School Reports 2015: OgilvyOne

British Airways
British Airways

Score: 6  Last year: 8

It proved to be a bittersweet year for OgilvyOne with big highs followed by big lows.

While the agency scooped 100 awards, it lost part of the British Airways business for which it won most of the accolades.

Among the gongs were 47 golds and eight Grands Prix. The majority of these, including the Cannes Lions Direct Grand Prix, were for BA’s "magic of flying" campaign.

However, all this acclaim didn’t stop the airline from moving its customer engagement account to Bartle Bogle Hegarty. The other big departure last year was News UK’s direct marketing account, which was shifted to Wunderman.

What it lost in BA and News UK, OgilvyOne tried to make up for in new business. Not surprisingly, the incoming accounts mostly lacked the stature and prestige of those they replaced. The agency won 16 new pieces of business, most notably British Gas’ content business, as well as Regus, Nokia and BP.

There was some evidence of structural change, with OgilvyOne attempting to adapt to meet clients’ needs – maybe as a lesson learned from its two mammoth losses. It launched a content studio – one of several agencies to do so in 2014. OgilvyOne also acquired DNX, creating the biggest specialist business-to-business offering in the UK.

The agency’s creative talent was rewarded as Emma de la Fosse and Charlie Wilson were promoted to joint chief creative officers across EMEA.

The hard work of the formidable group boss Annette King was also rewarded with a promotion to UK chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather Group UK.

Topping 2014’s awards haul this year will be nigh-on impossible for OgilvyOne. But the agency would happily trade silverware for some new blue-chip clients to fill the gaping hole left by BA and News UK.

How the agency scores itself: 8

How the agency rates itself: We’re bursting at the seams and gearing up for our move to Sea Containers. 2014 was our sixth year of consecutive revenue growth. Winning 16 new clients worth £43 million in billings. We also won eight Grands Prix and 47 golds across seven accounts. Bought DNX to form OgilvyOneDNX, the largest UK B2B agency. Launched DAVE, our proprietary customer engagement planning tool. And, to top it all, we delivered our 100th content studio brief. Woohoo!

Type of agency Customer engagement
Company ownership WPP
Declared income n/s*
Total accounts at year end 46
Accounts won 16 (biggest: British Gas content)
Accounts lost 2 (biggest: British Airways)
Number of staff 417 (+5%)
Key personnel Sam Williams-Thomas chief executive
Jo Coombs managing director
Charlie Wilson chief creative officer
Emma de la Fosse chief creative officer
Ann Higgins head of strategic services

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.