THE TOP 150 PR CONSULTANCIES 2000: Ups and downs - It was a year in which internet growth dominated, with the sector emerging as the main driver of business for consultancies in all sectors throughout 1999. (2 of 2)

(26) HARVARD PUBLIC RELATIONS (pounds 4,596,023) - Faller

(26) HARVARD PUBLIC RELATIONS (pounds 4,596,023) - Faller

The past year has seen some of the most significant changes in Harvard

PR’s 21-year history, culminating in the March 2000 acquisition of the

agency by Chime Communications for an initial consideration of pounds

8.4 million. During 1999, Harvard, which specialises in IT, leisure and

healthcare, experienced growth of five per cent. Wins included Pentax,

Teletext, Siemens Commun-ications, Beecham Cold and Flu products,

Horlicks,, Club Sirius, and Mattel Interactive. In

November, the agency parted company with Holmes Place health clubs after

PR went in-house.

Chief executive Nicholas Taylor attributes any success to the agency’s

philosophy. ’Our stance is that new media is not a market in its own

right but simply another channel for distributing information, which

companies need to understand and use alongside more traditional media

We advise organisations to spend more time and effort on targeting

broadcast and national opportunities, rather than trade press.’ In May

Harvard opened an office in London Soho in an attempt to boost staff

recruitment and to offer potential clients a central London


New appointments include Paul Collard, who joined as the new finance

director. Taylor predicts there will be continued growth in three of

Harvard’s core markets, plus additional business coming through its

sister companies within Chime, as well as the ability to offer existing

clients a greater range of services through membership of the group.

(27) MANNING SELVAGE AND LEE (pounds 4,317,000) - Climber

The big news for Manning Selvage and Lee came at the end of the year,

when holding company parent MacManus merged with marketing services

rival The Leo Group to become BCOM3, the fourth-largest communications

group in the world. It was a good year for MS&L, with fee income up 23

per cent. In October, software manufacturer Adobe Systems selected MS&L

as its first consumer PR agency for ActiveShare and PhotoDelux 4.0

technology, while in August Bestfoods UK hired the agency to promote the

Hellmann’s squeezable mayonnaise brand.

There was substantial growth from existing clients, including Philips

DAP, Procter and Gamble, Rolex of Geneva and Western Union. Healthcare

staged a good recovery by winning business from Glaxo Wellcome, Johnson

and Johnson and SkyePharma, as well as increased business from the World

Health Organisation and the Health Education Authority. One of the

strongest sectors of the year was technology. The IT team, led by group

director Dave Bennett, quadrupled its original budget with business from

Scient, Direct Connection and Level 3, among others. On the minus side,

the agency parted company with two long-standing clients - GM Card and


There was also disappointment when MS&L failed to convert pitches to

Charles Schwab, Barclays and Abbey National into wins. Chief executive

Jackie Elliot says: ’In the light of the growth from existing clients

and the business that comes from direct referrals, we are reviewing our

new business approach, perhaps only doing credentials in future.’

Elliot says the agency, which is strong on research and evaluation, was

particularly satisfied to win PR Week’s Proof Award in October for Lego

Mindstorms. The campaign was also recognised by the PRCA. The agency

achieved Investor in People accreditation in the autumn and the London

training programme became the model for MS&L worldwide. Elliot sounds a

cautious note for the next 12 months. ’We can look forward to

teeth-baring fights over people. The early-1990s cutbacks in training

and intake have resulted in a horrendous shortage of senior managers and

account directors.’

(37) FLEISHMAN-HILLARD (UK) (pounds 3,607,429) - Climber

After a downbeat 1998 that stretched well into last year, a final

outcome of 63 per cent fee income growth for 1999 must be a huge relief

to the Fleishman-Hillard manage-ment. It also bounces the agency back up

the table into the top 40. Even late last summer, things were looking

doubtful for Fleishman-Hillard’s London operation. Fleishman-Hillard

Europe president Jack Modzelewski admits: ’It was a mixed year that

started out badly, with a disappointing first half.’

The departure of Fleishman-Hillard’s UK managing director Deborah Saw in

September after only 18 months in the job was a telling blow. F-H Europe

president Jack Modzelewski was left temporarily in charge of London,

until Saw’s replacement Paul Blackburn arrived earlier this month from

Omnicom-owned sister agency, Ketchum.

