School Reports 2015: OMD Group


Score: 7  Last year: 8

The group behind M2M, Manning Gottlieb OMD and OMD had a strong year but, by its own high standards, not outstanding. Collectively, it now handles 142 accounts, including some of the UK’s biggest advertisers in McDonald’s and Nissan.

New business in 2014 included MG OMD winning Sony Music from Mindshare (and retaining Virgin Media), OMD snatching Heinz from Vizeum and M2M picking up The Kooples.

However, ten account losses included Vodafone’s monster £80 million media business, which was moved out of OMD. It signalled a dramatic halt to the agency’s good new-business run under Dan Clays, and overshadowed £27 million of account gains including Disney and Heinz.

MG OMD continues to lead OMD Group, with 60 clients and billings in excess of £500 million handled by a team of 330. It was named the group’s most dynamic agency across EMEA and revenues were up 21 per cent. New departments include tech innovation and content and experience teams. The stable’s smaller agency M2M, led by Alistair MacCallum, more than pulled its weight too, winning two Media Week golds and £30 million of new business.

Perhaps 2014 was tainted by the spat with Channel 5 spilling out into the open. These trading disputes are never pretty for outsiders. Whatever the reasoning behind the move, it has cast something of a shadow over an otherwise tight operation. However, being voted Effectiveness Network of the Year at the IPA Effectiveness Awards ensured that OMD Group had plenty of reason for optimism going into 2015.

How the agency scores itself: 9

How the agency rates itself: Effectiveness Network of the Year at IPA Effectiveness Awards, OMD Group enjoyed a stellar year. MG OMD: revenue up 21 per cent; £30 million new business; retained Virgin Media; 43 awards; two gold IPA Effectiveness Awards; five Thinkbox awards; shortlisted for Agency of the Year. OMD: £27 million new business; 30 awards; two Cannes Lions; Marketing Society Grand Prix. M2M: two Media Week golds; £30 million-plus new business; shortlisted for Agency of the Year.

OMD Group
Type of agency Media and marketing communications
Company ownership Omnicom Media Group
Nielsen billings 2014 £867m
Nielsen billings 2013 £864m
Declared income n/s*
Total accounts at year end 142
Accounts won 33 (biggest: Disney)
Accounts lost 10 (biggest: Vodafone)
Traditional media 75%
Digital media 19%
Other media 6%
Number of staff 756 (+29%)
Key personnel Philippa Brown chief executive, Omnicom Media Group UK
Robert Ffitch chief executive, Manning Gottlieb OMD
Dan Clays chief executive, OMD UK
Alistair MacCallum chief executive, M2M

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.