School Reports 2014: Wunderman


Score: 8  Last year: 6

There was much multitasking to be done last year by Wunderman’s energetic chief executive, Mel Cruickshank, who not only had to ensure that a new-look management front line was successfully bedded in, but also that the agency’s new-business machine didn’t splutter. And all that while making sure its data and insights capability remained compelling.

Cruickshank can look back with considerable satisfaction. Not only does the new team appear to have found its feet, but some significant new business has also come through the door.

With Matt Batten having completed his first full year in creative command and Richard Dunn, the former Partners Andrews Aldridge planning partner, taking over as the chief strategy officer, the rewards were readily apparent. Most notably in the protracted efforts that went into successfully pitching for Shell’s consolidated global CRM account, backed by a reported budget of more than £30 million.

There were other successes too. A four-way contest saw Wunderman win a new CRM brief for Northern Europe from Coca-Cola, while its global relationship with Microsoft paid dividends when its Xbox subsidiary switched the EMEA creative account from McCann London without a pitch.

Meanwhile, there was a broad range of new assignments from existing clients, among them Procter & Gamble, for which Wunderman created digital activity to launch its Hugo Red fragrance, and EDF Energy, which wanted help in demonstrating its commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

Having experienced something of a managerial merry-go-round over the space of two years, Wunderman has a much less dizzy feel about it now. With what looks like a cohesive management team in place, things can only get better.

How Wunderman rates itself: 7

Wunderman's year in a Tweet: A new team. Built base camp. Some new accounts. Laboured like Hercules but had a ball. Now for the summit.

Type of agency Digital and direct
Company ownership WPP
Key personnel Mel Cruickshank chief executive
Richard Dunn chief strategy officer
Matt Batten chief creative officer
Josette James client services director
Caroline Worboys managing director, data and insights EMEA
Nielsen billings 2013 £29m
Nielsen billings 2012 £15m
Declared income n/s*
Total accounts at year end 21
Accounts won 6 (biggest: Shell)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 348 (+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.


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