School Reports 2014: TMW


Score: 7  Last year: 6

During what was a commercially challenging year for TMW, it was logical that the agency should be putting much emphasis on keeping itself up to speed with emerging technologies.

Its importance was underlined in figures reported by Creston in November that revealed lower-than-anticipated first-half revenues, including a £600,000 drop in headline profits at TMW before interest and tax to £2.5 million.

Coincidentally, TMW announced two promotions in answer to what the agency said was the way in which emerging digital platforms were changing the way it did business.

Chris Buckley, TMW’s director of social engagement, was promoted to director of digital engagement, while Vikki Morgan, the head of community, moved into the role of head of social. Both positions were newly created.

At the same time, the agency opted to draw on Sean Bond’s extensive understanding of digital and direct channels by appointing him to fill the new role of director of shopper marketing with a brief to grow its TMW shopper division.

Meanwhile, extra assignments from Unilever boosted growth and TMW won a tough pitch to become HSBC’s CRM agency for UK retail banking. Creative highlights included Durex.

The year ended with TMW being chosen by Virgin Trains to handle its digital and CRM accounts, working alongside Krow Communications, which was handed the ad account. However, it was not so lucky with Coca-Cola, failing to win in a four-way pitch for a new CRM brief covering Northern Europe that went to Wunderman.

The Crown Commercial Service provided some consolation, though, by including the agency on its digital and direct marketing roster, resulting in assignments from Public Health England and Ofgem.

By TMW’s own admission, 2013 was a transformational year. This year should show whether internal changes can keep the new-business machine rolling.

How TMW rates itself: 8

TMW's year in a Tweet: Amazing new premises, new business wins from Virgin Trains, HSBC and Public Health and existing clients like Unilever rewarding us with more

Type of agency Intelligent influence
Company ownership Creston
Key personnel Richard Marshall chief executive
Paul Tullo creative partner
Chris Freeland chief operating officer
Chris Pearce managing director
Kate Wheaton director of strategy
Declared income £20.7m
Total accounts at year end 23
Accounts won 5 (biggest: Virgin Trains)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 264 (+1%)

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.