Winner – FleishmanHillard UK
Certain industry commentators were gloomy in their outlook for the entity created as a result of Omnicom’s 2016 merger of FleishmanHillard and Fishburn. Four years on, despite COVID-19, FleishmanHillard Fishburn had its best year on record; welcomed 45 new joiners and several blue-chip clients; and achieved the Government-backed National Equality Standard. It finally said goodbye to the Fishburn name – "dropping the F-bomb", as the agency terms it – as a statement of what FleishmanHillard UK has become.
The agency has more than 200 clients ranging from global giants such as Philips, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Barclays, Bose and Samsung to new names added last year including Santander, Krispy Kreme, IBM and Novartis. Through its FH4Inclusion pro bono programmes it supports Refuge, Ovarian Cancer Action and the Thomson Reuters Foundation, among other causes.
The agency says that 14 per cent of its staff have a disability or long-term health issues. A further 16 per cent are ethnically diverse (up from 13 per cent the previous year) – a figure rising to 22 per cent on its executive team, two-thirds of whom are women. Its most recent published gender pay gap analysis shows a median gap of precisely zero. The vast majority (95 per cent) of its staff agree that the agency, the only one in the country holding the National Equality Standard, is focused on improving its inclusion practices
Innovations developed by the agency last year include Optimise, a new approach to social campaign performance management; a COP26 Unit; the Ensemble Studio for content production; and FH Edge London, the first PRCA-accredited CPD programme in the market where attendance leads to a diploma.
All in all, not bad for a year when many of us were just hoping to keep our heads above water.
The judges said
Very solid right across the board – strong growth in a challenging period, good support for their team, and a really clear articulation of the agency’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
Highly commended – Ketchum London
Ketchum in the UK strives to be a force for good for its people, clients, industry and society. Last year it was the first large agency achieving full Blueprint accreditation; won a competitive pitch to retain its largest client, Samsung; added 24 new clients; and trained all managers in how to sensitively navigate mental health conversations with line reports.
Engine MHP + Mischief