TOP 300 AGENCIES: Top UK agencies profiles

BBH surpassed itself creatively, but felt the loss of T-Mobile. AMV endured repeated account reviews, while Banks Hoggins bore the brunt of global realignments. Arc became part of the Publicis Groupe and for Barrett Cernis, size wasn't everything.


9 Outstanding

8 Excellent

7 Good

6 Satisfactory

5 Adequate

4 Below average

3 Poor

2 A year to forget

1 Survival in question


Declared billings 2002 £396m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £341m

Declared income 2002 n/s

Total accounts year end 59

Accounts gained 10

Accounts lost 6

Total staff 295

Company ownership Omnicom subsidiary

2002 was a quiet year for Britain's largest agency, certainly quieter than it would have liked. For the chairman, Michael Baulk, succession management was the order of the day. This was achieved by promoting the managing director, Cilla Snowball, to chief executive, followed by the promotion of Farah Ramzan to managing director.

Yet the agency found itself making this transition in a difficult business climate. Its biggest shock came in January with the news that it had lost the £40 million pan-European 02 account to the start-up Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest. Although it also lost the British Heart Foundation, the RSPCA extended its 14-year relationship following a review. Abbott Mead Vickers also lost its £5 million Prudential business, the Department of Transport moved its anti-drink-driving business to D'Arcy, and Homebase reviewed its £18 million account, splitting the business with Lowe.

Still, AMV consolidated Mars business in the shape of Maltesers, Revels, Topic, Cesar and Frolic as part of a global realignment. And despite also losing St Ivel and Nutricia, it won Norwich Union Direct. The agency spent a lot of resource on numerous pitches, including Sony and KFC, but failed to replace lost billings.

On the creative front AMV's work for the BBC was well received, while Guinness and The Economist picked up several silvers at the major awards.

The hiring of Nigel Roberts and Paul Belford, the Ogilvy & Mather creative directors stripped of awards for doctoring ads, was a measure of AMV's determination to raise its creative product.

By its own high standards, AMV will hope 2003 brings a higher profile in new business and creativity than the year gone by.

- Score This Year 4; Score Last Year 7

ARC - Fiat

Declared billings 2002 £96m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £1m

Declared income 2002 £14m

Total accounts year end n/s

Accounts gained 4

Accounts lost 3

Total staff 172

Company ownership Publicis subsidiary

It was a momentous year for the agency formerly known as International Marketing and Promotions. Not only did IMP, one of the most famous names in UK direct marketing and promotions, disappear, but no sooner had it relaunched as Arc, then its parent company, D'Arcy, was snapped up by Publicis as part of its takeover of Bcom3.

At the time of writing, it is hard to predict what the Publicis acquisition will mean for the Arc network. But the fact that the former D'Arcy and IMP chief, John Farrell, now heads Publicis' global below-the-line unit should work in its favour.

In the UK, much time was spent on gearing up for the rebrand that happened half-way through the year. Recent direct marketing rebrands, such as Wunderman's change to Impiric, have shown how badly agencies can manage such changes.

While Arc's status as a global below-the-line brand has yet to be proved, its UK arm had a solid 2002. The management, under the chief executive, John Quarrey, was stable and the agency won new clients including First Quench, the Sobranie relaunch for Gallaher, and Tesco.

It also won more business from established clients such as Heineken and Procter & Gamble.

The agency is improving its output under the creative directors, Graham Mills and Jack Nolan. Strong direct marketing campaigns for Fiat and Persil sit well alongside excellent advertising for Mars and Gallaher as well as its sales promotion work. However, for 2003, the aim must be to drive creative standards even higher and mount a few more awards podiums.

- Score This Year 6; Score Last Year 8


Declared billings 2002 £145m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £86m

Declared income 2002 £16m

Total accounts year end 16

Accounts gained 7

Accounts lost 5

Total staff 85

Company ownership Interpublic subsidiary

International realignments have been the bete noir of Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB ever since the merger in 1999, which spawned the current agency.

If it wasn't Kimberly-Clark, it was DaimlerChrysler taking its business out of the FCB network. Last year, the agency continued to rue its bad fortune as Clairol left after the brand's sale to Procter & Gamble.

With only a modest amount of new business to compensate, a painful outcome was inevitable. The agency declared more than 20 redundancies - about 18 per cent of its workforce - and, as the year closed, it was bracing itself for a profits drop of between 5 and 8 per cent.

On the brighter side, the agency benefited from increased spending by existing domestic clients, notably Waitrose and Ladbrokes.

What's more, it claims to have silenced those who questioned Weetabix's decision to centralise advertising for all of its brands within Banks Hoggins and to abandon Lowe's award-winning work. Weetabix has underlined its faith in the agency by allowing its profits to dip in order to fund its advertising investment.

Meanwhile, the agency has been attempting to widen the scope of its creative product beyond the elegant work of Ken Hoggins and Chris O'Shea, who now both work part-time. Output from the creative directors, Rob Fletcher and Dave Alexander, is more varied.

Their more upfront roles are in line with plans by the agency's chairman, John Banks, to put in place the next generation of management. Sven Olsen, the managing director, along with the managing partners, Steve Hastings and Paul Houlding, will all have broader responsibilities this year.

- Score This Year 5; Score Last Year 6


Declared billings 2002 £260m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £134m

Declared income 2002 £28m

Total accounts year end 43

Accounts gained 8

Accounts lost 2

Total staff 300

Company ownership Minority-owned by Publicis Groupe

Even by its own high creative standards, 2002 was a vintage year for Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Among the many highlights were "odyssey" for Levi's and three executions for Microsoft Xbox - "mosquito", "Champagne" and "senses". These were accompanied by the Barclays "fluent in finance" campaign starring Samuel L Jackson, as well as a consistently strong body of work for Audi.