But the last third of the year saw fortunes change for the better and

business at F-H UK really kicked off. Towards the end of the year, the

agency set up a European e-business practice for all clients looking to

maximise their on-line marketing, and Matt Fearnley, formerly with

Larkspur, was hired as director of the UK consumer practice, to add some

weight in marcoms and e-commerce.

However, the big news for F-H in 1999 was the acquisition of healthcare

PR specialist CPR Worldwide in October. This boosted income

significantly, re-established the agency’s European healthcare practice

and brought in clients including Astra-Zeneca and Glaxo Wellcome.

’It’s all about reaching critical mass and the need to expand,’ says

Modzelewski, who adds: ’We’re not finished in terms of acquisition, and

by the end of 2000 I expect our fee income across Europe to have


(38) LEXIS PUBLIC RELATIONS (pounds 3,579,777) - Climber

According to Lexis chairman Tim Adams, the agency’s fee income growth of

32 per cent was the result of the agency’s sustained organic growth and

investment. The agency was set up in 1992 and three years ago

established a separate creative team. In 1999 it boosted its corporate

and on-line offering.

’We’ve added to the senior team, bringing in three new directors in the

past six months and we are beginning to realise our commitment,’ says

Adams. Fiona Reeve came from Biss Lancaster, where she was consultant

director; Rebecca Wagstaff was consumer affairs manager at Sainsbury’s;

and Duncan MacKenzie-Reid was an associate director at Charles


Last summer, the agency also primed itself for further growth with its

move to new, bigger premises. In the latter half of 1999, the agency saw

a string of seven straight new business wins. In September, Diageo

subsidiary UDV handed Lexis its Smirnoff Black account, and in December

Guinness awarded the agency the bulk of its outsourced PR. Other big

wins included Littlewoods home and fashion, Barclaycard, PowerGen and an

anti-drink drive campaign from the body devoted to responsible alcohol

consumption, The Portman Group. Aimed at encouraging drinkers to

nominate a designated driver on big nights out, ’I’ll be Des’ launched

at the end of last year.

’We had an exceptional year, especially in the second half,’ says


’We committed to building the business and being a leading independent

in the market by delivering continuous creativity and service to our

existing clients, and attracting the right type of new clients,’ he


(41) LANSONS COMMUNICATIONS (pounds 3,471,888) - Faller

Financial services and corporate specialist Lansons celebrated its 10th

anniversary last year with a fee income rise of 33 per cent. ’It was a

fantastic year - our best year by a long way,’ says joint managing

director Tony Langham. He identifies the major drivers of growth as

heavier involvement in digital and broadcast services, sustained

investment in people development, and increased credibility as a brand


The agency won some big name accounts in 1999, including Tesco’s

personal finance offer, the launch of British Airways’ global financial

service and oil giant Shell’s first foray into the world of retail

finance, Shell Capital.

Lansons also cashed in on the internet gold rush. It was hired to launch

mortgage intermediary John Charcoal’s web service, and at the end of the

year won the UK account for the world’s largest on-line brokerage,

Charles Schwab.

Last December, to provide all its clients with more strategic internet

advice, the agency set up a digital media division, headed by Ian


This unit has been working with internet start-ups, including on-line

financial services supermarket, investment advice

service, and, an information service for

private investors. The agency has also started to build up its broadcast

PR capacity.

’It’s about planning ahead,’ says Langham. ’Two years from now a large

part of media relations will be broadcast and on-line


This expansion has been fuelled by recruitment and developing existing

talent. Last year, the agency almost doubled staff numbers, and is in

the process of casting its net further. ’We consider ourselves the

market leader in a range of people-development programmes, such as

part-time working, stress-busting techniques and internal promotion,’

says Langham.

He is also quick to stress that Lansons is the only company in the Top

50 that is still a partnership. Last year, head of broadcast Caroline

Gurney increased the number of partners in the firm to 12 and Langham

expects this to expand to 15 by the end of this year. ’Lansons offers

its people real ownership of the firm,’ says Langham.

