School Reports 2011: The7stars

2010 was something of a breakthrough year for the7stars, which celebrated its fifth birthday in September. Since BLM's acquisition by Havas more than three years ago (and its consequent loss of unaligned status), the7stars has become the market's most vibrant, truly independent media outfit.

Recent The7stars work: Discovery Channel
Recent The7stars work: Discovery Channel

Score: 6

Agency fact file: The7stars
Type of agency Media planning and buying
Company ownership Independent
Key personnel Jenny Biggam founding partner
  Mark Jarvis founding partner
  Liam Mullins head of press
  Nick Maddison business development
  Julian Ireland head of strategy
The Nielsen Company billings 2010 £42m
The Nielsen Company billings 2009 £29m
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 42
Accounts won 15 (biggest: Phones4u)
Accounts lost 0
TV 35%
Press 36%
Outdoor 3%
Radio 7%
Search/online 15%
Other (cinema/sponsorship/BTL) 4%
Number of staff 28 (+22%)

Last year, it also managed to position itself at the industry's leading edge, when it joined forces with Adam & Eve to launch a joint venture media agency called Eden. That, coupled with a more-than-decent new-business record, created a sense that the agency is moving firmly in the right direction.

Account wins included Phones 4u, Discovery Channel, the Caribbean Tourist Office,, Converse, Jigsaw, Robert Dyas, Habitat, Early Learning Centre, Blinkbox, Mentholatum, and Warren Evans.

The agency also made significant investments in proprietary tools and software - for instance, Datastore for retail clients - and there were hirings, too. These included Nick Maddison, who joined from Gen as the head of business development and Julian Ireland, formerly of Target Media and i-Crossing, who arrived to head up strategy and digital.

Staff headcount rose by more than 20 per cent during the course of the year at the agency, which is confident it's going places. It will be one to watch again during 2011 and may well attract covetous glances from advertising groups keen on making a media acquisition.

Score Last year: 7

How the7stars rates itself: 7

"We have chosen three words instead of 75! We are: Collaborative - we are proud of our work with Adam & Eve; our relationship with Naked and a new venture with Anomaly (resulting in a brilliant Converse campaign). Through collaboration, our clients are getting better results. Combative - no fewer than 15 new clients, mainly won from big established networks. Creative - we are proud of our work, from Phones4u's Hollyoaks sponsorship through to the Time To Change social strategy."

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