School Reports 2016: R/GA London

McDonald's Happy Studio
McDonald's Happy Studio

Campaign named R/GA London its Digital Innovation Agency of the Year for the second year running in 2015.

The shop produced work that was creative but also cutting-edge. Its app for Turkcell, which helped people with diabetes, is a case in point – showing innovation beyond marketing. The agency also created an educational platform for McDonald’s and Nike’s first Shazamable print ad.

R/GA London enjoyed its annual jaunt to the South of France, too, picking up a gold Film Lion for Beats by Dre. Indeed, the agency says it won more awards than in any other year.

In last year’s school report, Campaign noted that R/GA London needed to work on its new-business record. To be fair, the team has shown improvement, adding ten new clients including Nike European football, McDonald’s Happy Studio and several Unilever brands. There were no account losses to spoil the mood either.

However, R/GA London did lose some senior people. George Prest, a vice-president and executive creative director who had been at the heart of the agency, left to join David Jones’ You & Mr Jones. Drew Burdon, the vice-president and executive strategy director, followed suit.

The agency compensated for the losses by hiring AKQA’s Phil Haworth as the group creative director, Sid Lee’s Simon Wassef as the group strategy director and DigitasLBi’s Ryan Wareham as the executive production director.

As the agency expands, 2016 brings a move to Shoreditch and the arrival of Fold7’s Kelly Wright as the executive client services director. There’s no reason to think R/GA London’s trajectory is in danger of dipping.

How the agency rates itself: 9

"We established an end-to-end framework spanning consultancy, products and services, and communications. We reimagined business in the connected age with the European Accelerator programme in Berlin. Our collaborations with Beats, Nike, Google and McDonald’s secured us Campaign’s Digital Innovation Agency of the Year and more awards than any other year. We also hired amazing people and secured a new home in Shoreditch."

R/GA London
Type of agency Digital innovation
Company ownership Interpublic
Declared income £35m
Total accounts at year end 26
Accounts won 10 (biggest: McDonald’s Happy Studio)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 300 (+43%)
Key personnel Matt Lodder, senior vice-president, managing director, EMEA
James Temple, senior vice-president, managing director, executive creative director, EMEA
Rodrigo Sobral, vice-president, executive creative director
Dave Robbins, vice-president, executive operations director, EMEA
Kelly Wright, executive client services 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.