Top 50: Consumer League Tables - Clicked on PR - Dot.com fever is firing the imagination of consumer PR agencies. Rob Gray reports on PR Week’s first ever consumer league table

Dot.com. There you have it. An attempt to characterise a whole year with a single word. The last year of the old millennium, 1999 was the year in which the new economy went crazy. As e-commerce ventures of every conceivable kind were created - and investors supported them, sometimes with as much prudence as shown by tulip bulb speculators in 17th century Holland - there can hardly have been a consumer PR agency in the land that was not touched in some way by dot.com fever.

Dot.com. There you have it. An attempt to characterise a whole year

with a single word. The last year of the old millennium, 1999 was the

year in which the new economy went crazy. As e-commerce ventures of

every conceivable kind were created - and investors supported them,

sometimes with as much prudence as shown by tulip bulb speculators in

17th century Holland - there can hardly have been a consumer PR agency

in the land that was not touched in some way by dot.com fever.



Whether it was through building a start-up venture’s dot.com brand from

scratch or helping traditional bricks and mortar companies position

themselves as clicks and mortar entities as they exploited a new channel

to market, consumer PR agencies reaped the benefits of the internet

revolution. No longer was the web seen as a plaything for technology

bores. Rather it became a means of reaching and building relationships

with consumers.



’The new economy has given us, thank goodness, a new paradigm: a web,’

says GCI chief executive Adrian Wheeler. ’Even a web has to have a

centre. I would suggest that the consumer PR specialist is genetically

destined to pull all the strings free of fear, favour or commission. She

or he is perfectly adapted to advise the client on the best allocation

of budget and the best deployment of resources. The generalist nature of

consumer PR practice, which was once believed to be its weakness, will

prove to be its greatest strength.’



Lexis chief executive Bill Jones adds: ’The explosion has been very good

for the consumer PR industry because all the dot.coms’ advisers have

been saying that they need to create PR buzz. And there have been some

notorious failures among dot.coms that have spent a lot on

advertising.’



Even those dot.coms with deep pockets have found that pouring money into

advertising on posters, in magazines and newspapers, on TV and through

online banner advertising is on its own not nearly enough to create a

strong brand. Consequently PR agencies have been inundated with requests

for their services and the more circumspect among them have taken great

care in selecting which clients to accept.



Manning Selvage & Lee chief executive Jackie Elliot points out that many

dot.com start-ups have seen PR as intrinsic to securing their second

round of funding. Says Elliot: ’That took a lot of time for us to get

used to. It’s given us a different role.’



Another dimension to consumer PR’s role has been to get involved in

creating what Darwall Smith Associates managing director Gill Garside

refers to as the ’personality’ of a dot.com brand. But most of the

leading consumer agencies have been working with b2c e-commerce

businesses to develop strategy.



Says Edelman account director, consumer group Neal Fullman: ’The

fascinating thing about the dot.com business is that everybody’s

learning - clients and agencies. So you get more of a co-operative

relationship than you do with other kinds of clients. With dot.coms it’s

important to have the pace to keep up with their changing needs. Their

strategy may have to change by the month or even by the week. They need

agencies flexible enough to turn resources on and off as necessary.’



There is a degree of concern, however, that some consumer agencies have

played a part in fostering unrealistic expectations among dot.com

clients.



’We’ve not been firm enough with them as an industry in explaining that

branding takes time,’ admits Fleishman-Hillard consumer director Matt

Fearnley.



Jackie Cooper PR managing director Robert Phillips is even more damning.

He says: ’We’re getting an awful lot of dot.coms coming to us who have

had bad experiences with PR agencies. That’s because people have treated

it more as a new business opportunity - a gold rush even - than a

learning experience While they may have made money in the short-term

they have left a lot of disaffected clients in their wake.’



Although the dot.com explosion has been the most obvious source of new

business, the consumer marketplace has been strong in general. While it

may not be growing at the rate of technology PR it has still been

bullish overall. The consumer fee income of the top 50 agencies in the

first PR Week consumer league table has grown by 22 per cent on last

year.



