School Reports 2017: MediaCom

NHS Blood and Transplant
NHS Blood and Transplant

Score: 8 
Last year: 9

How the agency rates itself: 8

There was a lot to like about Josh Krichefski’s first year in charge, even if he is modest enough to concede that his predecessor Karen Blackett laid the foundations for the ten gongs that MediaCom picked up at the Campaign Media Awards.

Some say Krichefski is taking a while to hit his stride after stepping up from chief operating officer in January 2016, and there is no doubt that the loss of the global Volkswagen Group account hit MediaCom hard – financially and emotionally. The response, which was demanded from on high by WPP, was to win new business – and the UK team did that, snatching British Gas and scooping two interesting clients, Deliveroo and Pinterest. Add to that the Paddy Power Betfair consolidation and other wins, and new billings were £138m, according to MediaCom, plus £46m from existing clients. That filled the VW hole, which MediaCom claimed cost it £59m.

The agency’s work delivered results: Tesco’s withdrawal from print was dramatic but paid off as sales moved back into growth. The second year of NHS Blood and Transplant’s "Missing type" has had cultural impact and lasting results.

Krichefski has begun to reshape the senior team, making Luke Bozeat chief operating officer, recruiting Satin Reid to joint managing director in London alongside Danny Donovan and moving Sue Unerman to a transformation role early in 2017.

There have been some "softer" changes, too, as Krichefski introduced Project Blend to improve the work/life balance, including mindfulness classes and a new rule banning internal emails after 7pm and at weekends. There was also the first all-agency awayday at Alexandra Palace, with a motivational talk from victorious Rugby World Cup coach Sir Clive Woodward. MediaCom remains on winning form, picking up Boots early in 2017.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

Our amazing people combined business resilience (to add £138 million of new business) and creative brilliance (to dominate the media awards)

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