Freshwater grew consumer fee income by a healthy 13 per cent to secure 10th spot in the consumer top 50 this year. Under the leadership of directors Jessica Benton and Shelley Sofier, the agency's consumer practice focused on transformation, collaboration and challenge in 2008, with eye-catching results. Key campaign wins included Mercona's 'The Simpsons' Suncare for Children drive; 'Find the Betty Crocker Family' for Betty Crocker; and organic cereal brand Nature's Path's 'Grainology' programme. Looking ahead, Freshwater expects integration to become increasingly important in an environment where client budgets remain under significant pressure.



Name: Freshwater

Address: 4th Floor, Kingsbourne House, 229-231 High Holborn, London, WC2V 7DA

Telephone: 0207 067 1597


Consumer Top 50 Ranking: 10

% growth in consumer fee income:  12.6%

Ranking in Top 150:  30 overall and Number 1 in Top 50 outside London

Consumer fee income 2008: £2,587,151

Total fee income 2008: £6,984,661

Total staff 2008:  82

Who is in the hotseat? Jessica Benton and Shelley Sofier, Directors

Jessica Benton

Sum up your agency's 2008 in three words: Transforming, collaborative, challenging

Three best consumer client or campaign wins:
Mercona ‘The Simpsons' Suncare for Children; Find the Betty Crocker Family, and the Nature's Path Organic cereals ‘Grainology' campaign.

Highlights of 2008:

The QVC account continued to grow and the brand's perception changing strategy and involvement with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the Bafta Television Awards helped achieve a 30% increase in key performance indicators.

Nature Valley activities extended with the brand's deeper commitment to encouraging the British public to enjoy the great outdoors, including joint activities with the Ramblers Association, and sponsorship of nature guides in The Guardian and Observer.   

During 2008 Attenborough Saffron was fully integrated into the Freshwater business, bringing a name change and new opportunities for collaborating with support services including creative & marketing and training, our other specialist divisions such as Technology and Healthcare to widen our offering, and gaining a strong regional dimension to our consumer campaigns.

Significant hires 2008:
Perhaps the most significant hires were relatively junior members, Jacquelyn Redpath and Jessica Raam, both Senior Account Executives.  What has been really exciting is the contribution that they made from the start.  Jacquelyn has a consumer magazine background and Jessica's experience is in marketing, and they have brought new insights to the agency, and have expanded their skills considerably since joining us.

Plans and predictions for consumer PR in 2009:
With increasing pressure on budgets, clients want measurable results more than ever before, and integrated campaigns are key.  We're working in greater collaboration with our clients and their external agencies, and bringing in our own digital and creative divisions to achieve significant breakthrough for brands.

Whilst we have seen an increase in new business opportunities over the past couple of months, we've also had to cope with existing clients cutting back on their marketing spend, and it's too early yet to say how things will be shaping up by the end of the year.

One thing you won't know about Freshwater:
The inspiration for our name came from a beautiful beach, Freshwater Bay, in Pembrokeshire, west Wales

Twitter, Facebook, Bebo or MySpace - which do you prefer and why?  
No preference for any of them, they each have a very different role to play, depending on the audience and the communications task.  There will no doubt be two or three new social media contenders staking a claim for our attention by the end of 2009 - it's difficult to maintain consumers' interest in any of them for long.

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