(43) GRANT BUTLER COOMBER (pounds 2,879,253) - Climber

An internal overhaul and expansion at Grant Butler Coomber seems to have

paid off in 1999. The agency’s fee income grew a solid 45 per cent and

the agency’s capacity for new business was increased with the addition

of a consumer technology business, headed up by former consumer head Sam

Munro. GBC also set up a business technology unit, headed by Sally

Hetherington, and a marketing services arm, headed by Kate Anstis, who

joined the agency from European Telecom. The new divisions fall

alongside the existing public affairs and consumer divisions of the

agency’s business.

’This has allowed us to pitch for all sorts of business which we

couldn’t have before. Our 1998 investments are paying off,’ says MD Gill


New wins included Ernst and Young, while the public affairs business

continued to grow with clients including Energis. There has also been

growth in existing accounts such as Packard Bell. Coomber is now looking

at international growth to boost the agency.’We have opened in Poland

and have other international offices in the pipeline,’ says Coomber.

(44) LEWIS (pounds 2,690,606) - Climber

Five years on from its start-up hi-tech specialist Lewis continued to

grow from strength to strength in 1999 with a 50 per cent increase in

fee income. Chief executive Chris Lewis says success in the UK has been

linked to the roll-out of offices in Europe and the US. ’Our business is

now international. As existing clients have grown across borders we have

got more work,’ he says. Elsewhere in the agency Lewis identifies the

pilot launch of the company’s digital pressroom facility for clients as

another contributor to its success. Sites for clients can provide

essential background information and photographs and have freed up time

spent on the phone responding to basic requests from journalists.

In January Clive Booth moved from Shandwick to head the client services

division which has also been a source of income growth. Booth has

spearheaded the sale of products, such as net relations, public affairs

and industry forums, outside of the core press and PR offering to

Lewis’s clients - including Informix, SCM Microsystems, Sunrise Software

and Star Internet.

Lewis expects the company to benefit from continued growth in the

technology sector over the coming year and plans to bring in the kind of

dedicated, enthusiastic staff who will commit to the business.

’We are now better known as a company and our only constraint is our

ability to recruit the right staff. If you really try, it is easy to

make money because standards have been quite low in this sector so far,’

he says.

(50) BITE COMMUNICATIONS (pounds 2,382,844) - Climber

’It was probably our most successful year yet in terms of growth,’ says

managing director Clive Armitage of Bite’s performance in 1999, which

saw fee income grow by 61 per cent and landed the company in the top


’Our existing clients are spending more money, and we have also had a

number of new clients coming through the door,’ says Armitage. New wins

through the year for the Text 100 spin-off included project work for

Sony’s consumer electronics division, Logitech, and Thomson Travel, plus

a handful of leading names such as Lycos, Soccernet and

Musicunsigned. Just as importantly, the agency held on to its enviable

core of blue chip technology clients, which include the likes of BT,

Oracle, Iomiga and Apple.

The company grew throughout the year with the addition of an office in

San Francisco. Armitage says this is the first step to further

international growth, which should result in the opening of an Asia

Pacific office next year. The other key addition to the company came at

the end of 1999 in the form of a separately branded new media arm,


Armitage believes the ability to retain his staff has been a key element

in the success of his agency in the past year. ’We give our people the

kind of career path that they want. That’s why I’m happy to say that the

US and the new media businesses were both set up by employees. We also

only want to work with brands that our people are excited about.’

For the next 12 months, Armitage has his eye firmly on expansion, and

the company has handed former Band and Brown account director Nick

Morris the job of building up a dotcom division. Bite has also recruited

former Reed Exhibitions executive Rachael Bachmann to build up an events

division within the company.

(51) KAIZO (pounds 2,350,000) - Faller

It has been a year of immense change in structure at Kaizo, with the

merger of the Abacus and Arrow PR agencies - sister PR agaencies under

the Argyll Consultancies umbrella - into the business, and a change in

its approach to the market. Both had a temporarily negative effect on

the business. Kaizo made a move away from pure press and public

relations towards what CEO Crispin Manners calls a ’methodology-based’

strategy of serving clients based on offering a wider range of services.

’We felt the PR market was going through changes and consolidation where

typical PR services were being commoditised, so we put together a new

proposition, and it’s now paying off,’ says Manners.

