School Reports 2014: The Red Brick Road


Score: 4  Last year: 3

Deciding on what its future was in a post-Tesco world was The Red Brick Road’s priority in 2013. The departure of the £110 million account the previous year resulted in a loss of 70 per cent of the agency’s income and 40 per cent of its staff. In this context, 2013 could only have been a better year.

As a result of the Tesco exit, key figures headed for the door, including its three founders: Paul Weinberger (also the chairman) moved to TBWA, Paul Hammersley to EDC and David Hackworthy to Fallon. At the same time, the partners at Ruby, the arguably more successful digital and direct shop that was merged into TRBR, orchestrated a management buyout that was finalised at the start of 2013.

This means that the management line-up now looks very different. Once completed, the team of David Miller, Ben Mitchell, Richard Megson and Matt Davis had to establish a new identity for the agency and secure new clients and staff – fast.

This turmoil was hardly helped by the loss of three accounts in 2013, the largest of which was the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles business. TRBR also said farewell to Brewin Dolphin and Glenfiddich’s digital brief.

But TRBR did add some new business. Its biggest win was the £4 million account for Soreen, which it landed after beating BMB, Cheethambell JWT and Mother. The agency also won business with Global Analytics,

Funkin and Seatwave, while its remit with Magners was extended to include Bulmers in Ireland after a pitch.

Given that the Tesco loss had such a devastating impact on TRBR, the agency has made some good progress since. But it still has some way to go.

How The Red Brick Road rates itself: 6

The Red Brick Road's year in a Tweet: The ‘reboot’ year, where The Red Brick Road proved they are much more than a ‘one-trick-Tesco-horse’, I mean, ‘-pony’.

The Red Brick Road
Type of agency Integrated advertising
Company ownership Independent
Key personnel David Miller managing director
Ben Mitchell planning director
Richard Megson creative director
Matt Davis creative director
Nielsen billings 2013 £22m
Nielsen billings 2012 £104m
Declared income £5m
Total accounts at year end 16
Accounts won 5 (biggest: Soreen)
Accounts lost 3 (biggest: VW Commercial Vehicles)
Number of staff 60 (+13%)

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.