School Reports 2014: Elvis

Creme Egg
Creme Egg

Score: 3  Last year: 4

Last year, Campaign noted that Elvis had said goodbye to quite a few people in 2012. The trend continued in 2013 as the agency lost a quarter of its staff. First of the big departures was David Bainbridge, the chief executive, who left after his planned international role failed to materialise.

Proximity then poached Elvis’ long-standing executive creative director, John Treacy, to take the same role at the Omnicom agency in August. Then, in September, the managing director, Fiona Scott, who had only been in her post for six months, also left the business.

Revenue slumped by almost 50 per cent compared with 2012. Half of that was attributable to the loss of the Now TV and Virgin Trains accounts. The latter, which included advertising, digital and CRM, was worth £1 million in fees to Elvis. The ad business went to Krow, and TMW picked up the rest of the work.

The other half of the revenue slump was due to changes in the way international clients are accounted for. For example, HTC is actually a client of Singapore, while Intel and MasterCard are serviced out of Elvis’ Los Angeles office.

Elvis did have some successes in 2013. After winning a place on the Mondelez International roster in 2012, it expanded its relationship to include the core Cadbury Dairy Milk brand. Elvis picked up a gold DMA Award in December for its work for Cadbury Creme Egg. Anheuser-Busch InBev handed the agency the below-the-line business for Stella Artois and Stella Artois Cidre, prompting it to resign Magners. The agency also bolstered its planning capabilities with the hiring of David Yates, formerly a planning director at Kitcatt Nohr Digitas.

Elvis claims that 2013 brought "opportunity and excitement", but that was not necessarily evident from outside. Campaign hopes we can detect some in 2014.  

How Elvis rates itself: 7

Elvis' year in a Tweet: 2013 was about change and opportunity. New leadership, creative and planning refreshed our vision bringing new opportunity.

Type of agency Integrated customer experience
Company ownership EDC Communications
Key personnel Martin Semmens chief executive
Tanya Brookfield managing director
David Yates planning director
Neale Horrigan creative director
Leigh Wallace creative director
Declared income £4.9m
Total accounts at year end 20
Accounts won 7 (biggest: Cadbury Dairy Milk)
Accounts lost 2 (biggest: Virgin Trains)
Number of staff 62 (-26%)

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.