On our radar

Three emerging agencies are predicting big increases in fee income during 2012

Third City

Fee Income: £362,000 | Staff: 8 | Clients: 8

In January 2011, Band & Brown MD Graz Belli and board director Mark Lowe launched their own agency with clients ING Direct and Ancestry.co.uk. Fast-forward a year and the team has grown to eight full-time staff, doubled its office space and won a string of new accounts.

The agency was involved in five competitive pitches last year. It won three, including RightMove. The team worked on the company's IPO in the summer and helped launch its conveyancing site In-Deed, orchestrating a stunt with TV property expert Phil Spencer. It also won an account with credit report firm Noddle, a project with phone brand 118 118 and digital work for charity Parkinson's UK.

Lowe says 80 per cent of the business is consumer focused, while 20 per cent of fee income comes from b2b and corporate work: 'We tried to make sure we built our base with staff and clients that match our values.'

At a glance 

Three best client wins RightMove, Noddle, Parkinson's UK

Significant hires Senior consultant Chris Blackwood from Band & Brown, partner Gill Brown (left Band &Brown in 2010)

Predicted fee income for 2012 £850,000

Plans for the year ahead Focus on strengths in telecoms, retail, online businesses and third sector accounts



CubanEight

Fee Income: £385,000 | Staff 5 | Clients 12

The Oxford-based agency was set up in 2009 by two former Bottle PR directors, Sian Gaskell and Rachel Brewin.

Last year, it saw a 35 per cent increase in fee income, with headcount rising from three to five. Brewin says the agency won international clients - including two US firms - because of the pair's international campaigns experience. The agency also won business outside of its traditional tech heartland. It celebrated its first public sector client win, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership's corporate account, and Oxfam Unwrapped, the charity's gifts arm.

The pair have found word of mouth to be an important marketing tool for the agency. Gaskell says: 'Up to 80 per cent of our growth has come from existing clients talking about us, and organic growth.' The team won the Outstanding Small Consultancy award at the Thames & Chiltern CIPR Pride Awards in November.

At a Glance

Three best client wins Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership and two US firms: Vitrue, a social media software provider, and sat nav app Co-Pilot Live

Significant hires Account director Annabel Parkinson from Brazil

Predicted fee income for 2012 £725,000

Plans for the year ahead Expand inter national reach, account and team growth


Iseepr

Fee income: £312,000 | Staff: 7 | Clients: 14

For MD Lee'ann Kaufman, 'a clear focus on servicing and targeting b2b and technology accounts in international markets' was key to the agency's growth in 2011.

Iseepr, founded in 2007 by Kaufman, a former Harrison Cowley associate director, saw its fee income expand by 42 per cent last year and staff increase by more than 50 per cent. Campaign successes included a European Payments Council brief to get a commitment from the European Commission over a Europe-wide payment scheme. 'We picked up a lot of business through referrals from existing clients and media contacts,' says Kaufman.

She says the agency moved away from project work to retained contracts and longer-term PR activity.

With clients in Europe, the US and Asia, this year she intends to grow iseepr's international reach by strengthening links with partners in foreign language markets.

At a Glance  

Three best client wins Financial services Mobey Forum, Bell ID and FIME

Significant hires Associate director Paul Rogers from Insight Bell Pottinger and senior account manager Nicole Mountain from Beaucare Medical

Predicted fee income for 2012 500,000

Plans for the year ahead Growth in international markets; team development

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