As the year ended, the agency also launched campaigns for both Murphy's and Parker Pens. Having won a sackload of awards in 2002, the creative director, John O'Keeffe, can relax in the knowledge that his department has possibly the best reel in town.

On the new-business front, the agency's strong year globally was not quite matched in domestic terms. However, the new-business director, Nicola Mendelsohn, is clearly on the AAR's speed-dial, and BBH landed itself on three of this year's most prestigious pitchlists - KFC, Sony and Orange.

For the latter, BBH broke its golden rule and used creative work as the foundation for a pitch - but to no avail.

The year's low point came in August, when the agency lost the £27 million T-Mobile account to Saatchi & Saatchi following a global realignment.

BBH made up for the loss by winning accounts such as Go Organic, Lindt, Parker and Waterman Pens and The Woolwich. But the hole left by T-Mobile wasn't truly filled until December, when the agency beat Clemmow Hornby Inge to land the £15 million KFC account. BBH has struggled with fast-turnover retail accounts in the past, so it will be interesting to see how it handles the KFC business in 2003.

- Score This Year 8; Score Last Year 9


Declared billings 2002 £9m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £4m

Declared income 2002 £1m

Total accounts year end 14

Accounts gained 3

Accounts lost 0

Total staff 19

Company ownership Private company

Barrett Cernis launched four-and-a-half years ago with none of the razzmatazz which accompanied the arrival of some of its contemporaries.

Various name changes didn't exactly help the agency to attract attention.

But perhaps the main reason for its relative anonymity was its uncertainty about what it wanted to be.

Last year, though, it showed tangible evidence of getting its act together.

The combination of its energetic managing director, Justin Cernis, and its creative chief, Ray Barrett, began reaping dividends. And the arrival of Janet Grimes, Ogilvy & Mather's former head of planning, as its part-time planning director indicates its ability to lure top talent.

Quality work which is visible, stylish and well-planned, while not being afraid to sell - such as that for Sofa Workshop and Purdey's - has led some to call the agency a pocket-sized Leagas Delaney. Certainly, its creative output and some big-name clients are giving it the kind of confidence it previously seemed to lack.

If an agency is judged by the company it keeps, then Barrett Cernis is beginning to move in the right circles. Britvic, one of its most steadfast supporters, reaffirmed its faith by assigning the agency the task of taking J20, its juice-based soft drink range, on to TV to support its move to a wider market.

Meanwhile, it welcomed some other notable additions to its roster - the Piccadilly store Fortnum & Mason and the freesheet Metro.

Barrett's view is that the agency has been its own worst enemy by trying too hard, and that its best work will come once it learns to relax a bit more. The arrival of some bigger and higher quality clients this year will show whether he's right.

- Score This Year 6; Score Last Year n/a

BATES UK - Royal Mail

Declared billings 2002 £207m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £183m

Declared income 2002 £45m

Total accounts year end 30

Accounts gained 8

Accounts lost 2

Total staff 350

Company ownership Cordiant subsidiary

Given that 2002 was an almost universally lousy year, Bates UK did well to survive it relatively unscathed.

Although Safeway terminated its long-term relationship, Bates did survive senior marketing department changes at B&Q and Royal Mail.

The previously promiscuous Sky TV remained at the agency, although it did call a competitive pitch for a small portion of its business at the end of the year.

Whether or not the agency has finally cured the broadcaster of its wanderlust remains to be seen. But Bates' almost unrivalled experience has taught it how to keep clients content with hard-working advertising. Despite rumours, Woolworths stayed put in 2002, although it started to look tenuous at the start of 2003.

Moreover, the events of last year only underlined the importance of such business to the London agency, which seems to get less than its share of lucky breaks. Bates in the US still fails to convert multinational business and the network suffers from not having a parent figure of Sir Martin Sorrell's stature.

Little wonder that last year's wins were nothing to get excited about.

Allied Domecq added Malibu to its roster of brands already at the agency, while Seat's UK business also returned after an absence.

HSBC picked Bates to promote its private banking operation targeting the world's super-rich, while Piaggio chose it to promote scooter-riding in London as an antidote to congestion charges.

Against that background, a 12 per cent growth in the agency's income in 2002 and a profit margin that has more than doubled is no mean feat.

Now its dilemma is how to prove it isn't just a retail ghetto.

- Score This Year 5; Score Last Year 6

BDH/TBWA - Cussons

Declared billings 2002 £60m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £36m

Declared income 2002 £9m

Total accounts year end 40

Accounts gained 12

Accounts lost 0

Total staff 130

Company ownership Omnicom subsidiary

What does BDH/TBWA think it is? A Manchester-based agency with national aspirations? Or an agency which must rely mostly on local business with the prospect of hijacking the occasional national account? A tough marketplace exacerbates the already difficult task of reconciling these two positions.

The natural instinct of clients and ambitious staff to gravitate to London doesn't help. Nevertheless, BDH has managed to sustain its place as a national player, while work nominated for Cannes for the second successive year suggests it is accumulating the necessary credentials in Danny Brooke-Taylor's first year in sole creative command.

Its biggest disappointment has been its failure to register in the new-business league. On the other hand, the agency lost no accounts during 2002 and claims organic billings growth of more than £6 million.

Moreover, its burgeoning relationship with PZ Cussons and its appointment by COI Communications to handle profile-raising tasks for the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission ensure the agency's continued national presence.

Meanwhile, it has been working hard to broaden its range of marketing services. Its new-media division, Digerati, has expanded and it also acquired the PR agency Staniforth Communications, with offices in Manchester and London.

If BDH's year has been steady rather than stellar, it can at least be encouraged by the fact that there was no repeat of 2001, when some business was won and lost within months. Now, the agency needs to show that it has laid the foundations for a major new-business success.

