20 Key Communications: pounds 4,263,012 - FALLER

20 Key Communications: pounds 4,263,012 - FALLER

Growth in fee income of just two per cent in 1997 was very poor, admits

Key chief executive, Colin Kent. He says the minimal growth was due

chiefly to a change in direction.

’We took the agency into a more strategically driven consultancy role

rather than a basic fulfilment role and each of our three divisions

changed the profile of our their clients,’ Kent says. Staff numbers also

decreased in line with the agency’s new direction, from 65 to 58.

A new growth area for Key was the service sector as it picked up

Barclays Mercantile, Coopers and Lybrand and law firm Eversheds. The

multimedia division also expanded rapidly, by around 28 per cent,

working on several pan-European internet and intranet internal

communications projects. Clients of the division include BT, the

Newspaper Publishers’ Association and insurance broker Willis


On the consumer front new wins included Kerry Foods’ Wall’s and

Mattesons brands; ENZA Fruit, the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing

Board; AA Home Assistance; and kitchen and bathroom manufacturer Ideal


The business-to-business division picked up TI Group companies Bundy and

John Crane.

In line with its decision to go more down the consultancy route, Key

made several senior appointments. Jacqui Delbaere was made a director of

Key Communications in London, Sarah Cruz became account director in the

business-to-business unit in London, and St John White joined the

Birmingham office as account director.

As for the future, Kent says ’We need to grow into Europe and look at

pan-European campaigns.’

21 Cohn and Wolfe: pounds 4,187,583 - CLIMBER

Cohn and Wolfe began 1997 by announcing its was stepping out from under

the shadow of its bigger sister Burson-Marsteller. After intensive

lobbying, its directors won the right to report direct to its ad agency

owner Young and Rubicam, rather than to B-M management.

Managing director Martin Thomas took control of UK operations while

James Thellusson took on an international role as part of the agency’s

strategy to become more global.

A Frankfurt office opened at the end of last year to join operations in

Copenhagen and Milan. Paris and Madrid openings are in the offing for

this year. ’We will be competing head to head with the Hill and

Knowltons of this world,’ says Thomas. ’We will be a major global

player. Young and Rubicam have given us the mandate to do that.’

Other key staff changes saw the promotion of head of healthcare Martin

Ellis to deputy managing director and the arrival of director Jonathan

Shore from Consolidated Communications to head up the corporate


Strong new business performance and an acquisition helped propel C&W to

just outside the top 20 with a 21 per cent jump in fee income. Wins

included the Boarding Education Alliance, Deloitte Consulting, Braun,

Golden Wonder, Giorgio Beverly Hills, GQ Active Show, Anchor Foods,

Hogshead pubs, Seagram’s Champagne brands and airline industry bookings

network SITA.

There was also sensitive pre-marketing work for the agency’s biggest

client, drugs company Eli Lilly. Sports remains a strong sector while

the purchase of the PR unit of hi-tech ad agency SMI signals an

intention to build consumer-tech business. ’While we’ve still got some

fantastic consumer brands, healthcare and consumer-tech are increasingly

becoming part of our business,’ adds Thomas.

24 Richmond Towers: pounds 3,980,000 - FALLER

The food and drink PR specialist’s steady growth rate continued into

1997 with a slight increase in fee income of one per cent, despite

losing two accounts, the pounds 200,000-budget British Meat Consumer

business, which went to Bell Pottin-ger, and Copella Fruit Juices.

New additions to the client list included Billing-ton’s Sugar, which

returned to the agency for the third time in 15 years, the new food

charity The Good Food Foundation and project work for the US Department

of Agriculture.

Although there were a few losses the agency can still boast about its

long client relationships. Forty per cent of its clients have been on

board for over 10 years. These include Outspan, a client for 20 years,

the Pasta Information Centre, on board for 25 years and its client of 12

years, Abbey Well Mineral Water.

