School Reports 2012: MEC UK

MEC has positioned itself in an interesting space between media creativity and effectiveness with some success. Last year, it won a gold at the Campaign Media Awards, for a campaign it brokered between The Famous Grouse and The Telegraph, and two more at the Media Week Awards, one of which was for a product it developed that helps clients achieve the most out of proprietary data.

Recent Telegraph/Famous Grouse work
Recent Telegraph/Famous Grouse work

Score: 7

Agency factfile: MEC UK
Type of agency Full-service media
Company ownership WPP
Key personnel Steve Hatch chief executive
  Stuart Sullivan-Martin chief strategy officer
  Jason Dormieux chief operating officer
  Stuart Bowden managing director
  Sarah Hennessy deputy managing director
Nielsen billings 2011 £687m
Nielsen billings 2010 £665m
Declared income £35m (2010)
Total accounts at year end 265
Accounts won 25 (biggest: T-Mobile)
Accounts lost 3 (biggest: Wickes – resigned)
TV 48%
Press 22%
Outdoor 10%
Radio 3%
Search, display and digital 14%
Cinema 1%
Sponsorship 2%
Number of staff 423 (+17%)

This appears to have translated into new-business success - MEC topped the rankings for most of 2011 after winning briefs from T-Mobile, Bupa and Marriott, to name a few. On the flipside, MEC resigned Wickes when it went up for pitch and lost the Gocompare and global Sony Ericsson businesses.

It also underwent wholesale management changes after its chief executive, Tom George, was made the chairman for North Europe. This was good news for the managing director, Steve Hatch, who was promoted to the role of UK chief executive. He instigated further staff changes, such as bringing back his former colleague Stuart Bowden from Vizeum as managing director and promoting Sarah Hennessy to deputy managing director.

Hatch has installed a new regime with a younger team running the Southwark-based shop. Let's see if they can bring greater stability, while maintaining MEC's distinct positioning, over the year ahead.

Score last year: 8

How MEC UK rates itself: 8

"We'll look back at 2011 as a good year for MEC. We're particularly pleased to see the success of our Analytics and Insight team, which pipped Google to the post by winning in the Data Innovation category at the Media Week Awards. MEC's proprietary technology is now being exported to AT&T in North America. For the coming year, we're more focused than ever on producing great, joined-up ideas."

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