Freud rocks the boat - and his agency has one of its best years ever

Last year was one of the strongest in Freud Communications' 31-year history, with its eponymous founder saying this stems from a 2015 decision to "shake it up a bit".

Freuds founder Freud (l) and former CEO McGuinness
Freuds founder Freud (l) and former CEO McGuinness

Matthew Freud told PRWeek: "In 2015 I decided to disrupt the agency; shake it up a bit. I decentralised the structure, giving more autonomy to individual business units with their own cultures. This has unlocked a huge amount of value."

Read the full PRWeek UK Top 150 profile on Freuds here

He also said that Andrew McGuinness, who left the agency after two-and-a-half years as CEO in September, did "a great job... I needed someone to steady the ship while I rocked it".

This rocking - and steadying - led the agency to revenues of £37.4m for 2016, up 29 per cent on the year before, making it the fifth biggest UK agency (up from eighth).

Freuds’ significant growth in 2016 will surprise some people, who will have read the headlines about the agency losing one of its flagship accounts in Asda, as well as smaller tranches of business such as HomeAway. However, it also brought in new business from clients including Evian, Harrods and Toyota.

Freud also said that 20 per cent of the agency's work is pro bono, for causes such as Comic Relief.

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