School Reports 2015: The Corner

London Pride
London Pride

Score: 8  Last year: 8

The Corner may be small but it seems perfectly formed and was on something of a new-business roll. Not only is its name appearing regularly on pitchlists, but it is converting most of its opportunities and often against big-name agencies. All this new business has seen the agency grow its staff numbers by 40 per cent to 51 – not bad for its third year of operation.

It kicked off the year by winning Flybe’s £8 million advertising account after a competitive pitch that included Now and Leagas Delaney in the final stages. McCann had been knocked out in an earlier round and Joint had declined to pitch after initial talks.

Next up was the account for Relish, the wireless broadband provider from the Hong Kong telecoms provider PCCW, again won after a competitive pitch.

The big one came in October when the agency landed the £15 million creative account for the over-the-counter healthcare company Omega Pharma. The agency won the UK and Ireland business after a final shoot-out against Lucky Generals. Later that month, it picked up the account for Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that manages properties including the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace. The Corner prevailed after a competitive pitch against 101, Mcgarrybowen and St Luke’s.

Other new business came from The Senet Group to create a responsible gambling campaign after a review involving Grey London and Karmarama. So The Corner has kept some pretty impressive company given its youth.

Despite all the pitching and a relatively small team, the agency managed to produce some strong creative work. Perhaps its most high-profile ad was a TV spot for Beagle Street that borrowed from Gremlins to show it was different to its rivals. And its London Pride campaigns continued to charm.

All in all, a great year. More of the same in 2015, please.

How the agency scores itself: 8

How the agency rates itself: We finished in the top ten of Campaign’s new-business league for the second year running, were the PromaxBDA Worldwide Agency of the Year, launched our media unit, Rumour. In other news, we gasped at some cheeky antics in the hotel rooms across our mews, went to Belgium for our Christmas party and got everyone back in one piece, and we’re still waiting for the new Soho House to open next door.

The Corner
Type of agency Advertising
Company ownership Independent
Nielsen billings 2014 £11m
Nielsen billings 2013 £2m
Declared income £4.5m
Total accounts at year end 15
Accounts won 5 (biggest: Omega Pharma)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 51 (+40%)
Key personnel Neil Simpson partner, chief executive
Tom Ewart partner, chief creative officer
Neil Hourston partner, chief strategy officer
Graham Stewart partner, commercial director

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.