School Reports 2016: MEC UK

Public Health England
Public Health England

MEC had a year of consolidation - its absence on the new-business table belied all the things that went well behind the scenes. The agency, then under the co-chief executives, Jason Dormieux and Stuart Bowden, had gobbled up a slew of new business in 2014. They spent much of 2015 digesting it and defending key accounts, including HomeServe and Public Health England – both of which were retained.

For PHE, MEC created a sugar accumulator that helped consumers calculate their sugar intake.

Meanwhile, the "radiator key" it developed for HomeServe in 2014 won a hoard of awards last year, including gold at the DMAs. MEC studied eBay search data and created a radiator key to sell to consumers interested in HomeServe’s home emergency service. Both products helped MEC win Agency of the Year at the Campaign Media Awards.

Ten new clients included DHL and the wrestling group WWE, but they were offset by four losses, not least the £30 million Johnson & Johnson account. But, arguably, it was the retention of HomeServe and PHE that were the most important as they demonstrated the value of effective, award-winning work. It was also significant that MEC’s data skills won extra business from no fewer than nine existing clients.

This year offers plenty of promise. Dormieux has taken sole charge after Bowden rose to global chief strategy officer, and the agency has moved to the grand Sea Containers. The next challenge is to climb back up the new-business table.

How the agency rates itself: 8

"2015 was a year of growth, thanks to our laser focus on creativity, innovation and data. We launched a data consulting service, an innovation division called MEC Tonic and shifted our view of creativity to include content and tech innovation. Our multi-award-winning, effective work for HomeServe, Netflix and Public Health England raised the bar and helped us win Agency of the Year at the Campaign Media Awards."

Type of agency Media
Company ownership WPP
Nielsen billings 2015 £648m
Nielsen billings 2014 £663m
Declared income n/s*
Total accounts at year end 215
Accounts won 10 (biggest: WWE)
Accounts lost 4 (biggest: Johnson & Johnson)
Traditional media 68%
Digital media 32%
Number of staff 585 (+4%)
Women in senior management 25%
BAME staff in senior management 0%
Key personnel Jason Dormieux, chief executive
Sarah Hennessy, managing director
Paul Hutchison, chief operating officer
Verra Budimlija, chief strategy officer
David Fletcher, chief data officer

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.