Speed made headlines after it emerged as the brand under which former agencies BMA Communications, Custard, Lighthouse, Mantra and Rainier would be housed. The consumer side of the new unit, led by director Helen Beavis, remains in a period of transition. Consumer tech was integrated into the new division, taking the staff level from eight to 11. A client list that includes Tesco, Wickes, The Economist and Toshiba, should provide Speed with some insulation from the difficult economic environment. The positive momentum generated by the restructuring of the business should also help.


Speed Logo

Name: Speed

Address: 6th Floor, The Communications Building, 48 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LT

Telephone: 020 7842 3200

Email: speed.board@speedcommunications.com

Ranking in Consumer Top 50:

% growth in consumer fee income: -17%

Ranking in Top 150: 45

Consumer fee income 2008: £1,716,000

Total fee income 2008: £4,976,000

Total staff 2008: 47

Who is in the hotseat? Helen Beavis, Director of Consumer

Helen Image

Sum up your agency's 2008 in three words: Transitional, relentless, exciting

Three best consumer client or campaign wins:
New Zealand beauty brand, Skinfood, the world's largest online community for teenage girls interested in fame, fashion and friends, Stardoll.com and Photobox.co.uk, the UK and Europe's number one online community for photo printing and personal publishing.

Highlights of 2008:

1. Winning the three accounts above and generating coverage that has helped deliver real commercial outcomes
2. Having our Tesco Baby & Toddler Club child-safety campaign, BabySafe, shortlisted as retail finalist in the EMEA Sabre Awards 2008/9
3. Developed ‘Build with Pride' campaign for Wickes to find the buildings we're most proud of, the coverage of which resulted in more than 40,000 nominations to the microsite in just two weeks.

Significant hires 2008:
We bolstered our consumer practice senior team with director Louise Mackintosh. Louise brought with her a wealth of experience in helping brands establish integrated brand platforms and successfully navigating the space between media relations, experiential PR and digital marketing.

Staffing overall 2008:
Over the last 12 months we have remodelled the business as a whole, focusing on four business sectors (business communications, consumer, corporate and technology). We bolstered the consumer team by merging our consumer tech experts into the practice, growing from 8 to 11 staff. A group-wide training academy has also been introduced, allowing all employees the opportunity to continue to develop their skill set, which in turn adds greater value for existing and potential clients.

Plans and predictions for consumer PR in 2009:
The business is no different to any other in the industry and has been impacted by the weakening economy.  However, we've got a brilliant client list, working with the likes of Tesco, Wickes, ntl:Telewest Business, The Economist and Toshiba, and we are steadily adding to this monthly.  The key factors that we are focusing on as a business are three-fold: 1) delivering first-rate service to existing clients 2) being inventive and innovative with the services we provide (for example we have just broken new ground with the launch of our Digital Personal Assistant (PA) service for clients and prospects scratching their heads over the complexities, risks, value and pace of change of digital PR tools and 3) managing costs with maximum effect to keep us ahead of the game.

One thing you won't know about Speed:
It's not about the amphetamine

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