These changes at Kaizo took also their toll on staff. Divisional

director Andrea Burton left after five years with the company to join

Brodeur Worldwide while former Abacus MD Sally Costerton left the agency

six months after the restructure to join Hill and Knowlton. Manners says

the senior staff losses have allowed the company to move more rapidly to

its new proposition.

Kaizo is already starting to turn the corner with the attraction of a

handful of clients in the last quarter: ’In the last month we have lost

just two of 15 pitches,’ says Manners. ’The current quarter will be the

best quarter in 20 years.’

(57) GRANDFIELD (pounds 2,090,271) - Climber

Grandfield got itself back on the growth curve in 1999 as the positive

effects of restructuring and acquisition in the past two years were

reflected in the balance sheet. This came after an indifferent 1998 when

earnings fell seven per cent after the agency did away with its public

affairs, advertising and design divisions.

According to managing director Nick Boakes, ’organic growth and

acquisitions’ were the main reasons behind the change in fortunes which

allowed the company to add new revenue streams. ’The beauty about the

Grandfield engine is that it now has several cylinders. We have investor

relations, professional services and financial services alongside our

other businesses.’

Grandfield started a revamp of its business in 1997 which has seen it

reposition itself, and branch out from its old core business of

specialising in financial PR, corporate communications and investor

relations. With the completion of the take-over of John Newton and

Partners in 1999, the company added a professional services practice to

its business which Boakes says was a key contributor to the agency’s

increased income in 1999, bringing in some 20 per cent of total


Grandfield has steered clear of the flurry of activity in the hi-tech

arena which has been so lucrative for so many agencies. The agency kept

business with internet companies down to a level which represents just

five per cent of what Boakes calls the agency’s ’corporate and plc

business’ which accounted for 60 per cent of total income. Frenetic

merger and acquisition activity, especially among law firms,

specifically helped to bolster income, and the value of existing

accounts grew through the year.

(59) DPA CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS (pounds 1,972,092) - Climber

DPA attributes its 57 per cent growth in fee revenue to a radical

restructuring of its business that is beginning to focus more on true

consultancy. ’We see the future of the company moving away from the

typical PR package to much more hands-on consultancy at board level,’

says managing director Jean Gomes.

New appointments within the company reflect this new strategy, which is

being spearheaded by Mary Morrison Paton, formerly a director of ad

agency Saatchi and Saatchi, who has now assumed the newly-created role

of image management director. New account wins for DPA in 1999 included

Colt Telecommunications, Europe’s fastest growing telecommunications

company, and Nokia’s business division, with a focus on web management

and design as well as more traditional PR.

(60) LE FEVRE COMMUNICATIONS (pounds 1,905,298) - Climber

It was another successful year for Le Fevre Communications, which saw

fee income grow by 50 per cent to just under the pounds 2 million


Major account wins included Sainsbury’s, Nationwide and a range of

dot.coms, which are spread over the company’s three client areas:

lifestyle, futures and finance. Founder Joy Le Fevre puts the company’s

success down to recruitment.

’We actively took a decision at the start of the year to keep ahead of

ourselves in recruitment. This entailed taking on more people than

absolutely necessary to give us the capacity to seize all the

opportunities. Fortunately the gamble worked, as it has enabled us to

take on projects at short notice, but we have had the flexibility to be

choosy too.’

Rachel Odd and Colin Middlemiss both joined the company from August.One,

working on new initiatives for British Telecom including the ’You Can’

campaign for the local government and corporate sector.

Middlemiss will also be heading a new division, entitled Le Pink, which

is specifically geared to targeting gay and lesbian lifestyles. Other

new projects included developing the fashion and beauty arm of the

agency through project based work, and the agency is actively looking

for sites in and around the San Francisco Area, where it will

concentrate on developing its links with and software


(66) BANNER PUBLIC RELATIONS (pounds 1,781,511) - Climber

The Banner Corporation attributes its growth to the strong performance

in the global technology market. New initiatives included a consultancy

package entitled Interstorm. Developed in-house, Interstorm is marketed

as a workshop which allows companies to work through answers to key

questions about their brand proposition. ’Interstorm was developed as a

brand new way of helping our clients determine the nature of the

business they are currently in, and targeting appropriate market

developments,’ says company director Robert Hollis.

