School Reports 2017: Tribal Worldwide London


Score: 6
Last year: 6

How the agency rates itself: 7

Tribal Worldwide suffers sometimes from being overshadowed by its bright advertising sibling.

In early 2017, Adam & Eve/DDB founders James Murphy, David Golding and Ben Priest all took group roles – whose remit includes Tribal – though what that means practically for either the trio or the agencies in the group has yet to become clear.

That’s not to say that Tribal needs their ballast. Tom Roberts has been managing director since 2009 and so must be doing something right. Victoria Buchanan was promoted to joint executive creative director in May and she had a busy 2016, sitting on the Cyber jury at Cannes Lions, getting involved in the laudable SheSays and Creative Equals programmes and being named a Woman of Tomorrow by Campaign and the IPA. Buchanan became the sole executive creative director at the end of 2016 as Simon Poett moved to Adam & Eve/DDB.

On top of retaining all existing clients, Tribal picked up the Carte D’Or account from major partner Unilever as well as work from Babcock International, which provides engineering support services to sectors including defence, energy and construction.

Tribal excels at large-scale digital projects designed to transform the customer experience. For its major win of 2015, South American retailer Falabella, Tribal totally redesigned the checkout experience across four countries – a task it says was a "significant feat of engineering". In October, the agency jump-started Volkswagen’s new app, designed to deepen the car giant’s relationship with customers – both potential and existing.

To move to the next level, Tribal needs to show its noisy neighbours that they aren’t the only inhabitants of 12 Bishop’s Bridge Road.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

A record breaking year! New business wins! Future-proofing existing clients. Recognition for our top talent. Can’t wait for 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