MILES CALCRAFT BRIGINSHAW DUFFY Founded: 1999 Staff: 60 Gross income: £5.6 million (source: Willott Kingston Smith) Key personnel: (pictured left to right) Jeremy Miles, chairman; Helen Calcraft, managing director; Paul Briginshaw, Malcolm Duffy, creative directors
The story of how Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy became the IPA Effectiveness Agency of the Year centres on two unlikely heroes - a debonair octogenarian and the tax man. "Hello world" for Travelocity and "Self assessment" for the Inland Revenue claimed two Gold Awards for the six-year-old shop, which was also named Best New Agency by the client judges.
For Travelocity (see page 4), MCBD took a fledgling brand out of the shadows of the likes of lastminute.com and Expedia and into the consciousness of holidaymakers. After just 15 months, the company's sales have more than doubled and it has captured almost half of the online travel market.
Alan Whicker, the brand's frontman, has become something of a symbol of irreverent cool, helping the brand win favour with a younger generation.
The Inland Revenue (see page 9) is hardly the nation's favourite brand.
But MCBD managed to persuade taxpayers that the Government department is changing for the better, and that filling out a tax return is not an administrative headache. Record numbers of taxpayers have now completed their returns, saving the Inland Revenue £185 million.
The fact that MCBD has come out on top is testament to the pride the agency takes in its planning credentials. Yes, the operation launched with two account people (Helen Calcraft and Jeremy Miles) and two creatives (Paul Briginshaw and Malcolm Duffy) at the helm. But in Andy Nairn and Giles Hedger, it now has a planning department that can give far weightier agencies a run for their money.
This award will add sheen to what is already a good year for MCBD, which is now widely recognised as one of the more successful start-ups of the past ten years.