School Reports 2011: EHS 4D GROUP

Last year, EHS 4D boldly restructured and rebranded itself from EHS Brann in a bid to capitalise on the digitisation of the direct marketing industry.

Recent EHS 4D Group: Malt Matcher
Recent EHS 4D Group: Malt Matcher

Score: 7

Agency fact file: EHS 4D Group
Type of agency Direct, digital, data
Company ownership Havas (Euro RSCG)
Key personnel Matt Atkinson global chief executive
  Simon Hebdon chief operating officer
  Tash Whitmey group managing director
  Tracey Barber group marketing director
  Nigel Clifton creative director
Declared income £21.6m (2009)
Total accounts at year end 46
Accounts won 18 (biggest: Nestle)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 295 (+2%)

The long-serving chief executive, Matt Atkinson, drove the restructure and appointed new managing directors to each of its four core business units: Tash Whitmey took over at EHS 4D, Craig Walmsley at EHS 4D Digital, Ol Janus at EHS 4D Discovery and David Williams at EHS 4D Cirencester. However, the restructure of the business led to the departure of the group managing director, Mike Spicer, who had been at the agency for two years.

EHS 4D's revitalisation paid off and last year the agency won 18 new accounts, including Nestle, Yahoo!, Unilever and TUI. In September, it was also reappointed to the Barclays Retail direct marketing account for the fourth time. With its new strong focus on digital, the agency picked up the eCRM account for after a competitive pitch. It increased its revenues in this area by more than 30 per cent. Direct revenue also increased, by 3.9 per cent, and its data business was up by 2.8 per cent.

EHS has also achieved organic growth through existing clients including Tesco, Diageo (for whom it produced a nifty Malt Matcher iPhone app) and Jaguar.

All in all, EHS 4D enjoyed impressive new-business growth and a respectable upturn in revenues, suggesting that its rebrand has already started paying dividends. For all that, though, the agency needs higher profile and improved creative work if it is to get seriously back on track.

Score last year: 5

How EHS 4D Group rates itself: 9

"Finished 2009, 1 per cent growth and 5 per cent EBIT. Finished 2010, 10 per cent growth and 18 per cent EBIT. Pitched and won 18 pieces of business, a conversion rate of 75 per cent. Became global digital agency for Unilever, social agency of record for IBM. Won 12 creative awards. Repitched Barclays and won for the fourth time. Became the Marketing Direct Agency of the Year 2010."

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