PRWeek Top 150, key performer: Exposure

Exposure had a significantly better year in 2014 than 2013, with an increase in services and an overhauled digital division.

Coca-Cola: One of Exposure's key clients
Coca-Cola: One of Exposure's key clients

Position in UK Top 150 20
Fee income £15,667,000 
Growth 51% 
Staff 200

What a difference a year makes. Exposure bounced back with a 51 per cent rise in fee income, shaking off a five per cent dip from 2013.

Chief executive Raoul Shah attributes this growth to an increase in services provided by the firm, its big accounts and a transition away from fixed-fee work. "Exposure took on a bigger role across all major channels with key clients such as Coca-Cola, Nike and Dr Martens," he says.

While the agency has traditionally focused on growing existing clients, it added to its roster over the past year. Big wins included Converse, Ekocycle and Tudor Watches. It also branched out from the consumer and lifestyle sector to land its first financial client, the travel money firm Centtrip. Exposure will work on all aspects of launching the company’s prepaid credit card this year.

During 2014, Exposure found a way to monetise its digital and social media division, which was the fastest-growing part of the company, contributing 30 per cent of revenue.

There was a minor reduction in headcount from 211 to 200, and Shah says Exposure made a conscious effort to invest in senior talent, so the wage bill grew. Key hires included Keir Mather, a former director at ad agency BBH, as UK managing director, and Jonathan Fraser from Holler to head up digital and social media.

Meanwhile, Shah observes: "Clients are seeking more counsel and partnership with agencies rather than just going ‘here’s the brief and go deliver the output’. Procurement agencies are used to drive a bargain. But once you’ve come to a clear agreement and scoped out what you’re responsible for, when you deliver great work and have a happy client, you get rewarded for it."

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