School Reports 2018
[Extended edition]
Karmarama



Karmarama



Type of agency & ownership:  Progressive creative agency, owned by Accenture Interactive
Nielsen billings 2017: £180m (+45%)
Declared income: n/s
Total accounts at year end: 30
Accounts won: 8 (biggest: First Direct)
Accounts lost: 3 (biggest: Pilgrims Choice)
Number of staff: n/s
Key personnel: Ben Bilboul, chief executive; Sid McGrath, chief strategy officer; Nik Studzinski, chief creative officer; Jon Wilkins, executive chairman; Liz Wilson, chief operating officer
Star player: Eilidh McGregor, account director

Year in review

Karmarama’s shock acquisition by Accenture at the end of 2016 continued to be a hot industry talking point throughout the year. Indeed, it’s hard to think of any sale in recent times that has provoked as much comment, intrigue and – let’s face it – downright disdain from some quarters as Accenture’s big move into the UK creative scene.

Karmarama has already benefited from coming under the consultancy’s umbrella. In November, Accenture Interactive was named as Italian luxury car brand Maserati’s first global experience agency of record, an all-encompassing role across customer experience, brand, creative, content and programmatic media. Under the deal, Karmarama was given the lead creative agency task on a project basis.

Other eye-catching wins over the year included the pan-European Philadelphia ad account and First Direct, both previously handled by J Walter Thompson London.

However, Karmarama’s seven-year relationship with Costa came to an end after it stopped handling the coffee chain’s Enterprise and Express arms, having lost the retail part of the business in 2016.

Elsewhere, standout work included rainbow camouflage paint for the Army, which was distributed at Pride London. The agency rounded off the year for its Army work by scooping the Grand Prix at the DMA Awards for the "This is belonging" campaign. Relaunch ads for First Direct and a musical extravaganza for Just Eat, which called, then stalled, a review of the business this year, were also among Karmarama’s creative highlights.

For now, Accenture looks to have made a sensible purchase.

Agency's Year In A Tweet


"Good Works Forever"

Scores


Score this year: 7
Score last year: 7
How the agency scores itself: 7
Management strength: 8
Creativity: 6
Innovation: 7
New business: 6
Diversity: 7

Business performance and accounts

Gross income

Latest: £17.1m
Previous: £16.9m
Change: 1.10%

Operating profit

Latest: £794,000
Previous: £1.1m
Change: -28%

List of total accounts Retained:

The Army

BT

B

Clydesdale Bank

Confused.com

First Direct

Halfords

Honda

Iceland

Just Eat

Philadelphia

Plusnet

Yorkshire Bank

Projects:

Air New Zealand

AO.com

Battersea Dogs Home

BBC Cbeebies

Cancer Research UK

Coppafeel!

DFS

Onken

Ooola Secrets

Kingfisher

Maserati

Nationwide Insurance

Nintendo

Thorntons

Unibet

Uniqlo

Unilever

Top three spending accounts:

Confused (n/s)

Iceland (n/s)

BT (n/s)

Number of retained accounts: 13
Number of accounts that are projects: 17
Biggest win: First Direct (£13.3m)
Biggest loss: Pilgrims Choice (£750,000)

Diversity


Awards

Haymarket award wins


Campaign Big Awards: 1