- Score This Year 6; Score Last Year 6

BMP DDB - Volkswagen

Declared billings 2002 £299m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £171m

Declared income 2002 n/s

Total accounts year end 46

Accounts gained 10

Accounts lost 4

Total staff 390

Company ownership Omnicom subsidiary

In personnel terms, 2002 saw a lot of shifting around in the traditionally collegiate atmosphere of BMP DDB. In January, the joint managing directors, Ross Barr and Chris Cowpe, were promoted to joint chief executives; Jorian Murray stepped up to become the managing director, and the joint deputy heads of planning, Lucy Jameson and Richard Butterworth, replaced the departing head of planning, Olivia Johnson.

Changes in the creative department were also evident: Jeremy Craigen and Ewan Paterson were promoted to joint creative directors in May. The pair's first hiring was Leo Burnett's star team, Steve Jones and Martin Loraine. In October, Larry Barker resigned from the position of executive creative director, which was not regarded as a serious loss.

On the new-business front, BMP ranked seventh in Campaign's league table, with £50.5 million gained, £7 million lost. Losses included American Airlines, Autoglass, UK Gold, DHL and Travel Inn.

The agency won Tropicana and continued to build its position on the global Unilever roster with the Italian sauce brand Ragu. The British Tourist Authority, One.Tel, Deloitte Touche and ING were further account gains.

A strong finish to the year saw the capture of the £8 million business for Emap Elan's new celebrity-focused women's weekly, Closer, Dell and a brand campaign assignment for Philips. 2002 closed on a high with yet another IPA Effectiveness prize for its signature client Volkswagen.

With the London-based Michael Bray being named president of DDB Europe in 2002, BMP could benefit from increased regional income in the future.

- Score This Year 5; Score Last Year 5


Declared billings 2002 £18m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £12m

Declared income 2002 £1m

Total accounts year end 4

Accounts gained 4

Accounts lost 0

Total staff 15

Company ownership Omnicom-backed

Campbell Doyle Dye fared well in its first full year despite 2001's drama, when its founders walked out of a deal with the Italian network Testa weeks after starting up.

A strong foundation, with Omnicom's backing confirmed in January and its steady Mercedes income, left the agency free to pitch for new business.

It won a few small accounts, which have spawned good creative work, and it has also hired a handful of tried-and-tested people including the account director Erica Maran and the veteran typographer Dave Wakefield.

The Sekonda business arrived in March, and was followed by a place on McCain's roster alongside D'Arcy. This year could see more McCain business heading CDD's way following the merger of D'Arcy into Leo Burnett.

2002 ended with a brief from the cider brand Merrydown to put it back on the UK map. Wins aside, CDD also pitched for a variety of accounts, including a project for Coca-Cola, Expedia and McAlum.

Creatively, Walter Campbell, Sean Doyle and Dave Dye had a solid year, dominated by one of the most talked-about ads of the year - "lucky star", a spoof cinema trailer starring Benicio del Toro as the glamorous man who drives a Mercedes SL500.

"Lucky star" made CDD a talking point, but the agency will need to act fast in 2003 to make a deeper impression in the advertising market.

- Score This Year 6; Score Last Year n/a


Declared billings 2002 £55m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £39m

Declared income 2002 £7m

Total accounts year end 45

Accounts gained 4

Accounts lost 0

Total staff 115

Company ownership WPP subsidiary

Global consolidation can be a blessing and a curse. Just ask Cheetham Bell JWT, which last year emerged as both a winner and loser as a result of decisions taken far away from its Manchester base.

On the plus side, international realignment brought in £10 million-worth of Reckitt Benckiser healthcare business, including the task of co-ordinating campaigns for the company's Lemsip, Disprin, Gaviscon, Bonjela, Senokot and Fybogel brands across the world.

That, however, was cancelled out by the loss of its Jaguar dealership support business - one of its biggest accounts - which fell victim to the consolidation of the Land Rover and Jaguar operations following their acquisition by Ford.

Undoubtedly, the Jaguar loss took the shine off what was a good year for the agency. In 2003, however, it will need to pull off at least a couple of decent wins to complement business such as Phones4U and to offset what otherwise could be a largely static year.

Nevertheless, the marriage of the creatively led Cheetham Bell with the loss-making J. Walter Thompson Manchester seems to be bedding down better than predicted. The agency's immediate aim is to consolidate its place as a credible member of JWT's European network, while building a good base of domestic business.

The development of Retail Attack, its specialist division helping major companies such as Kellogg, Unilever and Scottish Courage to sell into the independent retail sector, is helping to fulfill that ambition. It also adds to the diverse offering necessary to insulate it from a bleak economic climate.

- Score This Year 6; Score Last Year 6


Declared billings 2002 £130m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £8m

Declared income 2002 £17m

Total accounts year end 28

Accounts gained 11

Accounts lost 0

Total staff 145

Company ownership Omnicom subsidiary

Life at Claydon Heeley Jones Mason used to resemble a rollercoaster ride with spectacular highs matched by painful jolts. But in 2002, the ride was smoother. The agency reacted to past criticisms of high client turnover by winning several large accounts and not losing any business.

Wins included the pan-European below-the-line work for Mastercard, European advertising for Callaway, direct marketing for the Guardian Newspaper Group and the British Tourist Authority, advertising for Virgin Holidays and the launch of Nokia's Vertu mobile phones.

However, the agency's staff numbers fell from 170 last year to 145 and declared income was static at £17 million. Despite this, it managed to make a profit of just over £1 million.

Claydon Heeley's creative output continued to improve under the creative directors, David Woods and Peter Harle. Work for Callaway won at Campaign's Media Awards and other activity for Sony PlayStation and the Food Standards Agency stood out.

Its stable senior management team of the chief executive, Nigel Jones, and the chairman, Jon Claydon, was augmented with several new faces. The former WWAV Rapp Collins director, Jonathan Harman, became the managing director, Lowe Live's head of planning, Fiona Blades, joined as the planning director and EHS Brann's Justin Thomas-Copeland and Mike Welsh arrived to boost client services.

