School Reports 2013: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R


Score: 5  Last year: 7

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R has been no stranger to upheaval in the past, so the aim was to return to solid ground and strengthen its position in 2012.

The agency was certainly bolstered by the merger of its digital shop, Saint, into the main operation and the recruitment of Jon Sharpe as the chief innovation officer. The move bore fruit later in the year, with RKCR/Y&R extending its Vodafone relationship with the capture of the estimated £10 million digital business after a pitch late in the year.

But there was still some ironing out to do as regards leadership. Alison Hoad, the joint chief executive, returned to her previous role of vice-chairman, leaving Ben Kay as the sole chief executive. Also, the agency hired Kevin Sutherland as the director of creative technology and Duncan McRobb as business director.

Then, in December, Toby Talbot, the agency’s executive creative director, announced that he was departing after just one year in the role, leaving the agency with another search for a senior creative to work with its respected chairman, Mark Roalfe.

New business virtually flatlined in the first half of 2012, but perked up as the year went on. After the loss of Warburtons, which reviewed and moved to WCRS, and parting ways with Innocent, Dreams and Tic Tac, RKCR/Y&R was in need of a fillip. The agency managed to shore up its billings with the Vodafone digital win, and also captured the £2 million Mecca Bingo and the £6 million Holland & Barrett accounts.

Though it certainly wasn’t a vintage year for the agency with regard to work, there was a finely crafted animated film for a BBC Olympics ad, some cut-through Kopparberg work and a high-impact rape awareness campaign for the Home Office.

In all, it was a testing year, but not without progress. RKCR/Y&R should hope that 2013 brings greater confidence and an attention-grabbing body of work.

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Type of agency Integrated creative
Company ownership WPP
Key personnel Mark Roalfe chairman and executive creative director
Ben Kay chief executive
Alison Hoad vice-chairman
Rupert Williams managing director
Nielsen billings 2012 £247m
Nielsen billings 2011 £278m
Declared income n/s*
Total accounts at year end 40
Accounts won 7 (biggest: Holland & Barrett)
Accounts lost 4 (biggest: Warburtons)
Number of staff 225 (-10%)

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

Footnote: *indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.

How RKCR/Y&R rates itself: 7

"2012 has been a good year.  We’ve merged our award-winning digital arm, Saint into the main agency, brought in great new talent and had a superb new business run, winning seven of our last nine pitches, (believe it or not, we’re now Beer’s agency!)  Domestically, we’ve grown our revenue year-on-year and had some good successes across both Effectiveness Awards (IPA Gold and silver) and 96 creative awards. Here’s looking forward to an even stronger 2013."