Board director Robert Melcalfe quit the agency after nine years to join

the Rowland Company as its first director of marketing communications,

but Richmond Towers lured the joint MD of Hill and Knowlton’s marketing

communications unit Debbie Carberry in a senior role (the agency does

not use job titles) bringing staff numbers to 37. The agency flirted

with other sectors like its snow boarding sponsorship work for whisky

brand Ballantine’s but, says agency boss Roger Jupe, because it has such

a strong association with food and drink, expanding into other areas is

not easy.

’I would love to,’ he admits. It would be logical to move into other

FMCG areas but we are so well known in this one.’

26 Manning Selvage and Lee: pounds 3,738,000 - CLIMBER

The acquisition of food and business-to-business agency Handel

Communications helped shift MS&L’s fee income up 28 per cent.

Kleshna Handel, the founder of Handel, which recorded a 1996 income of

pounds 750,000, brought a handful of key clients with her including

Marmite, Entenmann’s and Jacobs. She became managing director while

Jackie Elliot was promoted to the new role of executive vice-president,

director of global accounts, as well as retaining overall control of the

London office as CEO. The promotion was part of MS&L’s new global

vision. ’At least 50 per cent of our client base in London works across

borders,’ says Elliot.

Another MS&L employee to receive a promotion was Ann Moravick who became

the agency’s first global healthcare managing director. It won a

six-figure contract from Glaxo Wellcome to launch a new diabetes product

called Romozin (troglitazone).

Other wins included a pan-European drive for the international group

Westin Hotels, working alongside the Frankfurt agency Adam and Partner,

and a global campaign for the Chicago-based telecom giant Ameritech.

28 Firefly Communications: pounds 3,310,197 - CLIMBER

Despite the cost of adding 15 new staff members to the payroll,

Firefly’s fee income jumped a healthy 33 per cent putting the hi-tech

agency into the top 30.

Ten of these employees were graduates, brought in and trained in the

face of a dire skills shortage in the hi-tech sector to work on

Firefly’s expanding client base. The agency won seven accounts,

including Cable and Wireless Mobile, Canadian telecommunications firm

Mitel and satellite and cable television channel Fox Kids Network.

Firefly director Mark Mellor says the agency doubled its telecoms

clients in a year and expects this area, along with electronic commerce

(trading on the internet) and digital broadcasting, to provide more

opportunities for the agency in 1998. It also added to its existing

client base, winning an extra pounds 300,000 in fees from Compaq when

the PC producer moved the consumer account over from the Red


The agency’s clients voted to award Firefly three more stars than the

previous year in PR Week’s 1997 Agency Report, giving Firefly five-star

status. It lost just one account, when the internet security firm

Network General put its pounds 100,000-budget contract out to pitch. In

order to monitor its media contacts Firefly created an editorial

services unit which is run full time by a former journalist.

Instead of sitting back and taking stock, Mellor has already begun

interviewing for 1998’s graduates. His goal for the future is simple:

’We want to grow.’

30 The Ansdell Group: pounds 3,224,000 - CLIMBER

Two new companies were set up by Ansdell Group in 1997 to bring the

total number of businesses in the group to six. The start-ups were

Ansdell Consulting, a strategic consulting business working in the

specialist areas of litigation support, brand and business defence, and

perhaps more significantly, Ansdell Russia.

’Part of our goal is to successfully refer business through our client

base in the UK,’ explains group chairman Christopher Broadbent. This

referral saw the seven-strong Russian agency work for Boots on the

launch of Nurofen STOPCold; for BAT and the Diageo drinks brand United

Distillers. With the formation of these new businesses growth in fee

income was a fairly modest - 12 per cent as staffing rose from 44 to


FMCG specialist Barclay Stratton won Manor Bakeries and Jersey Royal

Potatoes, while a realignment at Pizza Hut meant fee income from this

source was reduced. One of the brightest performers was tourism

specialist Brighter PR. Wins for Brighter PR included Aer Lingus,

Shannon Airport and the Royal Garden Hotel in London.

31 Buchanan Communications: pounds 3,158,811 - NO CHANGE

In October, City financial PR specialist Buchanan was bought by

communications giant WPP, which already owned Hill and Knowlton and

Ogilvy PR. WPP paid pounds 4 million up front, with a five-year earn-out

to December 2002 leading to a maximum consideration of pounds 15


’We now have access to the networks of Hill and Knowlton and Ogilvy PR

and the benefits of cross-referral are expected to flow through,’ says

Richard Oldworth, who continues as chief executive. A joint piece of

business has recently been won with H&K which Oldworth is currently

unable to publicise.

