School Reports 2018
[Extended edition]


Type of agency & ownership:  Customer engagement agency, owned by M&C Saatchi
Nielsen billings 2017: n/s
Declared income: £19.6m
Total accounts at year end: 22
Accounts won: 7 (biggest: Costa Global)
Accounts lost: 3 (biggest: Ikea)
Number of staff: 180 (-3%)
Key personnel: Matthew Heath, chairman; Victoria Fox, chief executive; Tori Winn, executive creative director; Simon Calvert, chief strategy officer; Claire Cootes, managing director
Star player: Zoe Mitchell, new-business director

Year in review

There’s no denying that 2017 was rough on Lida. It began with the loss of its Boots loyalty business and ended with the Ikea CRM account following it through the door.

As if the loss of these accounts (both had been with the agency for about seven years) wasn’t bad enough, Lida found itself entering 2018 minus a chief creative officer, when Tom Thomas quit after just 18 months. "We’re not going to pretend it hasn’t been tough," the agency admitted.

That said, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, as Lida ushered in a new brand identity celebrating its core values of collaboration, innovation and creativity. The agency demonstrated its ability to provide tangible creative solutions embedded in data, unlike many of its rivals, which have created little more than hot air.

From O2’s personalised videos to the launch of programmatic mail for Royal Mail, with its innovative digital and direct content, Lida showed that data and creativity don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

Moreover, while Boots took off for WPP and Ikea switched to Proximity London, there was a significant new arrival. Costa, the high-street coffee chain, picked the agency ahead of three others in a pitch to handle its first global loyalty strategy.

It marked an upbeat start for Claire Cootes, promoted from managing partner to managing director in succession to New York-bound Jonathan Goodman, with a brief to drive Lida’s culture and expanded client offering. And with Rapp’s highly regarded Ben Golik hired as chief creative officer, 2018 could be a corner-turning year.

Agency's Year In A Tweet

"Hellos/goodbyes. Data, tech, ways of working a focus. LIDA culture as fab as ever. And we’ll use all this in 2018 to power our creative."


Score this year: 4
Score last year: 6
How the agency scores itself: 6
Management strength: 6
Creativity: 7
Innovation: 8
New business: 4
Diversity: 7

Business performance and accounts

Gross income

Latest: £20.4m
Previous: n/s
Change: 25.20%

Operating profit

Latest: £3.8m
Previous: n/s
Change: 24.80%

List of total accounts Retained:

Body Shop





John Lewis Finance

NatWest/Royal Bank of Scotland


Open University

P&O Cruises

Royal Mail

Virgin Group


Arthritis Research

Blue Cross


Luxottica (Ray-Ban)

National Trust

NN Investment Partners


Royal Academy


The Jockey Club

Top three spending accounts:

O2 (n/s)

Ikea (n/s)

Royal Mail (n/s)

Number of retained accounts: 12
Number of accounts that are projects: 10
Biggest win: Costa Global (n/s)
Biggest loss: Ikea (£2m)



Haymarket award wins