The agency's investment in digital is paying dividends through its 50 per cent stake in Agency Republic. It also bought the sales promotion agency Ignition.

In 2003, Claydon Heeley must bed down its new staff and clients, while building its creative reputation.

- Score This Year 7; Score Last Year 5


Declared billings 2002 £30m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £21m

Declared income 2002 £3m

Total accounts year end 16

Accounts gained 12

Accounts lost 0

Total staff 38

Company ownership Private company

In 2002, Clemmow Hornby Inge did what all start-ups hope to do: it made an impact. It found itself competing against London's most established players, shortlisted by the likes of BT, Dairy Crest and KFC.

It won business from clients who had been with their agencies in long-term relationships: Tango (HHCL & Partners), Heineken (Lowe) and Safeway (Bates), thus securing a solid FMCG base with Heineken and Tango joining Typhoo and the Telegraph Group. Safeway joined Carphone Warehouse, beefing up CHI's retail credentials, while RBS Advanta gave it further financial services backing.

Other highlights included a partnership with Naked on Naked Inside, which should give the agency firm foundations for a media-neutral future. CHI also deserves credit for persuading Safeway to return to above-the-line advertising after a five-year absence.

The founders, Simon Clemmow, Johnny Hornby and Charles Inge, put a second tier of management in place with some key appointments. Inge brought in Micky Tudor and Brian Turner from Lowe. Sarah Gold also joined from Lowe as a senior account person along with Jo Moore, while the planner Neil Goodlad joined from Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R.

Credible work for Carphone Warehouse, Tango and Butchers did not prevent detractors from focusing on its lack of presence in awards schemes. However, its relative youth (18 months) meant that this can be attributed to a limited output, for now.

Clients are curious about CHI and it has the time and the energy to give them personal attention and ads that work. CHI's next major challenge will be to demonstrate its creative strength. If it can do this, 2003 could be a golden year.

- Score This Year 8; Score Last Year 7


Declared billings 2002 £54m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £5m

Declared income 2002 £8m

Total accounts year end 25

Accounts gained 6

Accounts lost 4

Total staff 65

Company ownership Omnicom subsidiary

A changing of the guard was evident during 2002 at Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel as its founders smoothly brought through the next generation of management.

The managing director, David Watson, handed day-to-day running of the agency to Fiona Scott, and her deputy managing director role went to Jackie Stevenson. Watson is now the chief executive.

Two other founders, Jon Voelkel and Pamela Craik, took several months' sabbatical. However, the agency's planning director, Alison Payne, and the creative directors, Simon Kershaw and Phil Keevill, provided quality and stability in key positions.

New business was a turbulent affair - more business was won from its existing client Orange, as well as from BBC Worldwide, Jaguar and Ulster Bank. But it lost its place on the Barclays roster and failed to keep Bailey's and Johnnie Walker.

However, in terms of financial performance, Craik Jones continued to excel. Declared income was up £2.2 million to £8.2 million and permanent staff numbers grew to 65. The agency invested in digital with the absorption of the new-media agency Arawak, and as a result it now creates digital work for clients including Prudential and Gordon's Gin.

Craik Jones' creative was resurgent in 2002, scooping the DMA Grand Prix for its ATOC work. Campaigns for Land Rover, Virgin Trains and Orange also picked up awards.

Overall, 2002 was the third consecutive strong year for Craik Jones, which seems to have left behind the inconsistency of its early years.

With succession management in place, in 2003 Craik Jones needs to keep large clients such as Prudential and Orange happy while continuing to pitch frequently.

- Score This Year 7; Score Last Year 8


Declared billings 2002 £108m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £63m

Declared income 2002 £9m

Total accounts year end 4

Accounts gained 2

Accounts lost 0

Total staff 93

Company ownership Minority-owned by Interpublic

Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners' year appeared to get off to an inauspicious start when its new-business director, Helen Weisinger, left for TBWA/London.

However, her replacement, Alex Kuropatwa, led the agency to second place in Campaign's new-business performance league, gaining £79.2 million in billings while losing only £7 million. Despite the difficult climate, DLKW increased staff by 40 per cent.

The agency took steps to improve its creative output, with the hiring of M&C Saatchi's creative group heads, Keith Bickel and Carlos Anuncibay.

It also took on the former WCRS head of TV, Colin Hickson. The first signs of improved creative work emerged with its debut work for Vauxhall's Corsa, as well as its "sex lottery" campaign for COI Communications.

2002 saw DLKW use its links with IPG to great advantage. It pitched and won repeated accounts from General Motors' Vauxhall, including its retail, Corsa, Meriva and Astra brands and now handles the lion's share of the carmaker's £60 million UK ad account. Its IPG connection also helped DLKW to take on the £10 million UK Burger King account.

Other wins included the £10 million Bank of Scotland business, to add to its core Halifax account, and the pan-European Sony corporate work.

It also strengthened ties with COI with a successful pitch for the Adult Sexual Health brief. Wins more than compensated for its one loss, the £7 million e-sure account, which was taken in-house.

DLKW's no-nonsense culture will continue to make it popular with new clients in 2003.

Its real challenge remains in improving a hitherto-patchy creative reputation.

- Score This Year 8; Score Last Year 7


Declared billings 2002 £80m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £36m

Declared income 2002 £5m

Total accounts year end 18

Accounts gained 5

Accounts lost 1

Total staff 60

Company ownership Private company

DFGW spent much of 2002 extricating itself from its relationship with Daewoo in the UK, only to have a change of heart, pitch for and win the £40 million pan-Europen account, following General Motors' purchase of the car brand.

The retention of a founding client and its quadrupled annual billings was a coup for DFGW. It also won the Nutricia account from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, as well as Dolland & Aitchison from Lowe. But it lost its £15 million MyTravel account after the company reviewed its budgets in the light of financial problems.