Several joint pitches have taken place, principally in Europe and the


As far as its own business was concerned, Buchanan maintained its active

role in the new issue market, handling around 20 flotations. In

particular, the company has developed a niche in sports finance and


Many flotation clients went on to become retained clients, including

Aston Villa Football Club, biotechnology company Powderject,

psychometric testing specialist SHL, and IT companies Guardian iT and

London Bridge Software.

In July the agency moved to new offices in Cheapside, allowing it to

house all staff on one floor and improve internal communications

Investment analyst Andy Yeo joined from ABN Amro Hoare Govett as

director, and early this year Tim Thompson joined as a board director

from Hill Murray Rogerson.

’We have a policy to gradually recruit at senior level. We have 13

senior staff at the moment and hope to increase this by about a third

over the next three years,’ says Oldworth.

32 The Quentin Bell Organisation: pounds 3,030,000 - FALLER

With ten per cent fee growth in 1995, five per cent in 1996 and nine per

cent last year, QBO has comfortably beaten inflation. But, given that

many comparable agencies have been making hay during the sunny period of

the mid-1990s, the agency’s modest rises have seen it slip down the

table. ’We’ve achieved a good, manageable level of growth,’ says

managing director Trevor Morris. ’We’ve developed the areas we’ve wanted

to develop.’

Among these areas was a return to IT - QBO worked for Acorn Computers

back in the 1980s - with new client Fujitsu and work on the millennium

bug issue for the DTI. Simon Hill, ex-editor of PC Week, joined the

agency as head of the newly established IT brands practice.

There was growth in work for existing client Royal Mail with a programme

targeting small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). New wins included

Bisto Foods, J&B Rare Whisky, restaurant chain Nando’s and Zanussi;

augmented at the start of 1998 by a sponsorship brief for RAC and the a

three-year project on behalf of the UK’s 67 telephone companies to

publicise code and number changes planned for 1999.

However, projects for BT on SMEs and BP on the branding of service

stations came to end. ’Even in a year when you don’t lose clients you

can find revenue falling away quite quickly,’ says Morris. ’People tend

to turn work on and off more quickly than they used to.’

34 MacLaurin Group: pounds 2,702,979 - CLIMBER

The acquisition of PR agency Powerhouse made a significant contribution

to MacLaurin’s 56 per cent rise in fee income. ’We acquired Powerhouse

to broaden our brief and utilise the skills of its people,’ says group

CEO Brian MacLaurin.

Following the acquisition the Powerhouse team was able to expand its

brief, picking up clients like the Association of Train Operating

Companies and the Driving Safety Agency. MacLaurin also expanded from

its traditional base of media clients. Of 12 new retained clients, seven

came from outside the media including Safeway, Camelot and The Perfume


At the same time the agency developed its media profile, picking up work

from EMAP Elan, Flextech Television, Carlton Screen Advertising, and the

BAFTA Television Awards. MacLaurin also handled the launch of the

revamped Sunday Business newspaper.

The three-year-old Sony PlayStation account was resigned in October,

reportedly due to fee levels. However, MacLaurin has retained the

corporate account. No other losses were reported. ’We don’t lose

clients. Our retained client base is the same as we had a couple of

years ago, it’s projects that come and go,’ says MacLaurin.

35 Jackie Cooper PR: pounds 2,654,736 - CLIMBER

Singled out as the consumer agency to watch in last year’s PR Week Top

150, Jackie Cooper did not disappoint, with a 31 per cent rise in fee

income. ’Our policy has been the same for 11 years: look after and

nurture existing clients and attract new clients by word of mouth,’ says

managing director Robert Phillips.

A client win that Phillips considers ’immensely gratifying’ is Cable and

Wireless, more noted as a corporate name, which wanted to build its

reputation among consumers. There was also strategic development work

for Baileys, and wins from L’Oreal, Casio G-Shock and Shellys Shoes.

