School Reports 2014: Holler

Red Bull
Red Bull

Score: 6  Last year: n/a

2013 was the year that Holler went global. The digital agency that was founded in 2001 and bought by Leo Burnett in 2011 was expanded to other Leo Burnett offices around the world, kicking off with a ten-strong team in Chicago and five in Silicon Valley. In recognition of these changes, the co-founder and managing partner James Kirkham was promoted to the new position of global head of social and mobile.

The agency racked up a series of high-profile wins throughout the year. It won The Co-operative’s social media business to become the brand’s first such agency. It then picked up the social media account for BSkyB’s Now TV.

Holler also extended its work with Procter & Gamble to include Old Spice, Max Factor, Always and Discreet (the agency already worked on Daz and Flash), but resigned its UK digital account with Revlon and stopped working with Global Radio.

The agency’s creative work was very strong – it was behind three of Campaign’s top ten digital innovations in 2013. These were: the interactive Pinterest campaign exploring the mind of a cyclist for Red Bull’s Imaginate project; the Snapchat activity for The Co-operative, making the brand the UK’s first retailer to use the photo-messaging app as an advertising medium; and the interactive platform for Mercedes-Benz’s "sound with power".

Following Kirkham’s promotion, Will Pyne, the co-founder, and Simon Hankin also took on global roles for Holler. In the UK, Dan Hocking, the operations director, and Paolo Nieddu, the head of planning, were promoted to managing partner positions. The agency hired Alastair Amin, formerly the business director at Work Club, as the client services director and Ben Swindell, the founder of the digital creative agency Blend, as the managing partner.

All these changes led to healthy increases in staff numbers and revenues at the agency.

How Holler rates itself: 7

Holler's year in a Tweet: With Holler behind 3 of Campaign’s top 10 digital innovations in 2013, we’re looking for a full house this year

Type of agency Online full service
Company ownership Publicis Groupe
Key personnel James Kirkham global head of social and mobile, Leo Burnett
Will Pyne global executive creative director
Simon Hankin global managing partner
Dan Hocking managing partner
Paolo Nieddu managing partner
Declared income £4.2m (2012)
Total accounts at year end 32
Accounts won 8 (biggest: BSkyB)
Accounts lost 2 (biggest: Revlon – resigned)
Number of staff 42 in 2012 (+24%)

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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