DFGW's creative output for 2002 focused heavily on the BBC. Its Manga-style ads for the BBC's coverage of the World Cup won acclaim for effectiveness and the Changing Face campaign for the launch of Freeview, the BBC's digital service, saw DFGW take lead status on the roster for the £20 million project.

Other work included rebranding the BBC Proms and advertising for the Commonwealth Games.

While not, perhaps, the most creative of COI Communications' roster agencies, DFGW has plugged away on campaigns for LearnDirect and Aim Higher, a government initiative aimed at encouraging more people to stay in education.

As for 2003, the relentless process of agency consolidation means acquisition rumours will continue to swirl around the agency.

- Score This Year 6; Score Last Year 6


Declared billings 2002 £141m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £35m

Declared income 2002 £33m

Total accounts year end 29

Accounts gained 8

Accounts lost 2

Total staff 415

Company ownership Havas subsidiary

The year after a merger is always a tricky one. Nevertheless, EHS Brann will be disappointed with how 2002 turned out.

The agency had a mixed start to the year. By March, it had resigned its BMW account (although it kept the Mini part of the business). However, this disappointment was more than offset when it won a place on Barclays' coveted, streamlined roster.

Then two big losses followed, with Guinness and The Guardian leaving.

The agency did manage to retain its Peugeot account and by the end of the year, another existing client, One.Tel, consolidated all of its business into the agency. But, as a result, EHS Brann had to resign the O2 account, for which it was in the process of re-pitching.

These losses were offset by wins such as IQ Business, Colt, CCCS and a web project for the Premier League, while the Leeds office also won the opportunity to launch MBNA's first business credit card.

But the hole created by four big client departures was never sufficiently filled and the agency ended the year down £8 million in income and with 55 fewer staff than it had at the end of 2001.

It would be easy to attribute the agency's poor year to the merger and there's no doubt that it has caused problems - in fact, the client at The Guardian publicly cited the merger as the reason for its departure.

But the fact remains that EHS Brann has grown very fast, at a time when the market is struggling, so it's not too surprising that it ran into trouble last year. And with Save the Children, National Savings and Microsoft all reviewing, it's going to be a tough 2003 as well.

- Score This Year 4; Score Last Year n/a


Declared billings 2002 £268m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £148m

Declared income 2002 £22m

Total accounts year end 36

Accounts gained 7

Accounts lost 2

Total staff 209

Company ownership Havas subsidiary

Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper's highlight of 2002 was snatching the £20 million Argos account from Ogilvy & Mather in May.

The agency followed up by winning a share of the global Reckitt Benckiser business with J. Walter Thompson. The wins plugged the gap left by the loss of the £40 million Citroen account to fellow Havas agency Partners BDDH in January.

The agency also won the soya milk brand So Good and was one of six chosen by the breakaway Department of Transport for its roster. But the online travel portal Expedia moved to Clemmow Hornby Inge and the agency's relationship with the Greater London Authority weakened with the departure of the creative director, Chris Herring, in June.

Management restructured to accommodate the ambitions of Adam Leigh, who was promoted to managing director, and Chris Pinnington, who became the chief executive. Brett Gosper and Mark Wnek moved up to become joint chairmen.

The Argos TV work starring Richard E Grant is undoubtedly effective; the last quarter of 2002 saw a 12 per cent sales increase. Olly Caporn and Dom Gettins, both relatively low profile, were made joint creative directors in December. Their appointment appeared to signal an intent to concentrate on servicing big-budget clients rather than chasing creative awards.

With big-spending clients well entrenched at the agency, Euro RSCG should be able to ride out the economic downturn in some comfort.

- Score This Year 6; Score Last Year 7

FALLON - Radio 1

Declared billings 2002 £37m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £19m

Declared income 2002 £6m

Total accounts year end 21

Accounts gained 7

Accounts lost 2

Total staff n/s

Company ownership Publicis subsidiary

Fallon had a good year in both new business and creative terms in 2002 under a consistent, stable management.

Although kicking off the year with the departure of Premier International Foods to Clemmow Hornby Inge, the agency had a credible new-business performance in difficult economic times. Smaller wins included the independent wine merchant Bibendum Wines, the organic chocolate range Green & Black's and the pan-European Speedo account.

The jewel in its crown, however, was snatching the fiercely contested £70 million Sony Europe account from Saatchi & Saatchi.

The agency consolidated its status with the BBC, winning BBC2, BBC6 Music, 1Xtra, and being confirmed as the lead agency for youth brands, radio and music channels.

However, it did part company with its founding client, Lee Jeans, in December, ending a four-and-a-half-year partnership.

Throughout the year the agency produced consistently good creative work, with highlights including Radio 1, Starbucks, 1Xtra and Ben & Jerry's.

Umbro won a silver Lion at Cannes, with Starbucks winning silvers at the Campaign Poster Awards.

Despite an otherwise quiet year, the Sony Europe win showed Fallon had come of age. The agency's proven creative muscle should be put to good use on the account, which had lacked profile at Saatchis.

- Score This Year 7; Score Last Year 7

FAULDS - Scottish Executive

Declared billings 2002 £38m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £20m

Declared income 2002 £6m

Total accounts year end n/s

Accounts gained 4

Accounts lost 1

Total staff 62

Company ownership Private company

The managing director, Dennis Chester, started 2002 by setting out a clear ambition: expanding out from the agency's Scottish stronghold.

Since its management buyout in December 2001, the Edinburgh-based agency had been looking to establish a base south of the border. To this end it acquired Malcolm Moore Deakin Hutson in July, an agency which had failed to make a significant mark in London since its launch in 2000. The acquisition gave Faulds' London operation an established management structure, something its Scots rival Leith had lacked when it launched in London two years ago.

A London presence could also help on the new-business front, something which will matter after the loss of accounts such as and the much-coveted £7 million Royal Bank of Scotland business. Still, it won further business from the Scottish Executive, the pan-European corporate account for NEC, and it also launched an in-house new-media division.