Says Jones: ’The market has been incredibly buoyant; no doubt about

that. In the last three or four years there has been an increasing call

for good consumer skills. There has perhaps been a recognition that

skills like news creation are very valuable not only for consumer brands

in areas such as FMCG products but also consumer brands that are

corporate entities.’



Client demand for PR as an important part of their marketing

communications has made consumer agencies an attractive proposition.

Inevitably, many have been snapped up by larger players. Among the

consolidation seen in the sector last year was the acquisition of Jane

Howard PR by GCI; Biss Lancaster’s purchase of regional network Leedex;

and Chime, parent of Bell Pottinger, buying food specialist Wearne

Associates - which was followed in March this year by its capture of

Harvard.



’There are few independent agencies left in the upper echelons,’ says

Phillips. ’As an industry we are not used to being a plc industry. So

there’s a challenge there for those that are balance sheet driven to

still deliver high quality work.’



Despite these challenges, and probably because of them, it is the owned

groups that find themselves comfortably at the top of the tree, with

WPP-owned Hill and Knowlton occupying the number one spot in PR Week’s

first consumer ranking. Its international capabilities, explains joint

chief executive Marie Louise Windeler, are one its biggest strengths.

Half of its business is for clients in more than one country.



But H&K is by no means alone in riding a wave of marketing

internationalisation. Says Elliot: ’The great opportunity for us and

others in the UK has been the increasing amount of consumer marcoms that

is based in the UK but goes across borders.’



Integrated marketing has been talked about since God was a boy. Yet for

the most part it has been more spoken of than practised. There are

indications that this is beginning to change.



Biss Lancaster chairman Graham Lancaster, Fearnley and Cohn & Wolfe

executive director Jill Rennie all say they are seeing more integration.

Says Rennie: ’What’s encouraging is the number of clients that want us

to work very much as a team with their other agencies. When that works

it works extremely well. The sense of competitiveness between different

kinds of agency that was there a few years ago is less apparent

today.’



A problem faced by almost all the leading consumer agencies is

recruiting and retaining good senior staff. A combination of the dot.com

boom creating many new opportunities for consumer specialists and the

delayed impact of the cutbacks in training made across the industry

during the recession of the early 1990s has led to a shortage of

appropriate personnel, felt most acutely at account director level.



Demand outstripping supply has inflated salaries, often pushing up costs

for clients. Some agencies have tried to minimise this by offering

incentives other than big wage increases to staff. But inevitably some

agencies will have over-promoted junior staff in an effort to plug gaps

at the top of their account teams.



However, for experienced consumer PR practitioners, now is a golden era

in the jobs market. Joe Public Relations managing director Matthew Wood

says: ’You have to sell to whoever you are interviewing as well as them

selling themselves to you.’



Undoubtedly, PR practitioners with solid consumer marketing skills have

never been in such demand. Kate Waterfall, managing director of sports

and sponsorship specialist Craigie Taylor, says more consumer PR

techniques are required to exploit sponsorships than ever before.



Clients expect their consultancies to understand brands. While of course

they still want media relations they believe that should encompass a

clear understanding of which media outlets offer the best fit for their

brands and marketing messages. They want counsel on discrete media

audience segments that goes far deeper than superficial demographic

classifications.



Freud Communications managing director Gaby Zein says there is a role

for ’clever media buying’ as well as traditional PR. By which she means

paid-for promotions that make use of PR skills to offer a relationship

between brand and media outlet that ordinary advertising cannot

match.



’The idea that consumer PR is cheap, fluffy, inconsequential or a

commodity is as out-of-date as Edina,’ concludes Wheeler.





- Food and drink and leisure specialist Staniforth had a good year as

fee income rose by one per cent. The Manchester-based agency, at 28 in

the table, had consumer fee income of pounds 1.4 million in 1999.

