School Reports 2016: Publicis London


Change was afoot at Publicis London in 2015. The year began with all the UK agencies moving back to 82 Baker Street as part of an integration ploy. The new chief executive of the group, Guy Wieynk, scrapped separate P&Ls and made two acquisitions, Vivid Brand and August, to give the group greater shopper and content marketing capabilities.

Publicis London’s chief executive, Karen Buchanan, made a series of hires, including Darren Savage from Adam & Eve/DDB as the joint head of strategy and Phil Dowgierd from Tribal Worldwide Sydney as the digital managing director. When Andy Bird moved to Publicis New York, he was replaced by Grey London’s deputy executive creative director Dave Monk. On a network level, Dylan Williams left his post as the global chief strategy officer early in 2016 and was replaced by Mick McCabe. Meanwhile, at the end of 2015, major changes at Publicis Worldwide saw its global boss, Arthur Sadoun, take control of Publicis Communications, the newly launched creative collective.

As part of a global team, Publicis London was named the lead agency for Heineken. The shop also won BHS, Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co and Oral B (through Publicis Drugstore). 

Three projects came to an end. Publicis London lost Jacob’s, while went into review at the end of the year. But both were quickly forgotten when it won Morrisons in early 2016.

Work-wise, the agency partnered with Annie Leibovitz for a new global brand campaign for UBS, recruited Sir Stirling Moss to launch the Renault Twizy and created "dinosaurs" for Nestlé.

Publicis London still has some way to go but Morrisons is an opportunity to show what it can do.

How the agency rates itself: 7

"Strong start to 2015, being named a top five Gunn Report agency, then adding 54 creative awards throughout the year. From launching airline WestJet with Dave the dog to partnering with Annie Leibovitz in a transformational global campaign for UBS, our focus on creativity and innovation has paid off with new wins and live Publicis Drugstore projects for Nestlé, SCA and Procter & Gamble. With new ECD Dave Monk joining, we’ve a flying start to 2016 too."

Publicis London
Type of agency Advertising and brand communications
Company ownership Publicis Groupe
Nielsen billings 2015** £173m
Nielsen billings 2014** £193m
Declared income £30m
Total accounts at year end 61
Accounts won 4 (biggest: Heineken)
Accounts lost 5 (biggest: Jacob’s)
Number of staff 240 (-11%)
Key personnel Guy Wieynk, chief executive, Publicis UK and western Europe
Karen Buchanan, chief executive
Dave Monk, executive creative 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.