School Reports 2014: Naked Communications


Score: 6  Last year: n/a

On a sombre note, 2013 will be remembered for the untimely passing of one of Naked Communications’ founders, John Harlow, who had stepped back from the agency several years ago. His legacy in establishing communications planning as a discipline will live long.

The agency that he was so closely associated with showed some signs of bouncing back. After three years operating as Hypernaked, it took the decision to return to the original name of the agency that pioneered the way media was planned when it launched in 2000. As well as reconnecting with its roots, the shop acknowledged that Hyper might have been the stronger party when the two merged in 2011, but its branding and heritage were never as significant.

The move unified the agency with the other global Naked businesses and the chief executive, Ian Clark, seemed to sum up the overriding sentiment when he hailed the beginning of "an exciting new chapter".

Management changes in 2013 saw Alex Conway, the former global business director at Wieden & Kennedy London, become the managing director and client director. Rob Meldrum, previously the technical director at 1000heads, joined as the innovation director, while Casper Willer moved from the Copenhagen office to take the executive creative director role in London.

Naked ended the year picking up eight accounts, including Coca-Cola, Virgin Atlantic and De Beers. Amid this growth, it lost just one client: Noble Foods’ The Happy Egg Co.

The shop also produced some strong work, with notable recognition for its "share a Coke" campaign at Cannes. It extended relationships with clients too, adding more briefs from Danone, Mars Petcare and Nokia. Let’s hope the new leadership does not lose momentum this year and can regain some of Naked’s old magic.

How Naked Communications rates itself: 7

Naked Communications' year in a Tweet: Great year! New management. New global positioning & under our original name. New biz from Virgin Atlantic & Coke = high momentum for 2014

Naked Communications
Type of agency Advertising
Company ownership Enero
Key personnel Ian Clark chief executive
Wayne Fletcher chief strategy officer
Alex Conway managing director
Will Collin co-founder
Casper Willer executive creative director
Declared income £6.4m
Total accounts at year end 18
Accounts won 8 (biggest: Virgin Atlantic)
Accounts lost 1 (The Happy Egg Co)
Number of staff 61 (+15%)

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.