School Reports 2012: BETC London

BETC London didn't even exist this time last year but, in a few months, it made enough of a mark to justify inclusion here.

Recent work for Cockburn's
Recent work for Cockburn's

Score: Too early to score

Agency fact file: BETC London
Type of agency Advertising, digital, social media
Company ownership Majority Havas-owned
Key personnel Matthew Charlton chief executive
  Neil Dawson executive creative director
  Andrew Stirk executive planning director
  Charlotte David new-business director
  Clive Pickering head of copy
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 5
Accounts won 5 (biggest: Disneyland Paris)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 14 (n/a)

Founded in May by the former DDB creative chief Neil Dawson and the ex-Modernista! boss Matthew Charlton, BETC London is the first overseas office of BETC Euro RSCG, the Havas-owned French hotshop that has carved a reputation as one of the world's best creative agencies.

The London office launched with the intention of driving a new BETC micro-network, bringing BETC Paris' values of creativity and craft to a broader international audience.

Signs so far suggest reason to be cautiously optimistic. BETC London may not have been a regular feature on the year's heavy-hitting pitchlists, but it did win some decent accounts, including the Disneyland Paris UK business, a Pearl & Dean brief and the relaunch of the port brand Cockburn's.

Understandably for an agency that started from scratch little more than nine months ago, work is still fairly thin on the ground. But early signs are promising: the subsequent creative for Cockburn's was eye-catching, while an online campaign created pro bono for Keep Footy Beautiful was cleverly done.

The real test for BETC London has yet to come. The agency now has its key people in place, having hired Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO's Clive Pickering as its head of copy and Albion's Jon Plackett as a senior writer, while Wieden & Kennedy's Andrew Stirk has come in as its executive planning director.

And with JWT's Guy Hayward also joining the wider global network in a business development role, 2012 will be the year when we find out whether BETC London is really set to be another major player in the UK market.

Too early to score

How BETC London rates itself: 7

"It's hard to imagine what we'd have done differently if we'd been allowed to write our own script for our first year in operation. We wanted our first creative work to showcase our abilities and Cockburn's does this. Keep Footy Beautiful won a gold award from La Liga in Spain. We landed some great brands, all of which represent creative opportunities, and launched a record label, with The Erratic Man our first single."

Return to the School Reports 2012 A-Z directory