School Reports 2017: 101

  • BBC Asian Network

    BBC Asian Network

  • Game


  • Costa



Score: 6
Last year: 6

How the agency rates itself: 8

For some, the buzzword of 2016 was uncertainty, but not for 101 – the past 12 months represented its best new-business year to date. From gaining a place on Heineken’s global roster to picking up Drench, Dunelm and Costa, the agency continues to prove its creative mettle. As the stream of independent creative agencies continues to dwindle, 101 is fast becoming a prize acquisition target.

101’s success is testament to the fact that the shop is home to many of the industry’s best thinkers, including founding partner Laurence Green. Meanwhile, former Cadbury marketer Phil Rumbol has seamlessly crossed the divide from marketer to agency leader.

The shop has enriched the industry with new thinking and solid creative work. This included Costa’s "Never a dull cup" campaign, which was initially designed as an internal film but later released to the public. 101’s sustainable growth was backed by its long-term approach to talent, and 2016 saw the promotion of Joe Bruce to creative director.

However, the year was not completely without challenges. 101’s decision to resign the Kettle Chips business was particularly noteworthy for the lashings of drama that accompanied the move. Green told Campaign at the time: "When creative ambition dies, good agencies walk away. So we have." The brand’s desire to focus on the crisps’ low calorie count was evidently too much for 101 to swallow.

101 also waved goodbye to the £2m integrated Wagamama account after the restaurant chain moved the business to J Walter Thompson London. It also lost the prestigious but highly challenging Innocent account after declining to repitch in a review.

How the agency describes its performance this year, in 75 words or less

Never a dull moment. 2016 was our best new business year to date, bringing with it a dizzying array of briefs and some inspired work that threatens to undermine our status as advertising's best kept secret. Unapologetically determined as we are to get the thinking right and not just the making, we were delighted to be the most shortlisted independent agency at the Marketing Society Awards and best performing indie at the IPA Awards.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

The year 101 ran with rappers & comedians, hit the pages of Rolling Stone with a Rolling Stone, visited 13 museums in 1 day and won IPAGold.

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