Last autumn, advertising agency Young And Rubicam took a 60 per cent

stake in Banner, allowing the company to work more closely with sister

PR consultancy Burson-Marsteller and its technology division

headquarters in San Francisco. New accounts won in 1999 included, a Swedish company specialising in on-line IPOs and Planet, a

large internet service provider which is part of Energis. New

appointments included Ted Lelekas, from Brodeur, who joined as a

divisional director with responsibility for all business-to-business companies. Hollis’ prognosis for the coming year is optimistic:

’Our sector remains one that is steadily growing and is unlikely to be

hit by the consumer internet bubble bursting.

(67) NELSON BOSTOCK COMMUNICATIONS (pounds 1,759,746) - Climber

Entering its 12th year in the business, PR partnership Nelson Bostock,

founded by partners Roger Nelson and Martin Bostock, puts its growth of

64 per cent in fee revenue down to the agency’s refusal to niche its


In 1999 the company was split into four new divisions: digital, headed

up by Lee Nugent; home, headed by Sue Skeats; consumer technology,

headed by Alex Hince, and business communications, headed by Rob


New account wins over the past year include Gameplay, a company working

on game related products geared towards interactive and digital TV, and

Bacardi and Bacardi Breezer. According to Bostock, the close links

between and more traditional consumer business have benefited

each branch of the company. ’By working in digital communication and

more traditional concerns we can switch areas of expertise between our

teams,’ he says.

This more proactive approach has resulted in the company linking up with

other European PR agencies such as PRP in Germany and Aromates in France

as well as companies in Australasia and South America. This allows

existing clients the opportunity to work on projects oversees without

committing to a major contract with another agency. ’A lot of companies

don’t necessarily want to link up with an overseas company when they are

working on a project basis. This enables us to provide a quick-moving

international service,’ says Bostock.

(81) ELIZABETH HINDMARCH PR (pounds 1,138,456) - Climber

Eponymous agency Eliza-beth Hindmarch PR grew by 51 per cent by picking

up high-profile clients across its area of expertise, including hair and

beauty, lifestyle and home. New account wins came from a diverse range

of businesses including Wella, the Army Cadet Force and Beanie Babies,

plus work with Hawaiian Tropic, Meyer Prestige, Coloroll, Vymura and

Wilman Interiors. The new Wella business now encompasses all sectors of

the company and the agency has eight staff dedicated to the account.

New appointments included Leigh-Ann Wilson, formerly at the Rowland

Company, who joined the agency as group account director with special

responsibility for the Wella accounts, and account director Clare

Hindley who joined from Clarion to work in an umbrella role over all

consumer and beauty accounts.

(85) JOHNSON KING (pounds 1,071,128) - Climber

A surge in fee income of 62 per cent enabled IT and new media specialist

Johnson King to break through the pounds 1 million barrier. The most

significant new client wins were the data networking division of

Alcatel, UK anti-virus company Sophos and internet infrastructure

company Juniper Networks.

’Within the IT industry the breadth of media we are now targeting has

expanded dram-atically driven by e-business and the internet and the

changing nature of our clients’ businesses,’ says MD, Mike King.

Internet marketplace pioneer i2 and high-speed internet access company

Terayon both increased their spend to target a broader range of


Terayon expanded its remit from cable operators to include home users,

requiring more consumer PR work. A growing pan-European remit also led

to increased revenues from Foundry and Packeteer. During the year the

agency made a concerted effort to boost its senior management. Helen

Banyard was appointed as operations director, while Joe Banks became

account director.

Ingrid Daschner was appointed country manager as Johnson King opened its

new German office at the beginning of this year, heralding the start of

an international expansion programme. The agency also formalised its

graduate training programme.

This year the agency looks set for further growth. ’Of late we have been

turning away at least one potential new client every day,’ King


(86) WARMAN AND BANNISTER (CAMBRIDGE) (pounds 1,024,000) - Climber

Warman and Bannister’s fee income almost doubled in 1999, growing by 83

per cent as a result of a dramatic increase in international work for

existing clients and a good record of new business wins. The agency has

developed expertise in the telecoms arena, and added Nortel Networks

Fraud Solutions, and more recently e-commerce service provider NetCall

to its roster of telecoms-related clients.

The Cambridge-based agency also continues to act as a consultant to

companies specifically wanting to target the Eastern region of the UK,

and new client wins in this category included Northern Electric and City

and Guilds.

