In the future, 2004 will go down as the year when MindShare finally fulfilled its potential, although quite how spectacularly it would do so, surely not even its most optimistic of staff could have hoped for.
As the lead media agency in the network, MindShare has benefited the most from an awesome year all round for WPP.
You know you are on to something good when winning Unilever – the biggest account in European history – is just one piece of the jigsaw.
The year in which it all came together for MindShare has also included global account wins such as HSBC and Nestlé and local bits of good news, in the shape of accounts like The Tourist Board of Ireland. However, the one fly in the ointment was missing out on the BSkyB account when it was favourite to win it.
The past 12 months have proved one of Carat’s most successful years, helping to make up for the disappointing lack of new business wins in 2003.
The Aegis agency has won more than £116m worth of business, a clutch of awards and, most recently, hit the national headlines with its research into Generation Jones, a previously unseen market for advertisers.
The first half of the year saw it win the £8m media brief for insurance newcomer First Alternative, the £24m account for home shopping business Shop Direct and the £10m WHSmith planning and buying account.
In June, Carat Digital was launched, followed closely by Nigel Sharrocks’ replacement of Mark Craze as chief executive.
The last three months have seen Carat retain the £45m Diageo account, as well as notching up the £20m GE Consumer Finance Home Lending media brief and the international Lego account worth £6.2m in the UK.
If a true test of an agency is showing strength in adversity, then Initiative is facing that right now, after a pretty disastrous 2004.
The writing may have been on the wall, but no amount of planning for a bad outcome could have fully proofed Initiative against the loss of the pan-European Unilever account.
Worth £205m in UK billings alone, the loss of that lucrative brief removed between 25% and 40%, – depending on who you listen to – of the agency’s billings in one fell swoop.
Based on the latest Nielsen Media Research tables, it would push Initiative three places down the agency rankings tables. The firm hopes that a much greater cost, in human terms, can be avoided and that it can cope with the loss of Unilever without too many enforced redundancies.
Manning Gottlieb OMD
MGOMD did not exactly have the most auspicious start to the year, losing the £19m More Th>n account to Universal McCann in May.
Following in Matt James’ wake – after he departed for Mediaedge:cia – was never going to be an easy task for Alison Wright, who took over the position of managing director early in 2002 from the media maverick.
But, not long after the More Th>n loss, Wright left the agency without a job to go to.
OMD UK chief executive Nick Manning replaced Wright with the triumvirate of Phil Nunn – the agency’s direct and digital director who was promoted to managing partner to lead the agency – Robert Ffitch and Neil Hurman.
Despite the new management structure and the fact that Manning Gottlieb recently won the £1m Friends Reunited account, the agency will have to sharpen its wits against some stiff competition to defend a place on the roster of agencies controlling the £167m COI business.
After creating a new industry buzzword in 2003 with its rebranding as “The ROI agency”, 2004 also had its fair share of high points for the company.
The agency's biggest win came in October when ZenithOptimedia and WPP’s Group M won the £894m global media planning and buying account for Nestlé, following one of the most complex pitches in recent years. The UK share of the account eventually went to MindShare but ZenithOptimedia still stands to pick up a nice chunk of business worldwide.
In March, the agency’s long-serving worldwide chief executive John Perriss gave up his role to pursue non-executive and advisory roles. Perriss had been with Zenith Media Services since 1988 and oversaw much of the merger of Zenith and Optimedia in 2001.
Also, in November Young caused a stir at the Media Research Group conference in Madrid, when he called for a shake-up of audience measurement systems and told agencies to start thinking about client profits, rather than obsessing about advertising awareness.
Nick Manning, former founding partner of Manning Gottlieb OMD, was awarded the title of chief executive of OMD
Manning oversaw the integration of OMD’s buying capabilities into what was then the largest combined UK buying point, Opera. The spin-off will bill over £1bn for the Omnicom Group in the
After this buying behemoth had been formed, OMD made a series of promotions to replace personnel who had moved over to form Opera. Promotions included Neil Johnston’s move to head of TV from the deputy position in the department.
