School Reports 2013: Krow Communications


Score: 6  Last year: 7

Krow’s profile – in Campaign, at least – was close to zero during 2012. Yet the lack of headlines was not troubling given Krow’s capture of the £84 million DFS account at the end of 2011, and its need to focus its resources on servicing the business following the win.

For 2012, we set the agency two goals: create some half-decent work for the furniture retailer while holding on to its other major accounts – and it emphatically achieved this.

Work for DFS including – wait for it – a brand-led campaign was a distinct improvement on what had come before. The agency has an element of security on DFS in the shape of a long-term contract, yet it managed to handle the impact of the win well by avoiding reviews of any of its other accounts – which include Fiat and Ferrero.

Krow imposed an eight-month moratorium on new-business pitches but, in February, landed the pan-European Le Creuset cookware account after a pitch that began during 2011.

The agency’s headcount rose 55 per cent as a result of the DFS business and, also in February, it appointed Will Saunders from Engine’s Edwards Groom Saunders as a managing partner. Communications planning briefs from Boden and Bauer came to the agency along with Saunders.

Other hirings included Blake Armstrong from Leagas Delaney to run DFS and Aileen Ross from Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R to handle planning on the account.

Krow’s work continued to be solid. New campaigns for Le Creuset, PayPal and Pets at Home did the job, while the agency also created a high-impact viral campaign for the launch of the Fiat 500L.

The agency has a strong and stable management team and a very loyal client base.

It will be interesting to see if Krow can build on this during 2013 with a well-timed new-business run and by creating work that is talked about.

Krow Communications
Type of agency Integrated communications
Company ownership Independent
Key personnel Barry Cook founder
Nick Hastings founder
John Quarrey founder
Malcolm White founder
Nielsen billings 2012 £108m
Nielsen billings 2011 £40m
Declared income £5.1m
Total accounts at year end 20
Accounts won 5 (biggest: Le Creuset)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 65 (+55%)

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 Krow rates itself: 8

"Our 2012 income was £5.1m which was 57% up on 2011. Our staff numbers increased by 55% to 65 and we added significant management resource. We added five new accounts and lost none. Creative highlights include the 500L viral and dfs, described by David’s review as ‘marking the end of an era’ and ‘consistently good‘ We think the record speaks for itself, 2012 was, by any measure, a year of spectacular growth for the agency."