Existing client Volvic handed Staniforth the brief to launch its Touch

of Fruit brand, and other wins included vacuum cleaner and carpet washer

manufacturer Vax. There was also growth from existing client Marks &

Spencer, for which Staniforth handles the national food PR account.





- PR practitioners with solid consumer marketing skills have never been

in such demand. Sports and sponsorship specialist Craigie Taylor reports

that more consumer techniques are now being employed to exploit

sponsorships than in the past





- According to Jackie Cooper PR joint founding partner Robert Phillips,

expansion is not the name of the game. He says: We want to remain true

to our founding principles, maintain a degree of control and ensure that

quality comes before profit’





- As the dot.com and new media market has matured through 1999 and 2000,

MacLaurin Group’s divisions have become more fluid, with teams being

pulled together from different practices





- Internal promotions at Consolidated Communications saw Will Holt,

Katie Hadfield and Rachael Sanson join the board, while board directors

Fiona Nicol and Tom Wells left to take up other posts. During the year,

staff numbers grew from 60 to 79





- Last year was a significant one in the history of Barclay Stratton.

The agency completed a massive restructuring procedure leaving a single

brand specialising in consumer, corporate and business-to-business

PR



CONSUMER LEAGUE TABLES: 1-30


Rank Agency name            Consumer PR  Consumer PR       %    Total PR

                             fee income   fee income  growth      income

99                                   99           98                  99

1    Hill and Knowlton*       8,555,580    6,687,110      28  25,926,000

2    Freud Communications     5,016,290    4,353,182      15   5,016,290

3    Shandwick International* 4,949,310    3,968,140      25  26,049,000

4    Ketchum*                 3,874,851    4,227,489      -8   8,806,480

5    Harrison Cowley*         3,727,457    3,200,611      16   5,402,112

6    Countrywide Porter

     Novelli*(1)              3,525,167    3,224,270       9  19,584,259

7    Jackie Cooper PR         3,523,403    3,100,817      14   3,523,403

8    Biss Lancaster*(2)       4,165,768    3,710,464      12   9,687,832

9    Edelman PR Worldwide*    2,970,233    2,948,165       1   9,000,705

10   Cohn and Wolfe*          2,839,164    2,321,650      22   6,309,253

11   Nexus Choat*             2,719,980    2,606,800       4   3,726,000

12   MacLaurin Group          2,517,657    1,720,893      46   3,873,319

13   Charles Barker BSMG

     Worldwide*(3)            2,455,292    2,984,399     -18   9,821,166

14   GCI UK*(4)               2,317,850      908,064     155   9,271,400

15   The Red Consultancy      2,208,673    1,864,537      18   4,015,769

16   Consolidated Comms

     Management*(5)           2,171,219      753,825     188   3,877,177

17   Lexis Public Relations*  2,076,271    1,360,304      53   3,579,777

18   Citigate Dewe Rogerson*  2,001,773    2,653,254     -25  30,026,902

19   Text 100*(6)             1,881,250    1,082,122      74   7,524,999

20   Manning Selvage & Lee*   1,813,140    1,535,100      18   4,317,000

21   Aurelia Public

     Relations                1,673,819    1,342,306      25   1,673,819

22   Grayling Group*          1,670,879    1,537,195       9   8,794,100

23   Richmond Towers          1,637,800    1,680,000      -3   4,310,000

24   Holmes and Marchant      1,570,710    1,475,370       6   3,831,000

25   Key Communications*(7)   1,527,750    1,475,700       4   6,111,000

26   QBO*                     1,511,200    1,222,200      24   3,778,000

27   Band and Brown

     Communications (8)       1,496,804    1,210,678      24   2,993,608

28   Staniforth Public

     Relations*               1,377,860    1,364,765       1   2,505,200

29   Meditech Media           1,359,050    1,183,200      15   3,883,000

30   Firefly Communications*  1,356,500      634,862     114   5,652,082


Rank Agency name                   Staff       % fee      Location

99                                            income

1    Hill and Knowlton*              330          33        London

2    Freud Communications            108         100        London

3    Shandwick International*        349          19        London

4    Ketchum*                        143          44        London

5    Harrison Cowley*                 97          69       Various

6    Countrywide Porter

     Novelli*(1)                     280          18          Oxon

7    Jackie Cooper PR                 68         100        London

8    Biss Lancaster*(2)              149          43        London

9    Edelman PR Worldwide*           100          33        London

10   Cohn and Wolfe*                  83          45        London

11   Nexus Choat*                     65          73        London

12   MacLaurin Group                  51          65        London

13   Charles Barker BSMG

     Worldwide*(3)                   108          25        London

14   GCI UK*(4)                      130          25        London

15   The Red Consultancy              77          55        London

16   Consolidated Comms

     Management*(5)                   79          56        London

17   Lexis Public Relations*          58          58        London

18   Citigate Dewe Rogerson*         295           7        London

19   Text 100*(6)                    116          25        London

20   Manning Selvage & Lee*           60          42        London

21   Aurelia Public

     Relations                        31         100        London

22   Grayling Group*                 108          19        London

23   Richmond Towers                  34          38        London

24   Holmes and Marchant              41          41        London

25   Key Communications*(7)           69          25        London

26   QBO*                             51          40        London

27   Band and Brown

     Communications (8)               55          50        London

28   Staniforth Public

     Relations*                       44          55     M’chester

29   Meditech Media                  140          35        London

30   Firefly Communications*          93          24        London


* Denotes PRCA member. (1) Includes Affinity. (2) Formerly Euro RSCG.

Includes Leedex GTPR and CGI London. (3) Includes Gibbs Associates, Slam

and LSA. (4) Includes GCI Jane Howard. (5) Includes Leadbetter PR.

(6) Includes August .One Communications. 7 Includes Sheldon

Communications. (8) Includes Panmedia, iJack and Band and Brown

(Bristol)