There was high profile work for Coca-Cola brands Fanta, Lilt and Sprite

and a continuation of Jackie Cooper’s talent for stimulating editorial

coverage of advertising campaigns. Wonderbra, Lee Jeans and Pretty Polly

all benefited from this tactic in 1997.

Last year also saw the hiring of a human resources director to help with

staff development and Jackie Cooper received five stars in the PR Week

Agency Report Card.

36 Consolidated Communications: pounds 2,596,357 - CLIMBER

Consolidated grew its fee income by 26 per cent, and climbed one place

to 36. ’We’re quite happy with that performance, we’re looking for good

steady growth,’ says managing director, Alastair Gornall.

During the year, the agency segmented into four separate areas - PR

(mainly consumer and business-to- business), financial services PR,

multicoms (brand strategy, advertising, design, literature and PR), and


Financial services PR was a major growth area. A team of three, headed

by Nicola Mitchell, was brought in from Holmes and Marchant and by the

end of the year the department had grown to ten. Clients for the

division include Norwich Union.

Consolidated also set up the PR Lab, composed of board director Tom

Wells, creative director Mark Crompton and brand director Graham

Henderson, providing expertise to all clients. The agency also spent a

lot of money enhancing its media planning function, forming a retained

relationship with AMV company Rocket. New clients included Titan

Watches, Camel Lights, music and video group BMG International and the

Army. Earlier this year, Helen Triggs was hired from Choat and Partners

to form a new healthcare division.

Consolidated is also in the process of setting up a European network of

owner-managed agencies.

38 Beattie Media: pounds 2,450,000 - CLIMBER

Many agencies of the size of Beattie Media would have been very

satisfied with fee income growth of 27 per cent, but managing director

Gordon Beattie says he was disappointed. ’Normally we aim for annual

growth of 40 per cent, which we’ve done for the last six years,’ he


Nevertheless, 1997 was a good year for this media relations


Perhaps the most significant event was the opening of a London office,

now headed by former Sunday Business editor David Rydell. The London

office specialises in City and hi-tech work. ’City and financial PR is a

really key growth area for us. We’re not just picking up work from

Scottish or London clients but also from companies in the North of

England,’ says Beattie. In 1997 Beattie moved its headquarters to

offices on the outskirts of Glasgow. This year Beattie plans to continue

its regional expansion by opening offices in Aberdeen and Leeds.

There were many new account wins last year, including National

Semiconductor, Hyundai, WH Smith, Clydesdale Bank, Royal Bank of

Scotland, Du Pont, and the Scottish Premiership, the breakaway

organisation of ten Scottish premier division football clubs.

And Beattie expects to get back on track by achieving a growth rate of

40 per cent this year. ’January and February have been outstanding.

We’ve increased our annual billings by 20 per cent during these months,’

Beattie says.

39 Red Consultancy: pounds 2,411,719 - CLIMBER

The fastest growing agency in 1996 slowed down a little last year but

still saw fee income rise 37 per cent. Keen to shake off its reputation

as a solely consumer specialist, the Red Consultancy went for business

in other sectors such as financial services, healthcare, utilities and

professional services.

By the end of the year it had picked up work for Prudential and

Novartis, to name a few, as well as adding to its bulging consumer/FMCG

portfolio with wins from Kellogg’s, McDonald’s and Whitbread.

’We set out with the goal of operating across all sectors and I think we

have more or less done that now,’ says managing director Lesley


The ’last piece of the puzzle’ was the appointment of a director to head

a new ethical healthcare division. The only major piece of business to

go was Compaq which moved its estimated pounds 300,000-budget account

back to Firefly. Red appointed 16 new account assistants, executives and

managers and will continue to hire in 1998.

But despite another year of expansion Brend insists there are no plans

to join the big agency league and says the company will continue to turn

away pitches to focus on existing business. ’Most of our growth is

organic and that is the best kind of growth you can have,’ says


41 Lexis PR: pounds 2,252,701 - CLIMBER

Having averaged annual fee income growth of 63 per cent over the

previous five years, it was almost inevitable that there would

eventually have to be a slow-down. So it proved in 1997, with Lexis

turning in a 14 per cent lift in fee income.

