carried on the Media Centre’s reputation for new business, staff

stability and a quality media service. An ad campaign to launch the new

name further sealed the company’s stature in the market.

New business came in the form of the prestigious Central Office of

Information TV, press and cinema accounts, worth pounds 50 million, and

the pounds 15 million centralised Associated Newspapers task, although

the year ended on a sour note with the loss of the pounds 20 million

Royal Mail account, which moved to TMD in search of direct response


It was another exceptional year for the company, although local success

will be increasingly dependent on MediaVest’s ability to develop a

stronger international operation; joint ventures and acquisitions must

now be a priority.

On the domestic front, the challenge is to match MediaVest’s top-flight

planning and buying with quality strategic thinking, while developing a

more rounded media

offering which embraces services such

as sponsorship and direct marketing.

The bitter message of the Royal Mail loss is clear.


score last year 7


Principals                                Michaelides, Bednash

Declared billings                         115m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           n/a

TV billings                               37%

Press billings                            46%

Outdoor billings                          12%

Radio billings                            4%

Staff 1997                                14

Staff 1996                                n/a

Total accounts year end                   12

Accounts gained                           6

Accounts lost                             0

Company type                              Joint venture with HHCL

As a media company in the broadest sense, Michaelides & Bednash towered

over all-comers last year with the sort of performance that rivals could

only dream of.

M&B won media planning business from clients spending a total of pounds

70 million in the media and its list of clients grew from six to 12. Its

’billings’ broke through the pounds 100 million barrier to top pounds

115 million, and the company’s staff numbers increased accordingly, up

60 per cent.

Over the past 12 months, the agency’s income has risen by 32 per cent, a

figure which indicates, more than any other, the fact that the strategic

media marketplace is now well established.

It’s fair to say that the existence of M&B has helped to set the agenda

in this area, and the agency’s coup in snaffling First

Direct’s media planning out of that doyenne of creative media thinking,

New PHD, underlined its credentials.

Other wins for M&B included Britvic’s centralised media planning on the

back of the agency’s work for the company’s Tango brand, media planning

on the pounds 50 million Cable & Wireless account, the pounds 10 million

Pearl Assurance task and the BBC’s online service, M&B ended

1997 as Campaign’s Media Agency of the Year.

How M&B stays ahead when traditional agencies are cottoning on to


planning and offering it as part of a one-stop-shop is the big question

the agency now faces.


score last year -


Principal                                 Mark Cranmer

Declared billings                         130m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           125.7m

TV billings                               57%

Press billings                            27%

Outdoor billings                          5%

Radio billings                            3%

Staff 1997                                50

Staff 1996                                50

Total accounts year end                   40

Accounts gained                           15

Accounts lost                             4

Company type                              BBH Group company

Motive came through 1997 with its reputation as a thinking man’s media

agency intact, despite a rather low-key new-business performance.

The year got off to a good start with the pounds 5 million Wallis stores

business and the pounds 2 million Cointreau account. In April, the Co-op

added a further pounds 7 million to Motive’s billings, followed by

pounds 5 million from Carland and the pounds 10 million pan-European TDK

account. As usual, international business was a fruitful area for the

agency, with the company also picking up a pan-European planning and

buying task from Smirnoff.

The wins were tempered by a few losses. Apart from the pounds 2.4

million Lukcy Lotto business, Motive failed in its bid for the

centralised Associated Newspapers account, losing the pounds 3.5 million

Mail on Sunday task in the process.

In fact, the agency did make it on to some of the bigger pitches of the

year - including the Dairy Crest and Peugeot Citroen reviews - but

failed to convert.

However, Motive is now clearly more top of mind when blue-chip clients

draw up pitch-lists, which bodes well for 1998.

But it was the news at the end of the year that Motive’s parent, Bartle

Bogle Hegarty, had tied up with Leo Burnett which is set to lift Motive

on to a higher plane. Whether a merger with Burnetts’ UK media

department comes off or not, the deal gives Motive access to a fully

fledged international network and secures the agency’s credentials as a

major player.


score last year 7


Principal                                 Mandy Pooler

Declared billings                         196m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           227.87m

TV billings                               65%

Press billings                            25%

Outdoor billings                          5%

Radio billings                            5%

Staff 1997                                65

Staff 1996                                65

Total accounts year end                   32

Accounts gained                           4

Accounts lost                             1

Company type                              Part of Ogilvy & Mather

It has been a strange year for the Network which has been held in limbo

while waiting to merge with the media department of its sister WPP

agency, J. Walter Thompson. The merger was finally confirmed in the

autumn when MindShare was created.

While the Network lost only pounds 4.4 million worth of accounts, it

chalked up just pounds 12.7 million in wins. The two significant account

additions were Tyco Toys and Fox’s Biscuits. The latter was gained after

a pitch with St Luke’s, which is likely to form a media partnership in

the future with MindShare.

In the UK, the Network’s only significant organisational move pre-merger

was the creation of a specialist press planning and buying unit headed

by the Ford account director, Nick Waters. However, since announcing the

merger, the Network has lost a number of staff including the broadcast

director, Alan James, and the board director, Phil Teeman, as Mandy

Pooler, managing director of the Network and the new managing director

of MindShare UK, began to restructure for the joint media operation.

With a new marketing director on board in the shape of Janine Abraham

and a host of JWT and the Network specialist divisions under one roof,

MindShare is in a good position to win some heavyweight accounts. This

is a springboard year for the agency, and if it misses its cue it could

find itself falling off pitch-lists.


score last year 4


Principal                                 David Pattison

Declared billings                         291m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           258.29m

TV billings                               50.3%

Press billings                            35.6%

Outdoor billings                          8.3%

Radio billings                            4.6%

Staff 1997                                95

Staff 1996                                101

Total accounts year end                   105

Accounts gained                           15

Accounts lost                             5

Company type                              Part of AMV Group

It was a year of mixed blessings for New PHD, which had a tough time

holding on to its status as a planning-led agency, and preventing its

growth in size through its merger with AMV’s media department from

obscuring its cerebral selling point.

Indicative of this problem was the loss of First Direct’s planning to

the strategic shop, Michaelides & Bednash, although New PHD retained the

buying side of the account.

However, on a positive front, the agency kicked off the year by netting

the Sainsbury’s Bank media, as well as scooping the planning and buying

for the BBC/Flextech channels. On the downside, it lost Entertainment

Film Distributors’ pounds 10 million business to Universal

McCann. Account losses for the year totalled pounds 17.2 million and the

agency fell off Campaign’s media-only business performance league,

although PHD Compass retained a presence.

Aware of the need to change, the New PHD board engineered a number of

structural changes aimed at keeping its planning focus and aggressively

pursuing new business. Rocket has been relaunched as a flexible,

ideas-driven agency and the New PHD board was expanded to reflect the

agency’s growth. Laura James took on the newly created post of head of

press, while Mike Anderson was poached from CIA Medianetwork to become


director. David Pattison was elevated to chairman of the agency to

ensure greater cohesion among all New PHD subsidiaries. Finally, a joint

strategic planning venture, Msc, was set up with Partners BDDH,

which picked up the Mercedes planning



score last year 7


Principal                                 Simon Mathews

Declared billings                         215m

AC Nielsen MEAL                           181.02m

TV billings                               43%

Press billings                            48%

Outdoor billings                          4%

Radio billings                            3%

Staff 1997                                65

Staff 1996