CONSUMER LEAGUE TABLES: 31-50


Rank Agency name            Consumer PR  Consumer PR       %    Total PR

                             fee income   fee income  growth      income

99                                   99           98                  99

31   Weber Worldwide PR*(1)   1,285,305    1,617,930     -21   9,886,961

32   BMA Communications       1,281,776    1,065,047      20   1,884,964

33   Munro and Forster

     Communications*          1,265,096    1,264,336       0   2,300,174

34   Barclay Stratton*        1,231,523      976,196      26   2,677,224

35   Harvard Public Relations 1,194,966    1,136,980       5   4,596,023

36   The Shire Hall Group*(2) 1,180,600            -       -   5,903,000

37   Beattie Media            1,180,000      288,400     309   5,900,000

38   Camron Public Relations  1,163,596    1,097,656       6   1,163,596

39   Bite Communications      1,143,765      444,385     157   2,382,844

40   Fleishman-Hillard UK*(3) 1,118,303      420,310     166   3,607,429

41   The Communication Group* 1,053,080      752,620      40   3,761,000

42   Communique Public

     Relations                1,044,945      707,028      48   2,089,890

43   Craigie Taylor

     International              931,931      793,996      17   2,389,567

44   Joe Public Relations       919,040            -       -   1,178,256

45   BGB and Associates         882,838      913,250      -3   1,548,838

46   Nelson Bostock

     Communications*            879,873      642,938      37   1,759,746

47   Kable Public Relations*    864,312      748,185      16     942,543

48   Barkers Public Relations*  861,594      644,924      34   2,209,215

49   Darwall Smith Associates*  786,742      546,469      44     983,428

50   Elizabeth Hindmarch

     Public Relations*          774,150      512,485      51   1,138,456


Rank Agency name                   Staff       % fee      Location

99

31   Weber Worldwide PR*(1)          129          13        London

32   BMA Communications               17          68        London

33   Munro and Forster

     Communications*                  47          55        London

34   Barclay Stratton*                38          46        London

35   Harvard Public Relations         61          26         Middx

36   The Shire Hall Group*(2)         75          20        London

37   Beattie Media                    93          20       Glasgow

38   Camron Public Relations          26         100        London

39   Bite Communications              43          48        London

40   Fleishman-Hillard UK*(3)         61          31        London

41   The Communication Group*         46          28        London

42   Communique Public

     Relations                        29          50     M’chester

43   Craigie Taylor

     International                    51          39        Surrey

44   Joe Public Relations             21          78        London

45   BGB and Associates               40          57        London

46   Nelson Bostock

     Communications*                  30          50        London

47   Kable Public Relations*          13          92        London

48   Barkers Public Relations*        41          39    Glas/B’ham

49   Darwall Smith Associates*        19          80        London

50   Elizabeth Hindmarch

     Public Relations*                25          68        Berksa


* Denotes PRCA member. (1) Includes Weber Europe and McCann Weber PR.

(2) Formerly Brodeur A Plus. (3) Includes CPR and Synapse Public

