School Reports 2014: Stack

Nivea Men Originals
Nivea Men Originals

Score: 5  Last year: 4

Last year was the final one in which the agency was known as CMW, having rebranded as Stack in January 2014, 18 years after it was established as Clark McKay & Walpole.

Stack began 2013 by hiring Faraaz Marghoob as the strategy director, completing the restructure of the management team under the chief executive, Liz Wilson. The only reported departure during the year was the senior copywriter Scott Vaux-Nobes, who left for Partners Andrews Aldridge. PAA’s chief executive, Martin Nieri, was previously CMW’s managing partner and has occasionally returned to his old stomping ground to poach staff since leaving in 2011.

Stack won some new business throughout 2013, including Ernest Jones, Tolkowsky and Silver Spoon. But Beiersdorf, which had used Stack for digital advertising and direct marketing on Nivea Men and Elastoplast since 2011, called a review in July. Nivea had been through an internal restructure and was looking for a single digital agency to work with across Europe (Agency Republic was the other incumbent on the account), and it appointed AKQA in October after a pitch. It was a significant loss for Stack, though the agency has not cut all ties with the brand.

Highlights in 2013 included the "man of the match" campaign for the Nivea Men Originals relaunch, where a handful of male shoppers were made to feel as though they had just won the World Cup, and an online film for Citroën featuring the magician Drummond Money-Coutts and a host of Arsenal players.

Following its rebrand, Stack’s big focus in the first part of 2014 will be to pitch for McCain Foods, one of its biggest clients, which put its digital account up for review in February. There’s nothing much wrong at Stack, but lining up a replacement for Nivea would go some way to strengthening the agency.

How Stack rates itself: 7

Stack's year in a Tweet: Stacked with flavour, stacked with fun. Stacked with new accounts, smart ideas and clever people. 2013 was so stacked we changed our name

Type of agency Integrated creative
Company ownership MSQ Partners
Key personnel Liz Wilson chief executive
Iain Hunter executive creative director
Faraaz Marghoob strategy director
Rod Jones business lead
Ronan Philips finance director
Declared income £5.1m
Total accounts at year end 14
Accounts won 6 (biggest: Tolkowsky)
Accounts lost 2 (biggest: Allied Bakeries)
Number of staff 79 (+16%)

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.