However, the agency lost the Wimpey Homes Eastern Region and Cambridge

Cable Group accounts due to regional restructuring.

In late-1998 Warman and Bannister was appointed as one of Philips’

roster agencies on a global basis for technical business to business PR.

This led to strong growth in business from Philips’ Semiconductor and

Medical Systems divisions, and new work from Philips Hearing. Increased

globalisation of PR programmes also led to more work from Shell’s Kraton

Polymers division as the agency took on management of PR in the US.

During the year Warman and Bannister reduced its focus on pure consumer

PR largely because most growth opportunities came in the

business-to-business sector.

(97) REPUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS (pounds 874,893) - Climber

Formed in 1997 by ex-Leedex PR Group managing director Jane Howard and

director Deborah Lewis, Republic is active in four main sectors:

consumer, e-commerce, technology/science/engineering, and

logistics/transport. The agency moved into the e-commerce sector and

picked up internet consulting firm Viant with annual fees of around

pounds 75,000. There was also further work from Kodak. Already handling

work promoting Advantix cameras and film in the UK for Kodak Consumer

Imaging, Republic added the corporate work to support this programme. It

also picked up the Kodak Millennium brief promoting special projects for

the millennium. Another new client was Plantronics, a manufacturer of

headsets, which handed the agency a pounds 70,000 consumer and

business-to-business account. There was also new consumer and

business-to-business work for Rentokil competitor Terminix.

The agency’s largest disclosed new business win was a pounds 120,000 per

annum corporate communications brief for British Maritime Technology, a

research based international maritime and engineering consultancy. Of

existing clients, Enterprise Rent a Car, the US market leader, almost

doubled its fees as it targeted the UK market.

(108) EULOGY (pounds 801,331) - Climber

Eulogy’s most high profile client win was the News International owned

internet service provider CurrantBun. ’It was also one of which we were

particularly proud as despite several hundred solicitations, Eulogy was

appointed without a pitch,’ says joint managing director, Sheena


At the end of the year, however, there was an amicable parting following

a number of internal client changes. Two other big brand consumer

accounts also bought the Eulogy approach. CarLand, the UK’s biggest

second hand car dealer, appointed the agency to handle a consumer and

trade promotion.

And recently floated E-district, an on-line interactive entertainment

channel, asked Eulogy to handle a broad-ranging campaign.

In February Eulogy opened an Irish office in Dublin. ’This has allowed

us to tap into a very different market, with a different but compatible

portfolio of products which are more consultancy than PR focused,’ says

Horgan. The office has handled projects for the Sunday Times, including

promoting two supplements. Other clients include the Bank of Ireland,

Irish media specialist The Media Bureau, August.One and coffee, tea and

confectionery merchant Bewley’s.

(122) MIDNIGHT COMMUNICATIONS (pounds 687,989) - New Entry

Midnight claims to be the first agency to specialise in new media, and

in 1999 it started to reap the benefits as fee income shot up 113 per

cent and the agency moved from the next tier into the Top 150. ’Thanks

to venture capitalists, companies have got a lot more to spend on

marketing,’ says MD Caraline Brown.

Among the new client wins on the business-to-business side was, an on-line trading system for the international shipping

industry; and GorillaPark, a pan-European business accelerator and idea

generator for hi-tech entrepreneurs looking to create and grow

world-class internet companies. On the consumer side, Midnight won

Bibliotech, an on-line community for schools and teachers.

The agency managed to successfully develop several projects into


’Because a lot of people are new to the new media industry we devised a

package where we work very intensively with them for three months, and

if it doesn’t work out they’re not locked into a contract. We’ve managed

to convert 85 per cent of project work into retainers,’ explains


Among the clients moving from project to retainer were VNU New Media,, and

In November, Midnight opened an office in London. Brown says: ’It gives

us an opportunity to target lifestyle companies that want a new media

presence. Clients of the London office include new music web site

channelfly;, a gadgets and lifestyle web site aimed at 18-

to 34-year-old men; the UK’s first full service on-line pharmacy,; and internet based communications service provider,