The increase to pounds 2.25 million in fees inched it two places up the

table to 41st spot. But chief executive Bill Jones says he is more than

happy with the agency’s performance in what he describes as a year of


’We’ve achieved a hell of a lot during the course of the year, in terms

of evolving our structure and creating a good new business operation,’

says Jones. ’We realise that the years of 50-plus per cent growth rates

are behind us. We had five years of it but you can’t carry on like that


Restructuring saw the creation of a specialist creative and media team

led by Tricia Beaumont, who was promoted to the Lexis board. The new

set-up is, says Jones, a means of bringing ’rigour and discipline’ to

the development of creative programmes for clients.

Fast food chain KFC left Lexis in favour of Freud Communications after a

’realignment’ at owner Pepsi but a sign of the consultancy’s growing

maturity was a first piece of business from FMCG giant Unilever for

yellow fats brand Olivio.

Other wins were Littlewoods Lotteries, Sekonda Watches, the launch of

pasta soups for Batchelor’s, the Duke of Westminster’s property company

Grosvenor Estate Holdings, supermarket-style secondhand car retailer

CarLand and the launch of consumer magazine Frank for publisher


42 Fleishman-Hillard UK: pounds 2,233,124 - NO CHANGE

Last year was momentous for Fleishman-Hillard as the agency was bought

by Omnicom and placed under the umbrella of Communications Consulting

Worldwide, along with Porter Novelli International. Restructuring after

the acquisition led to the departure of managing director Barry

Leggetter in October and the promotion of Deborah Saw to take his place.

’I think our growth in fee income of 12 per cent was encouraging. We saw

last year as a period of consolidation,’ says Saw.

Among the encouraging signs were more invitations to pitch for

pan-European campaigns. Towards the end of 1997, the agency won an

account from Dell Europe covering 18 countries. Most significant growth,

says Saw, was in IT and corporate work. Besides Dell, another major win

for the IT practice was network computing company Wang. A strong

performance from the corporate and finance group included winning the

NTL account, and an increasing amount of work from Raytheon, the world’s

third largest defence contractor.

In September Dr Pam Brown was recruited from Medical Imprint as director

of healthcare as the agency sought to rebuild its healthcare


’We’re very strong in healthcare in the US and we’ve made a major new

business effort in the UK and across Europe,’ says Saw.

F-H is also targeting consumer business this year. However, there was a

setback at the beginning of this year when the agency’s eight-year

relationship with theme park owner Busch Entertainment Corporation came

to an end.

’The key for us this year is pan-European business. We’ve recently been

appointed by Bass subsidiary Holiday Hospitality to work on the European

launch of the Crown Plaza brand and the message is getting out that we

are very effective at managing multi-country campaigns,’ says Saw.

54 Band and Brown Communications: pounds 1,810,525 - CLIMBER

Regional expansion, the appointment of three senior in-house PR players

and the steady acquisition of new business, particularly in the IT

sector, ensured a 28 per cent rise in fee income for full service agency

Band and Brown.

Instead of dramatically expanding the London office the 33-strong agency

opened offices in Bristol and then Norwich and is planning to launch a

third in either Leeds or Scotland, perhaps in 1999. ’Our growth strategy

has always been horizontal,’ explains chairman Nick Band.

On the accounts side B&B fought off competition from hi-tech specialists

to win the pounds 300,000-budget pan-European business for Cisco

Systems. Other wins include consumer work for US penknife and watch firm

Swiss Army Brands and brand-building work for Dixons.

The company continued to attract senior in-house executives, including

Swallow Hotels marketing director Keith Brown, Top Rank PR manager Ruth

Higham and Midland Bank head of media relations Noel Privett. It did,

however, lose Dominic Byrne, who set up the agency’s corporate

reputation division,but who has now set up on his own.

