School Reports 2011: Kitcatt Nohr Digitas

Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw's fortunes and agency shape were radically changed this month when it was bought by Publicis Groupe and merged with Digitas. But looking back at last year, 2010 was a low-key event.

Recent Kitcatt Nohr Digitas work: Water Aid
Recent Kitcatt Nohr Digitas work: Water Aid

Score: 7

Agency fact file: Kitcatt Nohr Digitas
Type of agency Integrated
Company ownership Publicis Groupe (VivaKi)
Key personnel Paul Kitcatt chief creative officer
  Marc Nohr chief executive
  Vonnie Alexander chief client officer
  Jeremy Shaw commercial director
The Nielsen Company billings 2010 Kitcatt Nohr: £2m
The Nielsen Company billings 2009 Kitcatt Nohr: £1m
Declared income Kitcatt Nohr: £6.1m
Total accounts at year end Kitcatt Nohr: 17
Accounts won Kitcatt Nohr: 8 (biggest: Visit Wales)
Accounts lost Kitcatt Nohr: 0
Number of staff Kitcatt Nohr: 70; Digitas: 80 (n/a)

It began promisingly after the agency found itself on the pitchlists for Visit Wales and Charles Tyrwhitt, both of which it won. In fact, the Visit Wales direct marketing account from Partners Andrews Aldridge was Kitcatt Nohr's biggest win of the year.

In April, the agency went on to take the WaterAid DM account. The work, which featured a remote-controlled poo chasing people around the streets of London and an African child singing a sober version of "The Diarrhoea Song", went on to win a Thinkbox award and the virals were also nominated for YouTube Ad of the Year.

Kitcatt Nohr's charity winning streak continued when it picked up RNIB's DM business, one of eight account wins across 2010.

But, unlike previous years, the agency failed to land a big blue-chip account. Instead, in 2010, Kitcatt Nohr focused its attention on its existing clients, producing innovative work for Waitrose, including a Facebook app called "Heston's Prize Pudding", and an emotive TV campaign for Age Concern.

It was enough to attract the eye of Publicis. The new Kitcatt Nohr Digitas will be part of Publicis Groupe's move to a more collaborative offering across disciplines. 2011 will be about establishing where exactly it fits into that.

Score last year: 7

How Kitcatt Nohr Digitas rates itself: 7

"'The year began with baleful auguries ... ' We were told it would be dreadful - a double-dip recession; the sky would fall in. And the weather obediently froze us solid. But what's a crisis for, if not to precipitate change? We won eight new accounts. Our media choices included a remote-controlled turd, a Christmas pudding and a tea towel. Social work was suddenly cool. Then it froze again. More change is coming. Good."

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