(133) SHINE COMMUNICATIONS (pounds 576,437) - New Entry

Shine’s fee income was up 129 per cent, jumping from pounds 239,159 in

1998, after only two years in business. The consumer agency attracted

business from a host of major brands and won best new consultancy and

best promotional campaign at the PR Week awards in 1999. Much of the

growth was down to existing customers increasing their budgets. Business

from the Dunlop Slazenger Group doubled during 1999, and the agency also

worked with DuPont and a Cosmopolitan magazine brand extension. Shine

also entered the arena, winning business from Yahoo, and

Directors Rachel Bell and Julia Newton are being careful not to grow the

company too fast, but have already taken on four new staff this year,

bringing the total to 20. The business structure has also been tweaked,

splitting business into two core areas: fashion and lifestyle, and sport

and youth, with dedicated teams for each area. Already this year the

agency has won one of its most high-profile clients in the Stella Artois

account, and through agreed business alone the agency is on track to

grow by 84 per cent.

(140) FLAPJACK (pounds 490,055) - New Entry

New entry Flapjack’s fee income has risen by 98 per cent on last year

from pounds 247,500. Partners Jacki Vause and Jackie Bissell, both with

a background in small businesses and web start ups, have chosen to

concentrate on IT with a focus on the internet and its support


The agency says it never advertises or proactively pitches for new

business - all new contacts are through word of mouth. ’We are very

careful who we work with. We like to be part of a team with our clients

and to form a close relationship with them, and consequently it’s vital

that we are sure from the outset that we will get along,’ says Vause.

Among Flapjack’s clients are, the first natural health

product site, launched last year;, which the firm has

represented for two years; digital media company Talkcast, The Audit

Bureau of Circulation’s electronic arm, and Fujitsu.

Last year the agency achieved all its targets, including doubling growth

and expanding its premises. The team grew from 15 to 30 people. Despite

this growth the partners are keen to keep the relaxed and familial feel

in their office. This has led to good staff retention - only one staff

member has left since the agency was set up in 1997.

- In January, Shandwick Welbeck UK chief executive Alison Clarke left to

become CEO of Shandwick in Asia Pacific while Claire Davidson stepped

into her shoes in the UK. Richard Houghton left as head of Shandwick’s

corporate division in July to become managing director of Ketchum’s

technology practice. Charles Lankester was appointed as chief executive

of Shandwick’s financial practice.

- Scottish whisky company The Edrington Group hired Citigate Dewe

Rogerson on a financial brief, after making a pounds 601 million bid

together with distiller William Grant to take whisky maker Highland

Distillers private.

- CPN fee income was up nine per cent, masking disappointing results

from several of the smaller offices, including Scotland. UK CEO Neil

Backwith attributed this to the difficult market north of the border

becoming tougher due to upheavals in local government and the effects of


- Burson-Marsteller CEO Dermot McNulty says highlights of the year

included the completion of the second CEO reputation study carried out

by Burson-Marsteller in the US and Europe. ’In total, 1,400 business

influencers were surveyed looking at 300 companies including 53 European

CEOs. This is a new major research tool for us and helps us counsel CEOs

effectively,’ he says.

- Medical Action Communications broke into the top 10 with fee income up

32 per cent to pounds 9.9 million. The health specialist started work

for new clients including Glaxo Wellcome.

- Charles Barker account wins included Kingfisher, Saudi Telecom,

Premier Brands (Typhoo tea, Horizon biscuits and Cadbury chocolate

drinks), HSBC, BT, London Business School, and


- Biss Lancaster boosted its regional offering by merging Leedex PR into

its GTPR regional offices.

- Among the new clients won by August.One, since the 80-strong agency

was spun off from Text 100 in the summer were Dell and PC World.

- Ketchum had a tough start to 1999 as it merged Life PR into its

business, but recovered towards the end of the year in its healthcare,

corporate and technology divisions.

- Already on BT’s roster of agencies, Fishburn Hedges picked up new work

from BT Cellnet as the mobile phones operator moved into the new WAP

(wireless application protocol) market. Hedges says that the agency also

got ’more than our fair share of new project and retained work from BT’.

Other new work came from the Financial Services Ombudsman, financial

consortium the Savings and Long Term Risk Project (SALTR), Essex County

Council, and Unilever.