Faulds entered talks with the Japanese ad giant Asatsu about it taking a minority stake, but a deal has yet to be concluded. Nevertheless, the talks highlighted Faulds' ambition to operate outside the shrinking Scottish market.

In August, the creative director, Billy Mawhinney, announced he was returning to J. Walter Thompson. Guy Moore and Tony Malcolm now have the creative reins.

Having laid some foundations for growth in 2002, Faulds is going to have to work hard this year if it is to compete in the London market.

- Score This Year 5; Score Last Year 7

GREY - Mars

Declared billings 2002 £344m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £151m

Declared income 2002 £26m

Total accounts year end 34

Accounts gained 4

Accounts lost 1

Total staff 233

Company ownership Grey Global Group subsidiary

Jaws dropped when Grey wrested Garry Lace away from TBWA/London to fill its long-vacant chief executive's role. Nobody believed that anybody from an agency such as TBWA would want to join Grey, whose creative reputation barely nudges the needle.

Lace's challenge is formidable. The experience of his predecessor, Martin Smith, shows how difficult it is to move from a hotshop to an agency where three conservative multinationals - Procter & Gamble, Mars and Glaxo SmithKline - account for more than 70 per cent of income.

Indeed, any new business worth mentioning in 2002 came from the agency's mainstay clients, notably P&G, which assigned it the £7.9 million Clairol haircare business. Meanwhile, the creative highpoint was its "pleasure you can't measure" campaign, part of a strategy to restore Mars Bar's flagging fortunes.

Grey is desperate for Lace to work some alchemy, all the more so after the failure of its own attempt to sex up its image with its colour-coded "agency within an agency" set-up. Neither staff nor clients warmed to it and there was a sense that the structure prevented a free flow of ideas. This was particularly the case with Grey Desire, the customer relationship marketing specialist which was folded into the main agency, and its newly acquired healthcare operation PTK.

As Lace focuses on creating a new domestic positioning for the agency, it's clear that he will surround himself with a close-knit team of like-minded people. His ability to change Grey's image will hinge on his choice of a new creative director, needed to replace the departing Tim Mellors.

- Score This Year 4; Score Last Year 5


Declared billings 2002 £32m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £6m

Declared income 2002 n/s

Total accounts year end 20

Accounts gained 3

Accounts lost 0

Total staff n/s

Company ownership WPP subsidiary

Campaign's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year confounded critics with an exceptional 2002, despite having to come to terms with what was potentially the trickiest merger the DM industry had seen in years.

Martin Troughton ran a steady ship, maintaining both profit and staffing levels. What's more, the agency held on to all of its existing clients and won five new ones.

At the start of 2002 it was appointed brand response agency by First Quench and it went on to win AquAid and The Royal Marsden, while consolidating its relationship with Vodafone by winning all of its business-to-business work.

Then HTW snatched the lion's share of the prestigious Nectar account away from WWAV Rapp Collins - the agency it had lost out to during the original pitch in February.

However, it was the quality of work that stood out. Steve Harrison clearly put his stamp on a creative department that was producing market-leading campaigns. HTW developed the knack of producing original and effective work across its entire client base rather than on just one or two small low-pressure accounts. Its six DMA gold awards and 12 nominations were testament to this.

Creative highlights included some acclaimed long copy work for M&G Investments and impressive campaigns for both Vodafone and Threshers. The agency also achieved the near impossible, turning Xerox into a creative showcase account.

And in the first three months of the year it produced an excellent multi-discipline campaign for the AA as a goodbye present to the client it lost at the end of 2001.

All the signs point to a good 2003 for HTW.

- Score This Year 9; Score Last Year 6

HHCL & PARTNERS - Pot Noodle

Declared billings 2002 £82m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £56m

Declared income 2002 £9m

Total accounts year end 19

Accounts gained 9

Accounts lost 3

Total staff 80

Company ownership Chime/WPP subsidiary

In 2002 HHCL & Partners failed to stop the downward spiral that took hold in 2001.

It lost more key accounts, including the brand that made it famous, Tango, which shifted to Clemmow Hornby Inge in February. Two other flagship accounts, Texaco and Thomson Holidays, also walked, although in both cases through global realignment.

Distracted by losses, personnel changes and the prospect of a deal with WPP, which was eventually signed at the beginning of 2003, the agency failed to ease the pain with significant new-business wins. It won Autoglass and extended its relationship with Unilever's Birds Eye Wall's into Europe.

The reduced output of the agency meant that good creative work was rare, although its "slag of all snacks" work for Pot Noodle was well-received.

Its chief executive, Robin Azis, left the agency in June, and rumours of its chairman Simon Burridge's new role within Chime were confirmed in December. The agency rallied around the popular and capable Nick Howarth, promoting him to managing director.

The deal with WPP in January 2003 saw Sir Martin Sorrell secure HHCL for an initial payment of £4 million - indicative of just how far the agency's brand had collapsed. Going forward, its combination with Red Cell, and Sorrell's determination to turn that brand into a credible international network, is likely to see an improved performance from HHCL. Lee Daley, Red Cell's global head, and Howarth have the requisite skills to improve on the performances of HHCL Red Cell's component parts. Not least because it couldn't get any worse.

- Score This Year 2; Score Last Year 2


Declared billings 2002 £255m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £245m

Declared income 2002 n/s

Total accounts year end 43

Accounts gained 8

Accounts lost 3

Total staff 261

Company ownership WPP subsidiary

In May 2002, after 60 years at the Berkeley Square address which so defined its culture, J. Walter Thompson moved to new offices in Knightsbridge Green.

The move, championed by its chief executive, Simon Bolton, represented a bid to shake off the agency's old-fashioned image by going open plan and ditching the more traditional account management and creative department divides.

