School Reports 2017: Mindshare

Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer

Score: 6 
Last year: 7

How the agency rates itself: 7

2016 was a satisfactory year for Mindshare. Winning 21st Century Fox across Europe in November, after a marathon pitch, stood out among the eight account gains.

But there were several notable losses – Homebase, now in the process of being rebranded as Bunnings, left an £18m gap as part of an international alignment. The ITV and Post Office departures were more significant in terms of prestige because they underlined Mindshare’s reputation as being a global – not local – shop. The more recent exit of Argos in February 2017 because of a conflict with Marks & Spencer exacerbates this issue.

Under Helen McRae’s leadership, the UK agency has been busy behind the scenes, launching two divisions: Mindshare Grow, which uses insight and research, and Mindshare Purpose, which advises brands on social purpose.

McRae’s team also boasted a 50% increase in awards wins. Success included the Grand Prix for Three and LG’s "I know what you unboxed last summer" at the Digital Cinema Media Awards in association with Campaign and a gold for Lynx’s "#BiggerIssues" at the Campaign Media Awards.

There were two notable pieces of work for M&S: the "Christmas with love" campaign featuring Mrs Claus, which included a collaboration with Channel 4 and Gogglebox, and the creation of a branded film about female body confidence – a brief Mindshare won after beating several creative agencies.

Mindshare also continued its efforts to offer thought leadership to staff, brands and media owners with its sixth Huddle event, which explored the concept of "good".

The agency should be looking to reassert its position in the UK market with some local wins this year.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

Putting focus back onto people resulted in more customer-centric work, 50% uplift in award wins, new clients and new divisions

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