School Reports 2016: Mindshare


After 2013's year of "transition" and 2014's period of "transformation", Mindshare enjoyed a more stable year in 2015 - even if it had to contend with a change in leadership.

In April, Mark Creighton stood down to join Dentsu Aegis Network and was replaced by Helen McRae, the Western Europe and Africa chief executive. She will look to build on Creighton’s legacy of moving Mindshare on from an old-fashioned buyer to a modern media agency.

The year started well, with Mindshare becoming Facebook’s first UK media agency – the social network was TV’s biggest new advertiser in 2015, spending £10.8 million. Facebook was the jewel in the crown of a decent list of wins, including Legal & General and General Mills. Mindshare also retained Western Europe and the US in Unilever’s global review.

There were some disappointments, such as losing out on the Bacardi and Department for Transport pitches. The Peperami account went to Carat, but this was perhaps unsurprising given Unilever sold the brand in 2014. One of Mindshare’s top priorities in 2016 will be to defend ITV, whose media planning and buying account has come up for review.

Nevertheless, Mindshare ranked fifth on Campaign’s 2015 new-business league and third in The Gunn Report For Media for most-awarded networks globally. There was decent work too – a campaign for Jaguar harnessed technology to gauge the public’s mood during Wimbledon.

If Mindshare had a stable 2015, McRae will be after more of the same this year.

How the agency rates itself: 8

"2015 was a year of action and delivery. We welcomed new faces and new capabilities. We made the headlines in new business. We explored the future of media – and placed our findings slap bang into the heart of our clients’ campaigns. We planned, created and optimised in real time. We won more mobile awards than any other UK agency. We continued to harness the power of data, tech and content."

Type of agency Media
Company ownership WPP
Nielsen billings 2015 £577m
Nielsen billings 2014 £599m
Declared income £74.2m (2014)
Total accounts at year end 66
Accounts won 5 (biggest: Facebook)
Accounts lost 1 (Peperami)
Traditional media 61%
Digital media 39%
Number of staff 466 (+5%)
Women in senior management 38%
BAME staff in senior management 0%
Key personnel Helen McRae, chief executive
Paul Rowlinson, chief operating officer
Matt Andrews, chief strategy 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.