Creative output improved, with greater consistency across Nestle (especially Yorkie), Boots and Diageo. However, the agency's creative director, Jaspar Shelbourne, was moved to an international role, making way for a welcome creative shake-up.

Internationally, the agency had two sizeable new-business triumphs. It was appointed global advertising agency to Vodafone's £300 million account, netting more than £30 million in UK billings.

Reckitt Benckiser split its global £300 million account between Euro RSCG Worldwide and JWT, with the latter picking up surface, health and personal care brands, although £10 million of Reckitt's UK billings were put into Cheetham Bell JWT.

But in domestic terms, new business was underwhelming. The agency picked up Triumph Motorcyles, Lipovitan and RNIB. The only loss was P&O Stena Line.

Its global wins, though impressive, must not distract JWT's management from facing up to its sliding profile in the London market. In 2003 a credible replacement for Shelbourne is a matter of some urgency.

- Score This Year 5; Score Last Year 4


Declared billings 2002 £103m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £33m

Declared income 2002 £10m

Total accounts year end 14

Accounts gained 4

Accounts lost 0

Total staff 70

Company ownership Private company

Leagas Delaney entered 2002 on an unsure footing. It had just lost its chairman, Bruce Haines, to Leo Burnett, all thoughts of an acquisition by Envoy had been firmly banished, and its income had been seriously threatened by the loss of key clients in 2001. Although the agency rallied throughout the year, picking up some accounts, it failed to make up for the previous year's dismal performance.

The year started badly with the acrimonious departures of Jerry Fielder and Eric McLean, the media and finance director respectively. Long-standing employees and significant shareholders, both were part of the original management team. The agency also lost its planning director, Jeremy Thorpe-Woods, to Saatchi & Saatchi.

On the new-business front, winning Kinder Surprise early in 2002 was followed by the capture of more business from its existing Nationwide client. The agency also took a place on the Bayer roster.

While its inaugural work for the launch of the online travel brand Opodo was disappointing, largely due to a revised spend post-11 September, Leagas Delaney's creative pedigree shone through in its first work for Pilsner Urquell, and in a TV campaign for Hyundai.

The long-standing creative team Will Farquhar and Ian Ducker quit for a freelance career, leaving Rob Burleigh and Dave Beverley to handle the day-to-day running of the agency.

Although the flow of accounts out of Leagas Delaney's doors was stemmed, 2002 was still a trying year for the agency. So many senior departures have left the chairman, Tim Delaney, in sole charge, a situation he no doubt enjoys. Yet Delaney works best when harnessed with a partner.

- Score This Year 2; Score Last Year 3

LEITH - Carling

Declared billings 2002 £30m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £39m

Declared income 2002 £5m

Total accounts year end 19

Accounts gained 8

Accounts lost 3

Total staff 60

Company ownership Private company

2002 was a year of quiet consolidation for Leith, which got on with improving the performance of its London office.

Leith ended its 13-year partnership with Tennent's in August to make way for the £8 million Coors Brewers accounts for Worthington's, Caffrey's and Reef. Awarded the extra business on the back of its work for Carling and Grolsch, it resigned Tennent's and Bass. This sparked a breakaway with senior staff, including the head of account management and the deputy creative director, quitting to handle the business.

In Edinburgh, it won, among others, CR Smith and Adventure Scotland, neither sizeable accounts, but it did retain the crucial Standard Life business in September.

Down south, Leith's London office had had a difficult 2001. And in January 2002, news that the second of four partners, Sarah Ryder, was leaving after only nine months hinted at unsettled times ahead. Yet it steadied, getting on to more pitchlists - and converting. It landed Goodfellas Pizza on the basis of a former pitch idea, and picked up Unipath's Clearblue and Clearplan, alongside The Biography Channel.

It also hired the senior creatives Pete Cain and Louis Bogue, a move which went some way to replacing the loss of its founding creative, Paul Silburn. Still, although Leith's work performed well in Scottish awards ceremonies, it has yet to make a creative impact in London.

In 2003, Leith should concentrate on picking up more meaty wins with creative possibilities, especially at the London office. But its performance last year certainly helped reinstate confidence in the Leith brand equity off which it has successfully traded in Scotland for so long.

- Score This Year 6; Score Last Year 5


Declared billings 2002 £203m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £126m

Declared income 2002 £26m

Total accounts year end 35

Accounts gained 1

Accounts lost 1

Total staff (group) 231

Company ownership Publicis subsidiary

Leo Burnett had an extraordinary 2002, not least because of its arranged marriage with D'Arcy. Departures included the managing director, Kate Howe, and the chairman, Gerard Stamp, along with the dramatic ousting of its chief executive, Stephen Whyte.

The arrival of Bruce Haines as the group chief executive was an attempt by the Leo Burnett worldwide chief executive, Steve Gatfield, to expand the UK agency's group offering and improve its dismal new-business fortunes.

On the first count, Haines launched a second-string agency, Made, run by the former Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper creative director, Joakim Jonason.

He also instigated a positive restructure of the agency in a bid to make it more integrated. He introduced a clear media-neutral positioning, invested in an internal consultancy, IQ, to provide strategic business thinking and handed Nick Bell the expanded role of executive creative director. However, creative awards remained thin on the ground with Burnett's eagerly awaited John West "shark" spot failing to have the impact of its predecessor, "bear". Its McDonald's output was of a consistently high standard, however.

The demise of D'Arcy was sad but inevitable - the loss of the Mars account was the final nail in its coffin. That said, D'Arcy continued to produce top-rate work for COI Communications and it is this £33 million in billings that Haines must nurture.

The challenges of the D'Arcy merger are considerable. Haines and his new chairman - D'Arcy's Barry Cook - must ensure that the merger does not unsettle too many clients. What has long been a very political agency must settle down to demonstrating that it can still produce market-leading creative work that can translate into new-business wins.