56 Communique PR: pounds 1,761,079 - CLIMBER

Manchester-based Communique reported its 11th year of continued growth

as fee income rose by a healthy 20 per cent. ’What is pleasing is the

type of brands we’re bringing in,’ says managing director Paul


These included Whitbread’s Boston Beer and Volsk spirit mixer brands and

retail chain Allsports. It also won a lot of high profile project


’We tend to pick up any prestigious projects coming to the North West,’

says Carroll.

Project work included store openings for sandwich retailer FT5K (Feed

The Five Thousand) and new children’s retailer Daisy and Tom. There was

further project work for Jazz FM, the Tidy Britain Group and office

supplies company Viking Direct. ’Project work boosts our profile and

provides the potential for follow-on business,’ says Carroll.

Internal restructuring also had a beneficial effect on performance,

believes Carroll. The agency brought in a management consultant for

advice and created four distinct teams operating in consumer,

business-to-business, retail and corporate. ’We restructured the way we

operate in order to maintain a team ethos, and created a management

board, which both paid dividends,’ says Carroll. Communique’s only major

account loss was Magnet Kitchens.

57 Ogilvy PR Worldwide: pounds 1,724,000 - FALLER

Ogilvy’s year began with the redundancy of its UK chief executive of two

years Fiona Driscoll, who was squeezed out by the introduction of a new

global ’practice management’ structure. A handful of clients left after

her and the office was without a head until Lyle Closs was promoted to

run the office in July, which explains its18 per cent drop in


’We went through 1997 with no one driving growth,’ say s Bob Seltzer,

president and chief executive of Ogilvy PR Worldwide, who supplanted

former chief John Margaritis in June as part of the shake-up. ’No one

was charged with replacing this business.’

However, despite initial setbacks Ogilvy did go on to secure contracts

with the business consultancy Merchant International, video conferencing

company Vitel and Deloitte and Touche. It also laid the groundwork for

its new working structure, which is designed to capture global


Executive vice-president Marilou Von Festel was sent to London to

oversee its consolidation with the Brussels and Paris offices into a

’cohesive, practice-based operation with shared resources among

geographic locations’.

Brussels managing director Matthew Andersen was appointed as president

for Asia.

60 Craigie Taylor International: pounds 1,625,252 - CLIMBER

’I’m quite happy with a growth rate of 25 per cent, but this is not the

be all and end all,’ says Marcus Robertson, managing director of sports

and entertainment PR specialist Craigie Taylor. ’Our objective is to

enjoy what we’re doing and deliver good service to clients.’ While PR

fee income went up 25 per cent, overall staffing levels went up from 36

to 48.

Last year began well when Vodafone asked Craigie Taylor to work on its

pounds 11 million sponsorship of the England cricket team. The agency

had already worked with Vodafone on its sponsorship of the Derby on

behalf of organiser United Racecourses, and had worked with former

England cricket sponsor Tetley Bitter.’We would consider ourselves the

market leader in sports PR,’ says Robertson. ’We have now got involved

in three of the major sports events in the UK - the Derby, Test cricket,

and Five Nations rugby.’

During the year, Vicky Stacey joined the agency at director level

following the dissolution of the Stacey Beevers Partnership, bringing

with her a significant amount of marine sponsorship work. A major coup

was seizing the Virgin Cinemas account from Consolidated

Communications. Craigie Taylor had already been running Virgin’s retail

account, including Our Price and Virgin Megastores, for three years.

Travel agent Thomas Cook also signed up.

62 Focus Communications Group: pounds 1,524,129 - CLIMBER

A combination of organic growth and acquisition lifted fee income at

financial and corporate consultancy Focus Communications by 52 per


Focus purchased the biotechnology team from Chatto PR, bringing in

between pounds 150,000 and pounds 200,000 in annual fees.

The former head of the Chatto team, Fiona Brown, is a specialist in

financial PR within the biotech sector. Other sectors in which Focus is

looking to build business include property and IT.