Toby Hack, who was head of OMD TVi, moved over to head of interactive TV and OMD Affinity, the agency’s sponsorship and branded content department.
Also, John Walker was promoted from radio manager to head of radio planning and buying, taking responsibility for the day-to-day running of the radio department at the agency.
The agency’s new business wins have been somewhat thin on the ground, but it was still awarded the top place in a survey by Media Audits. The new business should pick up this year with OMD’s front position in Opera.
The year started with two new bosses at the helm – Andy Jones and Damian Blackden joining an illustrious list of media double acts.
Their year started well when the agency clinched the £10m planning and buying account for Rank Hovis McDougall.
Things continued to go well with the £19m More Th>n account and the £6m buying brief for TheTelegraph.
However, things took a turn for the worse when MediaCom managed to wrestle the £21m
Bad news followed during July when BSkyB chief executive James Murdoch ordered a review away from the agency, with MediaCom again winning that £43maccount.
There was another setback in October when FMCG giant Nestlé went to ZenithOptimedia and WPP’s Group M – Universal McCann had held various pieces of Nestlé’s European media work. However, the month finished with the agency winning the
And Europe was the source of further disappointment when the Panasonic £32maccount, of which the agency had been the main incumbent, went to Vizeum. This was followed by the loss of the £4.6m UK Tourism
Despite few spectacular wins or losses, Starcom grossed more than £80m in new business for the
The company, which includes Starcom Motive and StarcomMediavest, as well as dedicated digital and direct divisions, achieved this primarily by winning dozens of small accounts, worth £500,000 or £1m apiece.
The biggest wins were the Pizza Hut account, worth about £11m in the UK; Oracle, worth £31m in the UK; the £6mWales Tourist Board account; and the £10.5m
However, this success was tempered by a number of losses, including the £7.6m Heinz account, the £9m WH Smith account and the Lego account, worth £6.2min the
Staffing remained fairly stable, with the most high-profile appointment being Avril Gallagher from Diageo, who joined Starcom Mediavest as a business director.
All in all, a satisfactory year’s work.
Being presented with the Agency of the Year title at this year’s Media Week Awards was the crowning glory of a fruitful year for MediaCom.
With just under £700m in billings a year, Stephen Allan’s agency is challenging the very best in the business and can claim to be the UK’s number one.
Some of MediaCom’s highlights from the past year include: ? Snatching the £21m UK T-Mobile account from incumbent Universal McCann as part of a five-country consolidation of the Deutsche Telekom account across Europe in May.
? Amid widespread industry surprise, winning the £43mBSkyB account in August.
? Being recognised as the best overall performing agency in the Ocean Consulting survey for the second year running.
All in all not many clouds in MediaCom’s multiple silver linings.
The year did not start off well for PHD, but the agency has still managed to come out fighting and promises to be competitive alongside the best of them in 2005.
By summer, a sorry list of account losses (and the resignation of the Pizza Hut brief) prompted some industry observers to write the agency off.
The £15m Weetabix account was lost in December 2003, soon to be followed by the planning side of the £20m Homebase business.
HSBC also disappeared from the roster this year.
The agency was at a junction.
The buying side of the business has now been transformed with the creation of Omnicom super-buying house Opera. The agency itself has been rebranded as “the pioneering agency” as part of an initiative to put the bad times behind it.
PHD grasped the nettle in 2004 by embedding several strategic planners in the offices of its creative sibling, Abbott Mead Vickers, as the debate over the gap between planners and creatives intensified.
This year may not have been the greatest for PHD, but with the successful Rocket, IQ and Confidential operations under its wing, next year should (and must) be better.
Reporting team: Julia Martin, Ian Quinn, Mark Banham, James Livesley, Caitlin Fitzsimmons and Richard Abbott