Relations



1. Hill and Knowlton, pounds 8,555,580



With a solid consumer base and consumer fee income up by 28 per cent in

1999, Hill and Knowlton takes pole position in the table.



There were many changes at the top of the agency last year, with David

McLaren appointed chairman and Marie Louise Windeler and Andy Laurence

becoming joint chief executives. Promotions included Carolyn Grant, head

of the Lifestyle division, taking over as practice leader of Marketing

Communications.



Income has also been boosted with a string of new client wins including

baby food manufacturer Milupa and Motorola. New economy companies and

dot.coms such as Loot.com and Book2eat.com have also brought growth.





2. Freud Communications, pounds 5,016,290



With 95 per cent of its income driven by consumer business, Freud

Communications takes second place in the table.



The agency started 1999 with a new structure and a new culture at the

top of the business. Matthew Freud remained chairman, while Nick

Wiszowaty moved to chief executive and Gaby Zein, who looks after the

big consumer clients, took over as managing director. In addition, the

agency introduced a new level of directors, including Clare Formon, who

joined Freud as head of marketing and new business from Grey

Advertising.



According to financial director Andrew Nightingale, 50 per cent of

Freud’s growth last year came from existing clients. Lever Brothers’

Surf and Radion accounts brought in Jif and Persil washing-up liquid,

while the agency’s work for Elida Faberge’s Lynx and Sure brands landed

Impulse.



New clients included Disney Consumer Products, Halifax, Thomas Cook

offshoot JMC, and Bhs.





5. Harrison Cowley, pounds 3,727,457



With 69 per cent of its income coming from consumer business, Harrison

Cowley’s network of nine offices across the UK sits at fifth place in

the table.



In March this year the agency shook up its management structure to give

a better service to clients. Former Edinburgh managing director Alan

Twigg took a place on the board to head up a new agency-wide consumer

division.



’With the challenge of refreshing the quality of our ideas for

long-standing brands on a day-to-day basis, we wanted a dedicated

consumer team who could step back and keep churning over the turf from a

strategic point of view,’ says Twigg.



Consumer income has since been boosted by the arrival of Linda Dodge as

new media director in January and a significant number of new clients in

the dot.com arena. These include children’s activities service

Planit4kids.com and home interiors retailer Euopebynet.com. Other key

new business wins included Continental Airlines, the Prima Baby Show at

Olympia and satellite and cable television channel Fox Kids.





7. Jackie Cooper PR, pounds 3,523,403



With a 14 per cent increase in income, 100 per cent consumer-focused

Jackie Cooper PR had a steady 1999. However, according to agency joint

founding partner Robert Phillips, expansion is not the name of the

game.



JCPR has long-standing relationships with a string of high profile

consumer brands including Pretty Polly and Coca-Cola’s Sprite. The

agency also handles five Procter and Gamble accounts. New media

additions to the JCPR portfolio over the past 18 months include home

entertainment retailer Boxman.com, and Cahoot, the new e-banking service

from Abbey National.



To maintain creativity and client focus, JCPR is ringing the changes.