Among the big pieces of business in 1997 were work on the Alliance and

Leicester flotation, the sale of Eversholt Leasing to HSBC and the

launch of Candover, at pounds 850 million one of the biggest management

buy-out funds in Europe. ’As you get bigger you can take on much bigger

clients because they see you have the resources to handle them,’ says

Focus chairman Rupert Ashe. As an associate agency of GCI, Focus is

well-placed to capitalise on the trend towards ’internationalisation’ in

PR, he adds. By working in tandem with GCI’s public affairs arm APCO,

Ashe believes Focus can grow business with a property planning


New business included Freeport Leisure, bank Broadview Associates and

Prudential Insurance Company of the US.

64 Keene Communications: pounds 1,465,600 - FALLER

Following a meteoric 79 per cent rise in fee income in 1996 after the

acquisition of IT specialist Bogard Communic-ations, fee income at Keene

fell by four per cent in 1997. ’The normal process after an acquisition

is to have a little bit of rationalisation,’ says MD, Tina Elliott.

Staff numbers were cut as the Bogard office was closed and the hi-tech

team moved to Keene’s offices. ’We got much better quality income and

did the job with fewer people,’ says Elliott.

Inefficient small accounts were replaced with some big name ones.

Biggest win was UUNet, which Elliott describes as the world’s largest

provider of internet services. Another IT win was Madge Networks. ’The

hi-tech area did particularly well, it’s really our speciality,’ says


In the business-to-business sector Keene found companies that normally

wouldn’t put their head above the PR parapet were beginning to invest in

PR. One example was tobacco processor GBE Tobacco.

PR forms just over half of Keene’s activities. ’I’m a strong believer in

integrated marketing and when we go to pitch we make sure we represent

the whole marketing team,’ says Elliott. Last year the agency won the

Daily Telegraph best IT marketing campaign.

Client numbers fell marginally from 27 to 25, and the biggest account

loss was the Sarah Lee shoecare range. ’They took the work in-house and

decided to put their money into advertising,’ says Elliott.

74 Herald Communications: pounds 1,188,001 - FALLER

It was a year of ups and downs for Herald Com-munications (formerly

Mathieu Thomas/Herald), which was reflected in its growth of just two

per cent. The 20-strong independent lost the pounds 300,000 Philips

Consumer Electronics account and four staff members, including director

Nick Thomas and two managers, when Bell Pottinger Good Relations poached

the account team. The agency took the opportunity to change, dropping

Thomas’ and Mathieu’s names and trading as simply Herald


Daniela Fania quit as managing director of Herald’s Italian office just

months after the launch datebut was replaced by Ariel Mafai Giorgi, an

account director from the local PR agency Business Press. Herald’s

French and German offices both showed 20 per cent growth.

The agency was retained by Eidos, Europe’s largest electronic games

company, to promote Lara Croft, the character from its game Tomb Raider

and hi-tech account wins included a pan-European assignment for

Hewlett-Packard’s Network Server division.

CEO Paul Mathieu plans to open a central European office later this year

but predicts an overall end to the rapid growth witnessed by the PR

industry in 1996 and 1997.

76 Greenlines Healthcare Comms: pounds 1,103,051 - CLIMBER

Greenlines achieved a 55 per cent increase in fee income taking it

comfortably over the pounds 1 million mark while growing its client

roster by just one to eight.

’Our main strategy is to concentrate on maximising business from

existing clients. We have quite a good client retention rate, and some

of our clients go back seven years,’ explains MD Charlene Bargeron. ’We

turned down quite a few opportunities to pitch because we couldn’t fit

it in,’ she adds.

’There were staffing difficulties getting the right people for the

amount of business around.’

Greenlines’ one new client was Allergan. The company is known as an

optical specialist, but Greenlines was asked to handle its launch into

the dermatology market. From existing clients there was more work from

Knoll which launched a new cardiovascular product, and Yamanouchi which

asked Greenlines to handle PR for a major men’s health initiative.

Since its name change in January 1996, Greenlines has marketed itself as

an integrated communications agency. ’One of our strengths is publishing

and this is an area where we’ve grown particularly strongly,’ says


One of the publishing highlights for the agency last year was being

asked by existing client Boots to launch a regular magazine for Boots


Last year it also launched a newsletter for journalists called


78 Bite Communications: pounds 1,041,678 - CLIMBER

In its second full year in business, hi-tech agency Bite grew revenue by

43 per cent and joined the league of pounds 1 million plus agencies. ’We

solidified the accounts we had already taken on board such as Oracle and

won a couple of new accounts,’ says director Clive Armitage.

