School Reports 2015: Total Media

Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum

Score: 6  Last year: 6

The sprightly independent media agency in West London continues to provide a bespoke, professional service for brands looking to launch and grow their reach, and seems happy and profitable enough in this niche.

Total Media now handles 75 accounts, ranging from Lenovo’s £11.5 million EMEA business to more tailored fare for brands including British Lion Eggs, the Imperial War Museums and Tate.

Its 100 staff in London and Birmingham seem able to provide clients with the love they might not always receive from other, bigger agencies.

Not being part of a marketing group has not held the agency back in terms of winning new business, and 17 accounts were added in 2014. But Total Media by no means had it all its own way and waved goodbye to eight clients, most notably Slimming World after a year of expanding their relationship. That would have felt personal. In all, the agency lost a quarter of its billings between 2013 and 2014.

After the disruption of restructuring the agency in 2013, 2014 was a year for building momentum. And the agency did pull in some of its biggest clients to date in the form of Lenovo, Epson and Harley Medical Group.

Total Media also earned plaudits for a Twitter campaign it orchestrated with David Schneider for the English National Opera, a Liveposter campaign for Lenovo and a digital out-of-home campaign fed by real-time data for Tate Britain.

The overall picture appears positive enough, although Total Media will be keeping a close eye on the rapid rise of its fellow independent the7stars. Nonetheless, the shop enters 2015 in decent shape.

How the agency scores itself: 6

How the agency rates itself: After the disruption of 2013’s restructuring – including the provision of mobile, DSP and data services – 2014 saw us reap the rewards of our efforts. We won accounts including Lenovo, Epson and Harley Medical Group. This bumper year of key wins helped us surpass 2013’s new-business high. Our campaigns garnered industry recognition. We’re upping the ante for 2015 – watch this space.

Total Media
Type of agency Media planning and buying
Company ownership Independent
Nielsen billings 2014 £30m
Nielsen billings 2013 £40m
Declared income £7.6m
Total accounts at year end 75
Accounts won 17 (biggest: Lenovo)
Accounts lost 8 (biggest: Random House)
Traditional media 70%
Digital media 28%
Other media 2%
Number of staff 100 (no change)
Key personnel Mike Sell chairman
Guy Sellers chief executive
Thomas Laranjo managing director
Lucas Brown chief strategy officer
Celine Saturnino head of media operations

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.