Earlier this year, the agency launched a fast track media relations

consultancy, JCDC, headed by Wilma Ward. JCPR is also rolling out the

first phase of a new human resources package.





10. Cohn and Wolfe, pounds 2,839,164



With clients across a range of sectors including healthcare and

technology, around half of Cohn and Wolfe’s income is consumer

driven.



’The key for us is sharing expertise,’ says Jill Rennie executive

director consumer at Cohn and Wolfe. While the agency has a formal

consumer division, increasingly the boundaries are being blurred as

healthcare and new economy clients look to reach consumer audiences.



Much of the agency’s growth over the past year has come from increased

business with existing clients such as Colgate Palmolive. Success has

also come from a new interactive team which has already attracted brands

including Lloyds TSB Internet Bank. The agency has also built on its

sporting credentials, with sports expert Seb Smith recently promoted to

the board.





12. MacLaurin Group, pounds 2,517,657



The MacLaurin Group is made up of five practice groups covering

different sectors including event management. The bulk of its consumer

PR income comes from its MacLaurin Communications division, its

technology practice MacLaurin Powerhouse and MacLaurin Media and

Entertainment. This has been strengthened over the past 18 months by the

launch of online PR practice POWonline.



Since Powerhouse joined the MacLaurin fold in 1997, the group has also

benefited from an injection of solid technology expertise into its

traditional offering. Over the past three years, the

business-to-consumer technology practice has trebled its fee billings

and now boasts key clients including wedding site Confetti.comand

Associated New Media, the new media arm of the Daily Mail and General

Trust.



The group’s media and entertainment credentials are underlined by

clients including The Disney Channel, Camelot and The Jim Henson

Company.





15. The Red Consultancy, pounds 2,208,673



Despite all the temptations, Red managing director Lesley Brend says

that at times the agency was turning down up to three non-competitive

leads a day, and adopted a ’caution and quality’ strategy with

dot.coms.



The agency, whose consumer fee income grew by 18 per cent last year,

stuck with established premium brands like Microsoft’s Expedia and

Amazon.com.



Among the new client wins were Niketown and Johnny Walker. Existing

clients also increase their spend with Red: ’One of the most important

success factors has been the ’confidence vote’ uplift in fees from

existing clients - about pounds 760,000 organic growth from the likes of

Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Nokia and other long-established clients,’

says Brend.



Despite being widely regarded as a consumer specialist, Red has never

pigeon-holed itself as a consumer agency. This became evident in new

sectors last year, and in 1999 pharmaceutical companies started to

approach the agency for the first time with consumer briefs.



Despite only having a London base, around 23 per cent of its business is

now international.





16. Consolidated Communications, pounds 2,171,219



In 1999 Consolidated’s employees bought out venture capitalist 3i and

made the decision to remain independent. ’The company is owned by the

people and morale is high,’ says deputy managing director Sarah

Robinson.



The agency also bought Leadbetter PR, integrating the account handlers

and business into its existing teams. One of the accounts that came with

Leadbetter was Laphroaig, and Consolidated used the opportunity to move

into the drinks sector.



Consolidated also did well in the new media sector. Besides Razorfish,

another Leadbetter account, the agency also picked up Open, and Virgin

money.com, as well as Virgin Phones.



In the travel sector, winning business from airline KLM UK led to

appointment by KLM Royal Dutch. Consolidated also picked up accounts

from Northwest Airlines and new low cost airline buzz.



In the entertainment arena, long-standing client Buena Vista Home

Entertainment handed more work the agency’s way, as did Blockbuster

Entertainment and the Federation Against Copyright Theft.





21. Aurelia Public Relations, pounds 1,673,819



Fee income at Aurelia grew by 100 per cent as the number of prestige

brands looking for lifestyle PR increased. Joint managing director Alix

Robson says the agency has benefited from its strategy of positioning

top-end brands as lifestyle rather than luxury brands.



’An increasing number of clients want the ’magic dust’ that associating

their brands with fashion and celebrity can bring, and this has

contributed to the growing success of our agency,’ says Robson.