- College Hill handled the merger of Siebe with BTR, and the Monument

Lasmo takeover. College Hill was also the agency behind the launch of

cash shell Knutsford on AIM, which achieved notoriety as its share price

went stratospheric.

- With the purchase of Infopress, Key Communications gained a scientific

division and was able to add clients such as the Department of Trade and

Industry to its books.

- In 1999, Shire Hall picked up pounds 2.2 million of new accounts and

gained 11 additional clients. This included a women’s health portfolio

from Schering, a new asthma product, Asmanax from Schering-Plough, and a

new anti-hypertensive drug, Omapatrilat from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

However, James’ greatest satisfaction last year was the agency’s

reappointment to one of its longest-standing accounts, Pharmacia and

Upjohn’s Nicorette brand. ’We’ve held the account since 1990 and we kept

it,’ she says.

- Beattie Media moved five places up the league to 21, narrowly missing

a place in the top 20. The Glasgow-based agency achieved notoriety in

1999, following claims of improper access to Scottish ministers.

- E-business is proving a growth area for Harrison Cowley, which helped

launch HFC Bank’s on-line brand Marbles. The agency is currently in

talks with other clients who are also considering moving into this


- In May Harvard PR celebrated a legal victory over US educational

institution Harvard University over the use of the Harvard name.

Highlights of the year for the agency included achieving Investors in

People accreditation, and the continued growth of its overseas offices

in Paris and Munich which have both established themselves as players

with over 70 per cent of business being sourced locally

- Significant new account wins for Fleishman-Hillard came from internet

service provider PSInet, Procter and Gamble, on-line clothing specialist

Lands End, and a pan-European account from telecom giant Nortel


- Last year Lexis consolidated its relationship with United Biscuits. In

December, the agency won the manufacturer’s KP Foods account, which

includes Hula Hoops and Skips, and throughout 1999 it ran a consumer

campaign for the McVities brand. The Science of Dunking won a 1999 PR

Week award for Best Use of Research.

- Nexus Choat stayed almost static in 1999, with fee income of pounds 3,

726,000, dropping seven places to 35. MD Amanda Cryer said: ’Growth was

disappointing which is why we took the decision to restructure the

business and bring Jim Horsely in as chief executive to lead our

development.’ Cryer said increased business in the food and healthcare

sectors had put the agency on track for 2000.

- The highlight of the year for Leeds-based Ptarmigan Consultants -

ranked 89, with fee income of pounds 1,001,111was winning Morrisons


The agency now handles pounds 200,000 worth of corporate and consumer PR

for the supermarket. Ptarmigan is the retained agency for other major

businesses based in Yorkshire, including Yorkshire Bank, Green Flag and


- One of the key contributing factors in the growth of Charlton

Communications -105, with income of pounds 823,730 - was the move into

healthcare. New clients here included Solvay Healthcare, which awarded

the agency a pounds 70,000 account to promote the IBS drug Colofac, and

Advance Medical Solutions which handed the agency a brief to launch the

Activheal range of advanced first aid dressings.

- Marbles, at 115, was the victim of client conflict in 1999, which had

a lot to do with income falling by 12 per cent. The agency resigned its

account with internet service provider Freeserve when HFC Bank, one of

Freeserve’s business partners,launched a credit card called Marbles,

with a similar logo to its own and it decided to take legal action.

’After much consideration we decided to resign the account because we

felt it was untenable to be in a legal dispute with a partner of a

client,’ says joint MD Jan Stannard.

- Elizabeth Hindmarch has eight staff dedicated to key account Wella,

which has involved projects such as its sponsorship of the Elle Style


- Green Light Communications, which specialises in IT clients, has

achieved good growth in 1999, although the fee income increase of 169

per cent recorded in the league table is slightly misleading as the

agency underestimated its performance the previous year. Green Light, at

131, is part of a European network of independent consultancies,

ComVort, and its largest client is ViewSonic, a US company which looks

to the agency to co-ordinate its pan-European PR.

- Fashion, retail and lifestyle specialist Bryan Morel put on another 62

per cent in fee income to take it to 101 in the table. The expansion

into lifestyle clients to supplement the agency’s traditional strength

in fashion PR was one of the factors behind the growth. New clients in

this area included Waterford Crystal and designer home accessories

company Harkin. Other significant new business came from George, the

Asda fashion label.

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