School Reports 2013: Wunderman


Score: 6  Last year: 7

The reshaping that Wunderman had gone through in 2011 to place itself in a better position to work across new channels was followed by more changes during 2012.

Last year saw its chief executive, Brendan Tansey, replaced by Lida’s chief executive, Mel Cruickshank, in a bid to boost the agency’s creativity and reputation. Tansey now works for Havas Worldwide in a digital role based in Shanghai.

After moving into her new role in October, Cruickshank wasted no time in hiring a new chief creative officer, appointing Matt Batten from Wunderman Australia to oversee the group’s creative output. David Harris, the executive creative director, then resigned from the agency early in 2013.

Other departures at Wunderman included Karl Harvard, who joined in 2011 from Somatica to fill the new role of director of digital but left after just a year in the post.

With such upheaval, a hard-fought win for EDF Energy’s direct marketing business provided a big lift for the agency. Its other new-business win was the children’s savings brand In addition, it grew its Procter & Gamble and Microsoft relationships with a series of new briefs.

After an improved 2011 creatively, the work for clients from Wunderman seemed less strong last year. However, a notable campaign for the Microsoft Windows Phone 8 launch broke at the end of November.

Wunderman was far from a steady ship during 2012. However, with Cruickshank at the helm, there is an opportunity for things to improve. If she can put the same spark into Wunderman that she did into Lida, 2013 could see a return to form for the WPP-owned shop.

Type of agency Digital and direct
Company ownership WPP
Key personnel Mel Cruickshank chief executive
Matt Batten chief creative officer
Josette James client services director
Caroline Worboys managing director, KBM Group
Julian Ormerod managing director, Blast Radius
Nielsen billings 2012 £15m
Nielsen billings 2011 £20m
Declared income £26.1m
Total accounts at year end 19
Accounts won 2 (biggest: EDF Energy)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 343 (-9%)

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 Wunderman rates itself: 6

"It’s been a busy year with great work for the biggest series of product launches in Microsoft history. The management team was bolstered with Mel Cruickshank joining as CEO and Matt Batten as chief creative officer of Wunderman Group UK. Overall revenues were slightly down but growth came from existing clients Microsoft, Ford and P&G, and new business from and EDF’s direct marketing account – a big win."