School Reports 2014: Fallon


Score: 5  Last year: 4

After a difficult 2012, when Fallon lost its £43 million Orange advertising account (the spend was consolidated behind the EE brand) and several senior people moved, it was imperative that it came out fighting in 2013. To some degree, it achieved success in this and ended the year with some stability among the senior team and a handful of new-business wins.  

Fallon kicked off the year by winning the account for the Telefónica-owned Giffgaff. It produced the first work for the company in May, when it launched a zombie apocalypse film with a twist – the zombies turn out to be helpful rather than hungry for brains, illustrating the brand’s message that different doesn’t have to be scary. This met with mixed reviews.

It also secured the £7 million Scottish Power ad account, after a pitch that lasted almost a year, and the European creative account for the online video-on-demand service Netflix. Fallon also marked its first move into Mondelez International brands beyond Cadbury by winning the European ad account for the biscuit brand Mikado.

The agency installed a new account team on Cadbury, one of its longest-standing and most fruitful relationships (it works on 25 Cadbury brands). Activity included the "have a fling" spot for Creme Egg, a £3 million campaign to promote Wispa hot chocolate and the company’s first-ever Christmas ad.

Fallon’s 15-year relationship with Skoda continued to strengthen, as the work it created to support the Octavia vRS in the UK went global. However, there were some notable losses in the financial services sector – with both Axa and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank moving into its sister shop Saatchi & Saatchi. Fallon’s relationship with Nokia also came to an end.

So, while there were some positives in 2013, Fallon still feels like a ship that has yet to be fully righted. A more confident approach in 2014, and a clearer definition of what the agency stands for, would help.

How Fallon rates itself: 7

Fallon's year in a Tweet: Renewed energy and fresh faces at Fallon, together with some exciting new biz wins: Netflix, Mikado and Scottish Power. Bring on 2014.

Type of agency Creative
Company ownership Publicis Groupe
Key personnel Gail Gallie chief executive
James Townsend managing director
David Hackworthy chief strategy officer
Santiago Lucero executive creative director
Nielsen billings 2013 £67m
Nielsen billings 2012 £63m
Declared income £10.1m
Total accounts at year end 16
Accounts won 3 (biggest: Scottish Power)
Accounts lost 3 (biggest: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank)
Number of staff 100 (-19%)

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.