School Reports 2017: Pablo

San Miguel
San Miguel

Score: 6 
Last year: n/a

How the agency rates itself: 7

Pablo makes its debut in the Campaign School Reports after an eye-catching year of growth in client and staff count. As co-founder and former England rugby star Ben Kay might put it: Pablo has entered the scrum.

Some momentum seems to be there after Pablo almost doubled its client roster year on year. The most impressive wins were Mecca Bingo and four Carlsberg brands, including San Miguel, after competitive pitches.

The agency’s standout work last year was "The rich list" for San Miguel, which launched in July. The integrated campaign included a broadcast partnership with Discovery and print collaboration with The Guardian. Perhaps fittingly for a 13-year-old agency, the creative mocked The Sunday Times Rich List’s "unashamed materialism" with the gusto of a teenage firebrand.

While these clients perhaps provide a platform for Pablo’s most appetising work, the most nourishing win for this hungry agency may be that which secured a place on the government’s communications services roster for tactical campaigns. It also gained confidence from existing clients after being given a Thorntons brief by Ferrero.

Pablo, which added ten members of staff last year, says it has invested in talent within its creative department under Tim Snape. His in-house experience at ITV and Channel 4 is an interesting complement to the quiet intelligence of planning head Mark Sng, a former WPP man with Y&R London (then Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R) and its digital agency Saint.

The boutique shop was also able to brighten up its new Shoreditch digs with silverware after winning the Marketing Society’s Best Leading Edge Thinking award for NHS Blood and Transport "Bleed for England".

While nowhere near a Picasso, young Pablo will be hoping to double down on a period of promising success in 2017.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

We’re a humble bunch that hate to blow our own trumpet, but we’re pleased with 2016 and overwhelmed by client and industry folk support

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