School Reports 2014: WCRS


Score: 7  Last year: 6

Was 2013 the year WCRS got its mojo back? It’s certainly something that the industry has been waiting long enough for. On the positive side, it was the second full year since Matt Edwards took over as the chief executive, marking a period of stability not seen for some time. The agency’s management team also retained all of its clients  and secured a clutch of awards. This was a marked improvement on 2012. New clients included Betfair, Westons Cider, Royal Mail, Now TV, the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and the return of Santander.

Tom Crossley, Iris’ managing partner, joined WCRS in the same capacity to strengthen the agency’s digital output and capabilities. But WCRS lost its chief digital officer, Toby Gunton, to OMD UK, where he became its first head of innovation. Meanwhile, JWT London poached the senior creatives Rob Welch and Naz Nazli, whose outdoor work for Warburtons picked up a silver at last year’s Campaign Big Awards.

WCRS’s creative highlights included "Toy Story" for Sky, which was the first time that Pixar has worked with an ad agency to produce a bespoke commercial.

There were some good examples of innovation – its virtual test drive for BMW’s new electric car was named among Campaign’s top ten digital innovations of the year. And the agency’s work for the anti-domestic-violence charity Women’s Aid, which used 3D stereoscopic technology to allow the audience to edit the creative in real time, secured several awards; it won in the Not  for Profit & Public Service category at the Rev Awards, picked up BIMA’s Minor Miracle gong, took a Creative Circle gold and landed a bronze at The Account Planning Group’s Creative Strategy Awards.

So is the mojo back? To an extent. How WCRS performs in the forthcoming BMW pitch may be a deciding factor.

How WCRS rates itself: 8

WCRS's year in a Tweet: WCRS was a happy winning team in 2013. Top 5 for new business and awards for everything from iconic posters to future-facing creative tech.

Type of agency Creative
Company ownership Engine
Key personnel Matt Edwards chief executive
Billy Faithfull creative director
Ross Neil creative director
Matt Willifer executive planning director
Simon Peck managing director
Nielsen billings 2013 £210m
Nielsen billings 2012 £198m
Declared income £17.4m (2012)
Total accounts at year end 19
Accounts won 7 (biggest: Betfair)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 160 (+5%)

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.


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