School Reports 2016: Elvis


Elvis' client roster has almost halved since 2013, when it had 20 accounts. But the agency still reports increased income and no reduction in staff, suggesting the losses were trivial. Ratesetter left the biggest hole and that account was only worth £150,000. The agency also lost project work for the NBA and Red Bull.

Indeed, the £5.9 million Elvis declared as income for 2015 is a peak for the shop. This was achieved in part thanks to wins from Suntory (Ribena and Lucozade for digital) and Kallo. Elvis also picked up additional work from the existing clients Mondelez International (Tassimo) and Anheuser-Busch InBev (Budweiser and Corona).

So while its sister agency Dare has left the nest to fly with Oliver, Elvis has been quietly going about its business laying plans for the future. Apart from the finance director, the management team remains the same; it has moved into new offices in Drury Lane and again made The Sunday Times’ 100 best small companies to work for list.

But perhaps Elvis has been too quiet. It led on digital and social on Cadbury’s revival of the Milk Tray Man (for which Fallon must take credit as the lead agency), but it’s difficult to pick out any standout creative or strategic executions from the year.

Maybe there is more going on behind closed doors. Martin Semmens, the founder who returned to run the agency last year, has been low-key and the rest of Elvis’ key personnel have a reputation for keeping themselves to themselves. Could 2016 be the year that Elvis finds its voice again? Campaign awaits in earnest.

How the agency rates itself: 7

"2015 saw lots of change for Elvis: we moved into a new home on Drury Lane, said goodbye to our sister agency Dare, and said hello to new clients Kallo, Ribena and Lucozade. But one thing stayed the same: our mission to turn audiences into fans. We resurrected a lost Cadbury bar; won The Guardian’s people vote at the MAAs; and redesigned to handle 8.9 million unique golf fans. Bring on 2016."

Type of agency Integrated
Company ownership EDC
Declared income £5.9m
Total accounts at year end 11
Accounts won 2 (biggest: Tassimo)
Accounts lost 5 (biggest: Ratesetter)
Number of staff 64 (no change)
Key personnel Martin Semmens, chief executive
Tanya Brookfield, managing director
David Yates, planning director
Neale Horrigan, creative director
Steve Rawlins, financial 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.