School Reports 2014: Lida


Score: 9  Last year: 8

After an outstanding 2013, Lida ended the year by becoming Campaign’s first Customer Engagement Agency of the Year. The reason for this was apparent – it brought in a slew of new business, delivered award-winning work and had a stable and talented management team. To support the charismatic chief strategy officer, Matthew Heath, who was promoted to the additional role of chairman after the departure of Mel Cruickshank, Lida made two key hires in 2013. Victoria Fox, a former managing partner at Adam & Eve/DDB, arrived as the managing director and Lida lured back Louise Whitcombe from Bartle Bogle Hegarty to become the chief operating officer.

The agency’s new-business wins included an expansion of its relationship with Boots to include digital, social and mobile strategy. It also picked up Land Rover’s UK CRM account, beating OgilvyOne – which has the global digital business for the car marque – in the process. The shop won’s hotly contested CRM account from Havas EHS (although the latter held on to the data business) and landed a brief from Camelot.

It was on the creative floor that Lida particularly impressed, picking up 40 awards over the year. Highlights included an integrated campaign for Virgin Holidays that overtook British Airways in social mentions and increased online sales by 71 per cent year on year. Ikea customers were given weather forecasts for their own gardens and the "small space living" interactive film had a dwell time of ten minutes. Lida also raised awareness of Tourette’s through its "f*uck the firewall" campaign and developed O2’s "be more dog" activity online.

With revenue up 40 per cent over the past two years, a record year for profit and an 18 per cent profit margin, Lida is delivering for its parent company, M&C Saatchi, too. With so many great things achieved in 2013, Campaign looks forward to seeing what it manages in 2014.

How Lida rates itself: 9

Lida's year in a Tweet: @lidalondon, 8 new business wins, 40+ creative accolades, record profit & won coveted @Campaignmag Agency of the Year

Type of agency Digital and direct
Company ownership M&C Saatchi
Key personnel Lisa Thomas founder
Matthew Heath chairman and chief strategy officer
Nicky Bullard executive creative director
Victoria Fox managing director
Louise Whitcombe chief operating officer
Declared income £14.8m (2012)
Total accounts at year end 26
Accounts won 8 (biggest:
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 170 (+4%)

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.