School Reports 2014: R/GA London

Beats Music
Beats Music

Score: 6  Last year: 7

A lengthening awards list and a lively new-business period proved that R/GA London made significant progress in establishing a clear identity for itself last year rather than simply operating as the outpost of a US network.

The progress manifested itself in the breadth of its output – from Beats Music, a new win to complement the agency’s work for Beats by Dr Dre, to household names such as Unilever and O2.

What’s more, its status has been growing within the R/GA network, the agency cementing itself as the European hub and bearing operational responsibility for all offices outside the Americas.

R/GA London certainly has the look and feel of a grown-up agency, and this is reflected in a client list expanded last year with significant pieces of global business from Diageo – it was named the global digital agency for Baileys – and Heineken, whose global roster it joined.

And, with the arrival of business from Turkcell, the telecoms provider, and, the Moscow-based electronics retailer, R/GA has extended its presence into Turkey and Russia.

Another sign of the agency’s growing maturity has been its burgeoning relationship with Unilever, for which it works on Sunsilk, Skip and Rexona (known as Sure in the UK).

R/GA London signalled its intent to grow its business with Unilever in April last year with the hiring of Maggie Lonergan, the former managing partner at the interactive marketing agency Possible, to take charge of the FMCG giant’s global account.

The agency also bolstered its creative firepower with Rodrigo Sobral, the co-founder of The Mill Digital, who became R/GA London’s executive creative director across a range of clients, including Unilever.

R/GA London looked to have hit its stride last year. Now it just needs to sustain the pace of its progress.

How R/GA London rates itself: 9

R/GA London's year in a Tweet: We won 7 global clients, produced award winning work & with game changing World Cup projects in the pipeline 2014 promises to be even bigger

R/GA London
Type of agency Full-service digital
Company ownership Interpublic
Key personnel Matt Lodder managing director
James Temple executive creative director
George Prest executive creative director
Drew Burdon director of strategy and planning
Patrick Van Kann executive technical director
Declared income £20.5m
Total accounts at year end 17
Accounts won 7 (biggest: Beats Music)
Accounts lost 1 (GHD – resigned)
Number of staff 130 (no change)

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.