New clients included Montblanc and Hello! magazine. The dot.com sector

also provided a new source of business. Aurelia was hired to launch

equestrian site Kickon.com and luxury mail order site Global

Aspirations. Existing clients Arcadia, Country Life and Bang & Olufsen

asked it to launch sites too.



During the year Alix Robson became joint managing director alongside

Aurelia Cecil, and Tania Fawcett became deputy managing director.





34. Barclay Stratton, pounds 1,231,523



Last year was a significant one in the history of Barclay Stratton. The

agency completed a massive restructuring, as three of the five agencies

in the Ansdell Group were merged with lead agency Barclay Stratton,

while travel PR specialist Brighter PR was sold to its management. This

left a single brand, Barclay Stratton, specialising in consumer,

corporate and business-to-business PR.



’We had too many balls in the air at one time,’ says chairman

Christopher Broadbent. ’For a small privately-owned business it was much

better for focus, loyalty, identity, culture, profit, reward and

delivery to have one brand and one business.’



One of the agency’s largest clients, Manor Bakeries, also increased its

spend. New business wins included Di’Longhi, the upmarket Italian

housewares designer.



No clients resigned their accounts with the agency. On the personnel

side, Sally Pearson was promoted to associate director, while one of the

founding directors of Barclay Stratton, Lynn Proctor, left to start her

own travel PR agency.





35. Harvard Public Relations, pounds 1,194,966



Traditionally regarded as a technology, health and leisure specialist,

Harvard has benefited as companies in these sectors have increasingly

looked to target consumers.



’We understand the consumer buying cycle and know what the individual

needs at a rational and emotional level,’ says group PR director Gareth

Zundel.



The booming dot.com market also enabled Middlesex-based Harvard to move

into other areas while existing technology clients targeting consumers

gave it further work.



A significant factor in Harvard’s growth was the establishment of

Harvard Centro, based in London, in May last year.



In March Harvard was acquired by Chime Communications, giving it access

to a wider range of resources and a place at the centre of the group’s

new e-communications division, Chime Online.





38. Camron PR, pounds 1,163,596



Retail, home and lifestyle specialist Camron had a good year thanks to

growth in its chosen markets. ’Sales of home products have equalled

fashion for the first time,’ says managing director, Judy Dobias.

’Mainstream companies want to buy into the home sector and they are

placing this much higher on the agenda.’



Marks & Spencer was one company that decided to emphasise home products

last year, appointing Camron as its first PR agency for home

products.



During the year the agency made the move into the luxury interiors

market and created a new team to specialise in this sector, recruiting

Catherine Wills Sandford from the Designers Guild.



Other new clients included Tomkinson Group and one of the leading global

manufacturers of wallcoverings Graham & Brown. Selfridges appointed

Camron to handle PR for its food and wine halls, home and gifts in April

last year, and then extended the brief in December to embrace the whole

brand, including the Birmingham store due to open in three years

time.



Leslie Curtis and Katherine Roberts were recruited from Cohn & Wolfe as

associate directors specialising in the mass market home sector.





47. Kable PR, pounds 864,312



Kable upped its business with existing clients and moved into new areas

with them last year, rather than taking on many new accounts says

director, Katie Bull.



Bull says one of the reasons the agency didn’t win a huge amount of

business on the consumer brand side was that quite a lot of time was

spent consolidating the business internally. Her own maternity leave

also meant the agency couldn’t be as proactive as it would have liked on

the new business front.



Nevertheless, ’a lot of existing clients asked us to move into trade and

business-to-business support,’ says Bull. ’For example with Allied

Domecq Spirits and Wines and Yoplait Dairy Crest we deepened our

relationships to include trade and corporate work.’



The Singapore Tourism Board also asked the agency to work on a number of

additional large projects.



Kable’s most significant consumer win was BBC Connect, which enables

viewers to get more information on BBC programming, in Northern Ireland.

Another win was the charity Children Nationwide.



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