Launched as a double-act by co-founders Tim Bullen and Tristan Rice in 1994, Red Media has grown to employ nine people. Its billings were £3.5 million in the last financial year, and Bullen says he expects that figure to rise to £10 million this year.
Many of the agency’s clients are IT and technology companies, and therefore up to 25% of its client’s activity is focused on the internet. It spends roughly 40% on press, 15% on radio and 5% on TV, while its outdoor activity is handled by Outdoor Connections.
The company’s latest big account win was Tiny.com, the online branch of Tiny computers, and its other clients include software manufacturer Front Range Solutions and Iiyama monitors. It has also signed up a series of fashion companies such as Paul Smith, Caterpillar and the online gallery BritArt.com.
The agency has collaborated with PR and retail communications agency Yellow Door, Ruth Leonard, the creative and web-design consultancy and creative shop Mother. “We’re always looking for creative partners who take the same approach as us, which is being open-minded, listening to the client and coming back with intelligent, strategic solutions, rather than just buying,” says Bullen.
Red Media believes strongly in the use of research, and is perhaps the smallest agency subscriber to TGI. It also conducts its own bespoke research, and is compiling the results of a survey of 300 consumers’ internet shopping habits. It is developing a new research system to launch in January, which Bullen says allows particularly swift feedback.
Having grown without any investment from a parent company, Red Media has maintained a relaxed work culture. Bullen estimates the average age of his workers to be about 26, but says they are experienced as well as young and enthusiastic as many of them have come from large agencies including Carat, Zenith Media and BMP OMD.
Tim Bullen and Tristan Rice, co-founders; Keith Donoghue, finance manager.