School Reports 2018: Crispin Porter & Bogusky London

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Type of agency & ownership:  Creative agency, owned by MDC Partners
Nielsen billings 2017: £14m (-23%)
Declared income: n/s
Total accounts at year end: 12
Accounts won: 2 (biggest: Cubanisto)
Accounts lost: 1 (Resorts World Genting)
Number of staff: 60 (-12%)
Key personnel: Helen James, managing director; Dan Watts, chief creative officer; Mez Corfield, chief finance officer; Bruno Brunelli, head of client services; Kris Flemington, group planning director
Star player: Mez Corfield, chief finance officer

Challenging doesn’t begin to describe what faced Crispin Porter & Bogusky’s London operation during a strife-torn 2017. Leaderless for a large part of that period, having lost its chief executive, creative chief and director of operations, the agency chose to sum up its year with candour. "Let’s call a spade a spade," it declared. Most onlookers would have probably called that spade a shovel, given how deep those remaining had to dig in to keep the place standing.

Over the space of just four months the agency saw its management line-up decimated as, first, Dave Buonaguidi quit as chief creative officer to start a new business. Then, in July, there was a double whammy as operations director Arjun Singh joined Buonaguidi’s venture and chief executive Richard Pinder resigned to "return to entrepreneurial life".

"We’ve had our ups and downs in London," Chuck Porter, CP&B’s chairman said in a masterly understatement. He claimed in December that the London operation had become distracted from its home by spending too much time creating global work for the network.

At least the agency is able to face this year with its leadership gaps filled. Helen James, the new managing director, arrived from Bartle Bogle Hegarty. She is joined by Dan Watts, previously at 4Creative and CHI & Partners, as Buonaguidi’s successor.

The pair’s task will be to extend a client list that includes PayPal, for which the agency produced "The turkey dash", a clever Christmas campaign to raise money for charities.

SCORE THIS YEAR

SCORE LAST YEAR

SELF RATING

2 5 4

Agency's year in a tweet

We picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves down, and got back on the elephant. #Team.

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

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*indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation

 

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