School Reports 2014: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R

Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer

Score: 6  Last year: 5

Work in progress seems an odd description of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R. After all, the original Rainey Kelly agency celebrated its 20th birthday last year, and 15 years have passed since it merged with the then Young & Rubicam. Yet the agency remains far from the finished article. Too much managerial turmoil, perhaps.

Whatever the reason, times remain challenging for RKCR/Y&R. That was certainly the case last year, with too few pitch conversions to replace departing business.

Changes in creative leadership can hardly have helped. At the end of 2012, Toby Talbot found the pull of his homeland so strong that he quit after just a year in creative command, and subsequently joined Whybin\TBWA in New Zealand. In May, RKCR/Y&R named the well-regarded Mick Mahoney, the Havas Worldwide London executive creative director, as Talbot’s successor. Testing times await him.

High on his agenda must be to help pull in more new business.  Last year, RKCR/Y&R ended its two-year tenure of the Government’s fire-safety campaign (not a big spender, but with excellent creative opportunities) when the account switched to Enter. Meanwhile, the agency declined to repitch for Innocent, the smoothie-maker, whose £6 million account departed for 101, and for Ferrero’s Tic Tac, which left for The Corner, ending a three-year relationship with RKCR/Y&R.

And while it managed to win the creative account for VisitBritain, the UK’s official tourism body, it couldn’t convert the £40 million business, which was landed by Fold7 in a three-way pitch.

Creatively, there were a few highlights – for example, its work for Marks & Spencer. But its high-profile commercial beer ad for the Coalition of UK Brewers was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for implying that alcohol made people popular and was important for social success. Sometimes, your luck can really be out.

How Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R rates itself: 7

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R's year in a Tweet: A year to celebrate 20. With leading ladies, a first for Vodafone & Lloyds got a whole new look. Bring it on #2014!

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Type of agency Creative advertising
Company ownership WPP
Key personnel Ben Kay chief executive
Mark Roalfe chairman and executive creative director
Mick Mahoney executive creative director
Alison Hoad vice-chairman
Nielsen billings 2013 £254m
Nielsen billings 2012 £255m
Declared income n/s*
Total accounts at year end 28
Accounts won 3 (biggest: VisitBritain)
Accounts lost 3 (CLG Fire Safety)
Number of staff 220 (-2%)

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.