School Reports 2014: The Communications Agency

The Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland

Score: 5  Last year: n/a

Maybe it has something to do with its no-nonsense moniker – and the fact that it aims to do exactly what it says on its nameplate – that The Communications Agency has never had a profile that might have been expected from a shop that has been around for almost three decades.

True, there have been fleeting moments in the limelight – most notably when it produced the remarkable 2007 commercial raising awareness of prostate cancer, in which Bob Monkhouse was seemingly brought back to life.

For most of the time, though, TCA seems content just to get on with its business, relying on the extensive big agency experience of its cohesive and stable senior management team and long-standing relationships with key clients to see it through.

The formula seems to work, with revenue and operating margins having grown year on year. This is something TCA is looking to continue, while its creative product is expected to be enhanced by last year’s arrival of the highly experienced Jon Canning as the executive creative director.

Canning was given the opportunity to stretch his talents further last year after TCA saw off M&C Saatchi and CHI & Partners to capture The Royal Bank of Scotland’s £2 million business account.

Other new names on the client roster included the confectionery-maker Thorntons, the cinema chain Vue, which briefed TCA to launch four multiplexes, and Cancer Research UK, for which it handles marketing activity around the Bobby Moore Fund.

TCA’s biggest disappointment was missing out to Lucky Generals after a prolonged pitch for the ethical electricity supplier Good Energy.

This year, the agency’s challenge will be an all-too-familiar one – sustaining its profile among existing and potential clients in a fiercely competitive market where growth is tough.

How The Communications Agency rates itself: 7

The Communications Agency's year in a Tweet: After 27 years, its nice to be an overnight success.

The Communications Agency
Type of agency Integrated creative
Company ownership Independent
Key personnel Robert Prevezer executive chairman
Adam Leigh chief executive
Jon Canning executive creative director
James Champ planning director
Jenny Phillips client services director
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 13
Accounts won 5 (biggest: Vue)
Accounts lost 1 (RBS private banking)
Number of staff 46 (+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

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


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