School Reports 2016: We Are Social


We Are Social is a new entrant to the School Reports but there is much to cover in terms of wins, losses and people moves, so we will skip a potted history of the social media agency.

In the first half of 2015,  We Are Social lost Jaguar’s social media business to Spark44. It was a big hit but it will console the agency to know that there was little fight to be had – Spark44 is part-owned by Jaguar’s parent company, Tata.

Despite this, We Are Social picked itself up from the loss and acquired another car marque, Audi, just four months later. Bartle Bogle Hegarty London was the incumbent and continues to handle the car-maker’s above-the-line work.

We Are Social picked up a further nine clients including Lenovo, MasterCard, Ballantine’s and TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Company. But it waved goodbye to Heinz after five years, declining to repitch for the business. The agency also lost its Danone account.

It wasn’t only accounts that We Are Social sent on their way – the agency said farewell to its creative director, James Nester, who left to join the PR agency Weber Shandwick after two-and-a-half years in the role. But it welcomed Lise Pinnell from AnalogFolk as its head of strategy – a post it had struggled to fill since Jerome Courtial left in 2014 to set up his own agency.

The work highlight was a YouTube series for Adidas around the Uefa Champions League in the format of a TV show with player interviews and skill tutorials. For HSBC, it created a series of films about relatable success stories for the brand’s "supporting human ambition" platform.

With a new office in Shoreditch and plenty of room to expand, We Are Social is set to grow as it continues to gather new clients.

How the agency rates itself: 7

"We inspired the nation’s ambition with #IsPossible for HSBC, we took on TV with Gamedayplus for Adidas and helped save the planet with #ourstolose. We had our best year for new business, winning Audi, Lenovo and MasterCard, bagged awards (loads) and moved into a swanky new office, transforming our production capabilities. And we attracted some of the best talent in the game to help us get even better. Bring on 2016."

We Are Social
Type of agency Global digital creative
Company ownership Blue Focus
Declared income £12.2m
Total accounts at year end 25
Accounts won 10 (biggest: Audi)
Accounts lost 3 (biggest: Jaguar)
Number of staff 155 (+5%)
Key personnel Jim Coleman, UK chief executive
Lucy Doubleday, managing partner
Elie Adamson, head of client services
Mobbie Nazir, chief strategy officer
Graham Jenks, 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.