School Reports 2017: CHI & Partners


Score: 7
Last year: 6

How the agency rates itself: 8

CHI & Partners set off at a steady pace in January 2016 but really put its foot down in the last three months of the year. As part of The & Partnership, it pulled off a major coup, driving away with the integrated account for Toyota before incumbent Publicis Groupe had even realised there was a race on.

There were also new-business successes closer to home. CHI & Partners fended off competition from MullenLowe London and Havas London to win the global Godiva business and McVitie’s outside the UK. The agency also showed some entrepreneurial flare by taking a stake in craft brewery Freedom after picking up its ad account in December.

Work highlights included a campaign for Carphone Warehouse’s iD network – although the agency’s previous role on the main account was a casualty of the merger with Dixons due to conflict with Argos – and a brand refresh for TalkTalk featuring real people.

The late surge can be attributed to CHI & Partners’ fine-tuning in the first part of the year. It said goodbye to creative chief Jonathan Burley – who eventually moved to Y&R London as chief creative officer. Then the agency poached Yan Elliott from Lucky Generals to run the creative department – complete with its newly "single" creatives – with Micky Tudor, who was promoted from deputy executive creative director. After spearheading a recruitment initiative designed to promote diversity, Sarah Golding was named sole chief executive and Nick Howarth moved to The & Partnership to lead Toyota.

Golding was also named president of the IPA in December and takes over from Tom Knox this month. With new clients to play with and a leading industry role for Goldie, CHI & Partners should be able to move up a gear again in 2017.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

Wow. What a #GoldCyberLion-scooping, amazing-new-biz-winning year. @CampaignBig’s Digi AOTY. Cannes’ most-awarded UK indie. Bring on 2017!

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