- Score This Year -; Score Last Year 6

LOWE - Stella Artois

Declared billings 2002 £300m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £275m

Declared income 2002 £40m

Total accounts year end 19

Accounts gained 5

Accounts lost 5

Total staff 280

Company ownership Interpublic subsidiary

Lowe's 2002 was characterised by serious account losses and a change in creative leadership. Was it truly an annus horribilis?

Or will it be seen as the period when ultimately Lowe began rediscovering its strengths?

There's no denying 2002 was a cathartic year, the low point being the loss of Orange and, as a result, more than 20 jobs. Technically, Lowe resigned the £43 million account, but no-one doubted that it was on its way out anyway. Heineken, one of its signature accounts, also had to be cut loose when the end of a licensing agreement provoked conflict with Interbrew.

Meanwhile, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners proved to be Lowe's nemesis, gaining the lion's share of General Motors' £60 million Vauxhall billings, as well as Lowe's Burger King account.

Little wonder, perhaps, that the agency's creative output has been patchy, increasing the pressure on the new joint creative directors, Tony Barry and Damon Collins.

A Cannes gold awarded for Reebok's "sofa" and a silver at the British TV Advertising Awards for the Stella Artois "doctor" commercial suggest the creative department still has a trick or two up its sleeve.

The pressures have been particularly intense on Chris Thomas, the chief executive, whose burden will be eased by the appointment of Paul Edwards as the chairman. Edwards is a highly regarded strategist, and his appointment left little room for the deputy chairman, John Lowery, who exited the agency.

Thomas draws comfort from Lowe's entry on to the Homebase roster in a difficult year and talks about regaining lost ground on Vauxhall. Now he has to turn that talk into action.

- Score This Year 2; Score Last Year 7


Declared billings 2002 £230m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £251m

Declared income 2002 n/s

Total accounts year end 25

Accounts gained 9

Accounts lost 2

Total staff 312

Company ownership Private company

Last year was treadmill time for M&C Saatchi as the agency found itself having to run fast merely to stand still. A net billings gain of almost £50 million gave it the number-four slot in the new-business performance league, although the agency could still have benefitted from some meatier wins.

It might have been even worse had the agency not defied the odds by retaining Trinity Mirror's £15 million creative account, thwarting the ambitions of Lowe which, at one stage, appeared to have the business in the bag.

Success in the £43 million Orange pitch would have made the treadmill more bearable but victory went to Mother, leaving the clothing retailer Matalan as the year's big win.

General Electric also chose the agency to handle the creative assignment for its £20 million pan-European corporate campaign while the Football Association booked in to have its image buffed up on the back of the World Cup. It was also the Inland Revenue's choice for the launch of the new working tax credit.

Creatively, the year's most hyped event was the unveiling of the agency's debut work for the AA with the slogan "Just AAsk". Now it's up to Matt Eastwood to provide the creative consistency that the agency has found elusive.

With Simon Dicketts moving to a broader management role, the day-to-day charge of the creative department has fallen to Eastwood. The fact that Grey was rumoured to be ready to offer the Australian a pay cheque of lottery-winning proportions to lure him from Golden Square suggests that M&C has unearthed a prized talent. With the treadmill as relentless as ever, he'll earn his money.

- Score This Year 7; Score Last Year 7


Declared billings 2002 £494m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £299m

Declared income 2002 n/s

Total accounts year end 320

Accounts gained 26

Accounts lost 10

Total staff 896

Company ownership Interpublic subsidiary

Tamara Ingram's first year at the helm of McCann-Erickson UK also turned out to be her last. But during her 12-month reign, the agency witnessed some sweeping changes, particularly in terms of staff.

McCann lost its marketing director, Will Hamilton (eventually to WCRS), replaced the executive planning director, Pascale Reed, with Red Cell's Julian Saunders, brought in Chris Blayze as a senior planner and recruited the Leo Burnett creative directors, Jack Stephens and Rob Nielsen.

Ingram's long-term aim was to improve McCann's creative product. Whether she would have achieved this will never be known. Last year's reel was certainly not enough to turn around the agency's historically poor creative reputation. But after his first full year in charge, the executive creative director, Luke White, has overseen some encouraging work for Coca-Cola and Greene King IPA as well as some brave creative for Nescafe. He now has a larger department full of interesting new faces, and, providing there is limited fall-out from Ingram's departure, there are grounds for optimism.

On the new-business front, the McCann Group's 26 wins include American Airlines, Premier Foods and Littlewoods. The agency's best domestic moment came when it landed the Clearasil business. Among its nine losses were Nestle Petfoods, MBNA and Next. The agency also lost the chance to work on Mattesson's for its existing client, Kerry Foods.

Despite this, McCann ended the year with declared billings up and, although Ingram's year in charge may not have been spectacular enough to save her, it was by no means a disaster.With restructures afoot and new appointments still to settle in, it looks as though McCann's 2003 will be just as transitional as 2002.

- Score This Year 6; Score Last Year 8


Declared billings 2002 £40m

Nielsen Media Research billings 2002 £25m

Declared income 2002 £4m

Total accounts year end 17

Accounts gained 5

Accounts lost 1

Total staff n/s

Company ownership Private company

Now well into its third year, Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy has settled into a healthy business. There were fewer flashy headlines, but this didn't prevent the agency from raising income by 27 per cent and turning in a pre-tax profit of more than £500,000.

Its greatest achievement on the new-business front was the slab of work it secured from COI Communications, picking up the Inland Revenue Self Assessment, Business Link and the Government's payment modernisation programme in three consecutive pitches.

Other wins included Conquest's Addiction and Connect, Classic FM and Historic Royal Palaces. It consolidated relations with Sara Lee, taking on its legwear brands including Pretty Polly, and also secured further business from BBC Magazines. The low point was its resignation of the £4 million Dyson business, as relations became strained.

Creatively, the work was of a consistently high standard, but lacked a "wow" factor. Attempting to address this, the agency hired Jeremy Carr from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, and his first work fo