School Reports 2013: Archibald Ingall Stretton


Score: 4  Last year: 3

Archibald Ingall Stretton entered 2012 with much to prove after a traumatic 2011.

A year after losing its biggest client, O2, the agency found itself on tenterhooks once again when EDF Energy called a review of its direct marketing business, AIS’s next biggest account. Unfortunately for the agency, it lost the business – after four-and-a-half years – to Wunderman after a competitive pitch.

On the plus side, AIS landed a loyalty brief from Vodafone in October – a client it hopes to win more business from in the future. And, in a tough market with few direct marketing pitches, it managed to net a further 11 accounts, including Mitchells & Butlers, Sony PlayStation and Betfair. It also won the social media account from its existing client Skoda.

Despite this, the agency still has two fewer clients than it did at the close of 2011 and staff figures have dropped by 25 per cent.

It’s not all doom and gloom for AIS, however, as it continued to create notable work for CoppaFeel!. The cheeky cinema campaign for the youth breast cancer awareness charity featured a voiceover from the Gavin & Stacey star Mathew Horne.

AIS also continue to make inroads in digital and 2012 saw the launch of a dedicated social media division called AIS Social, headed by Neil Kleiner, who joined from the parent company, Havas.

While 2012 wasn’t a disaster for AIS, it also wasn’t a year to shout about. The agency went some way towards filling the hole left by O2, but was then hit by the blow of losing EDF Energy. It has ground to gain on many of its key rivals – if it can achieve this in the current climate, it will be no mean feat.

Archibald Ingall Stretton
Type of agency Creative
Company ownership Havas
Key personnel Steve Stretton founding partner
Geoff Gower managing partner, creative
Sarah Stratford managing partner, strategy
Stephen Watford managing partner, commercial
Declared income £7.5m
Total accounts at year end 17
Accounts won 12 (biggest: Vodafone)
Accounts lost 1 (EDF Energy)
Number of staff 75 (-25%)

Score key: 9 Outstanding 8 Excellent 7 Good 6 Satisfactory 5 Adequate 4 Below average 3 Poor 2 A year to forget 1 Survival in question

How AIS rates itself: 6

"2012. A more than satisfactory year after a below par 2011. The launch of dedicated social media and tech offerings. And ais Lisbon.  Big strides in our ambition to do more digital work. Big wins in Vodafone, Sony PlayStation and Škoda social media. And another 10 challenger brands.  Big campaigns for EDF Energy 'Thank yous' and Skoda 'Citigo'. 19 big award wins, including BIMA’s Agency of the Year. And bigger things to come in 2013."