School Reports 2012: Proximity London

Last year, Proximity was on an upward trajectory. Celebrating its 20th anniversary was just one of the highlights for the Omnicom-owned shop.

Recent Volkswagen work
Recent Volkswagen work

Score: 7

Agency factfile: Proximity London
Type of agency Direct and digital
Company ownership Omnicom
Key personnel Mike Dodds chief executive
  Lou Barber chairman
  Chris Slough managing director
  Caitlin Ryan executive creative director
Nielsen billings 2011 £33m
Nielsen billings 2010 £22m
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 56
Accounts won 3 (biggest: Braun, Zoom)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 232 (+2%)

Proximity also began working on its new and biggest client, Lloyds TSB, which it won at the end of 2010.

One of Proximity's strengths is a solid management team, driven by its chief executive, Mike Dodds. Recent promotions have also strengthened the agency's proposition. These included the elevation of Lou Barber from managing director to chairman, with the deputy managing director, Chris Slough, replacing Barber as the managing director.

Caitlin Ryan, the executive creative director, has also been behind some strong work for the agency in 2011.

A campaign for Volkswagen included a business-to-business e-mail campaign that allowed recipients to take a test drive in the e-mail. The campaign brought the VW models to life in digital form, which included more than 12,000 combinations of the car. The personalised drive was VW Group's best-performing CRM programme to date.

Despite spending most of the year bedding in Lloyds, the agency also picked up new business for Braun, Wrigley and Max Factor, and increased existing client business with Orange, Kraft and Procter & Gamble.

Proximity has proved over the past two years why it's hot property as a direct marketing agency. The challenge for the agency in 2012 will be to raise its game even further by winning lots more new business to make sure it remains on fire.

Score last year: 8

How Proximity London rates itself: 8

"Incredible year, including double-digit growth across seven of our ten accounts, the number-one spot in the new-business league tables for direct agencies, and exceptional creative performance in DMAs, DMA Echos, Caples, Grocers and Campaign Big with 19 awards. Strengthened the team with the managing director Chris Slough, a new head of content, technical director, e-commerce specialist, senior planners and creative teams. Named a top 50 'best place to work' and our 20th year ended up being our best yet."

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