School Reports 2018
[Extended edition]
MullenLowe London

MullenLowe London

Type of agency & ownership:  Creative full-service integrated agency, owned by Interpublic
Nielsen billings 2017: £69m (-32%)
Declared income: £33m
Total accounts at year end: 74
Accounts won: 17 (biggest: Eurosport)
Accounts lost: 11 (biggest: Costa)
Number of staff: 394 (+37%)
Key personnel: Dale Gall, chief executive; Tom Knox, executive partner; Phil Rumbol, executive partner; Laurence Green, executive partner; Jose Miguel Sokoloff, chief creative officer
Star player: Trudy Waldron, director of integrated production

Year in review

MullenLowe continued to prove a slightly baffling offering. After the exodus of DLKW Lowe alumni in 2016, the agency chose to buy its way to a better future by acquiring creative shop 101 and Salt PR. While any ad agency would be envious of having 101’s Laurence Green and executive creative director Mark Elwood on its books, one wonders how long MullenLowe can justify so many chiefs running the show.

The big cloud hanging over MullenLowe was Unilever, which has been on a mission to cut the number of agencies it employs. Worse still was losing Flora and Stork as a result of the FMCG giant selling off its spreads business. No wonder, then, that both billings and gross income were down 30%, leading to a £782,000 loss.

While 17 account wins is a decent haul (Eurosport’s integrated business being the biggest), MullenLowe never seemed realistically to be in the hunt for the biggest pitches at play last year. Will the "hyperbundled" integrated offering be more of a draw for global brands in particular? It certainly hopes so but the jury remains out.

Dale Gall, the Profero chief, whose task it is to manage this operation, is intent on the agency producing work with greater impact; 101 could at least point to noticeable brand-building work for Zoopla. The agency will also be keen to increase its awards haul, which was lacking last year, save for retaining its crown as Effie UK’s most effective agency. More will be expected from creative chief Jose Miguel Sokoloff – and indeed Elwood – in making a better showing at Cannes and D&AD.

Agency's Year In A Tweet

"A year when battling the headwinds gave way to enjoying the tailwinds."


Score this year: 5
Score last year: 4
How the agency scores itself: 6
Management strength: 7
Creativity: 5
Innovation: 5
New business: 5
Diversity: 5

Business performance and accounts

Gross income

Latest: £20.4m
Previous: £29.9m
Change: -29.40%

Operating profit

Latest: -£782,000
Previous: £2.4m
Change: -133.10%

List of total accounts Retained

3DS (Dassault Systemes)


Amazon Payments

Art Fund

British Heart Foundation

Calor Gas

CCS: DWP Universal Credit



Etihad Airways


Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Friesland Campina


Harley Davidson




Manpower Group

Mars Foods

National Trust

Post Office

Public Health England

Royal Mail




Tangle Teezer

Toilet Board Coalition

Unilever – Café Zero , Cif , Clera , Cornetto , Domestos , ecommerce , Knorr, Lifebouy , Living Hygeine , Magnum , Persil, Rexona , Signal , Stork , Sun , Sunlight , TreSemmé

Western Union

Zoopla Property Group




Brighter Futures Zambia


Burton’s Biscuits


CCS: NHS , NHS 111 57, Stay well this winter

Diageo ,, Haig Club 61, Ecom




HSBC Private Bank

Hunter Boots

Knight Frank

Lloyds Banking Group

Microloan Foundation




Smith and Nephew

United Nations Global Compact

United Perfumes

Wellcome Trust

Top three spending accounts:

Eurosport (n/s)

Unilever (n/s)

Western Union

Number of retained accounts: 49
Number of accounts that are projects: 25
Biggest win: Eurosport (£3m)
Biggest loss: Costa (n/s)



Haymarket award wins