School Reports 2018: Total Media

English National Opera
English National Opera
Type of agency & ownership:  Independent behavioural planning media agency
Nielsen billings 2017: £33m (+20%)
Declared income: £8.8m
Total accounts at year end: 107
Accounts won: 22 (biggest: Kwiff)
Accounts lost: 5 (biggest: Love Home Swap)
Number of staff: 130 (+23%)
Key personnel: Mike Sell, chairman; Guy Sellers, chief executive; Tom Laranjo, managing director; Lucas Brown, chief strategy officer; Celine Saturnino, chief commercial officer
Star player: Behavioural planning

Total Media’s chosen "star player" of 2017 does not draw a salary. Nevertheless, behavioural planning is a core pillar of the agency, and last year it claimed to have it well and truly nailed. The concept, based on behavioural economics, neuroscience and ethnology insights to deduce what makes people tick, became central to the agency’s offering along with some significant moves on the international front which, it hopes, will future-proof it as Brexit looms.

Concerned about Brexit’s impact on Britain’s place in the global media industry, the agency announced the launch of a technology hub in Estonia, part of the eurozone, to harness local digital talent and reduce costs. And, as 2018 began, it went further by unveiling a joint venture with Germany’s Mediaplus, with hubs in London and Munich.

Staying ahead of the crowd has become the name of the game for Total Media, but it also has solid foundations. A 15% income growth in 2017 belied a tough operating environment, while 22 accounts won across the group – including the £9m business for sports-betting app Kwiff – was a 69% rise on the previous year. It also had a 95% account-retention rate.

So, not a bad debut year for Celine Saturnino, promoted at the start of 2017 to the role of chief commercial officer, with a brief to deliver innovation in investment and operations across all group companies.

While the agency has always had a solid group of clients associated with the arts, including the English National Opera, new clients, including streaming service FilmStruck and bathroom brand Victorian Plumbing, suggest it can also attract those with deeper pockets.




7 7 7

Agency's year in a tweet

Celebrating our 35th as a leading independent, we’ll recall 2017 for nailing our behavioural planning approach & growing gross income by 15%

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


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