School Reports 2013: Profero


Score: 6  Last year: 7

After executing an impressive turnaround during 2011, Profero didn’t lose its way in 2012. Led by a management team that is focused on growing income around its 360-degree proposition, it claimed to have a strong new-business record but seemed to cultivate a far less visible profile than in previous years.

The most prominent event in Profero’s 2012 was a change in executive creative director after Elspeth Lynn’s move to M&C Saatchi in February. Dale Gall, the chief executive, moved swiftly to bring in Ben Clapp from Elvis – and his arrival has not caused undue disruption to the agency or its work.

Creative highlights included work for Barclays’ bikes and the Marks & Spencer "thanks a million" campaign that helped the retailer celebrate passing the one million fan mark on Facebook. Fans were given the chance to donate a penny to the charity of their choice.

The largest piece of new business was the Unilever brand TRESemmé, the London agency landing the brief as part of a global win. The British Heart Foundation and Smith & Nephew were other significant wins.

However, Profero was hit in December by the loss of one of its most significant clients, Mini, for which it had created perhaps its most high-profile work. The account moved as part of a consolidation into Iris. This process seemed to pose the question of whether Profero is capable of competing with larger agencies on integrated pitches.

Putting that aside, Profero’s offering, which combines creative and media, continues to be attractive to clients. With this point of difference and some global management changes on the cards in 2013 that could boost the London agency’s fortunes, Profero seems well set for a good year.

Type of agency Full-service digital and marketing
Company ownership Independent
Key personnel Dale Gall UK chief executive
Ben Clapp UK executive creative director
Buster Dover UK managing director
Ross Jenkins managing director, Profero Performance
Richard Prankerd managing director, Profero Connect
Declared income £22.3m
Total accounts at year end 28
Accounts won 12 (biggest: TRESemmé)
Accounts lost 1 (Mini)
Number of staff 95 (+6%)

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 Profero rates itself: 8

"Profero built strongly on the turnaround achieved in 2011. We achieved much needed stability in the management team, whilst bringing in outstanding fresh talent in Ben Clapp (ECD) and Matt Fenn (head of design). We retained all of our clients throughout 2012. We continued to produce award winning work, including our first ever big mobile app award for Barclays Bikes. We won 12 new clients and we grew revenue by 27% and achieved our highest ever profit in the UK of 120%."