The new accounts referred to are BT, where Bite is working for the

business internet division, and Toshiba, which Armitage describes as a

significant win.

Bite is focusing on the consumer technology market. ’There’s a niche in

the market for a company that can communicate complex technology to the

consumer and we’re very much looking to play there,’ says Armitage.

Another important move for the agency was the formation of a European

services division which has attracted clients like Apple,

Hewlett-Packard and Oracle.

The 43 per cent increase in fee income was achieved without an

aggressive marketing strategy and while staff numbers only grew by two

to 15. ’We had the attitude we wanted to bed down existing clients and

turned some business away,’ says Armitage. ’

This year has started encouragingly. Staff numbers are now up to 21 and

in March Bite moved to offices in Hammersmith with plenty of room for


92 Jane Howard PR: pounds 836,860 - CLIMBER

Jane Howard PR moved up a couple of places in the league table as fee

income grew by just ten per cent. This year saw the agency win 70 per

cent of the business it pitched for.

’I don’t think winning new business is an issue in the current

environment - good agencies can get it. Attracting and keeping good

people is an issue, and in the last year we’ve invested far more time

and money in our staff,’ says Jane Howard. The agency invested five per

cent of pre-tax profit in training and introduced a management committee

to give staff input into company policy.

The agency picked up a pounds 200,000 account from Matthew Clark’s

Diamond White cider brand to reverse the decline in sales and arranged a

sponsorship programme as part of a pounds 7 million relaunch campaign

for the brand.

Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse also handed a six-figure

account to the agency. ’We got the account because of our retail

experience, particularly in fast-moving retail areas,’ explains Howard.

Q8 Petroleum asked Jane Howard to undertake a trade programme, and the

American Ski Company instructed the agency to promote six New England

ski resorts in the UK.

94 Banner PR: pounds 809,084 - CLIMBER

A series of account wins and no losses resulted in an impressive 59 per

cent rise for the hi-tech specialist Banner Public Relations.

The main four additions to its client list were the US software firm

Borland, remote networking specialist Shiva, consumer IT producer ACCO

and STS which sells systems to the retail sector. Banner also saw

organic growth with the expansion of several accounts including the

business for Microtouch, the US maker of touch screen monitors, which

went pan-European.

Staff numbers remained at a constant level of 11 employees. Joint

managing director Robert Hollier experienced an increase in the amount

of pan-European work and briefs from US-based companies.

Banner employs four French and three German speakers who spend three

quarters of their time in the London office and a quarter on the road

drumming up business. Hollier says the system ’knocks spots’ off the

traditional network of wholly owned or affiliate agencies. The agency

also increased its training programme to survive in what Hollier

describes as an ’extremely competitive’ marketplace. It also ran

integrated campaigns with its sister advertising and direct marketing


Expect more of the same in 1998. ’Our plan is to carry on growing in a

controlled way and spend more time on training,’ says Hollier. ’Our

target by the end of this year is the pass the pounds 1 million


99 Stephanie Churchill PR: pounds 731,269 - CLIMBER

Following growth in fee income in 1996 of six per cent, last year

Stephanie Churchill grew by eight per cent, approximately in line with


’We want to expand in a controlled way, in PR it’s very dangerous to

expand too fast,’ comments managing director, Stephanie Churchill.

The agency specialises in brand building and last year expanded into the

youth lifestyle and the sportswear sectors. New clients in these areas

included surf and snowboard-wear manufacturer O’Neill, Killy ski wear

and Nevica. Other wins included a pounds 60,000 one year media relations

campaign for the world’s largest T-shirt manufacturer Fruit of the Loom;

fashion designer Paul Costelloe; and the Jeep clothing brand.

There was also growth from existing clients, notably Clarks Shoes with

projects on Clarks Kids and an international campaign. One interesting

development for the agency was more work with advertising agencies, for

example on the Clarks projects.

’This year we plan to continue to expand into other areas, for example

beauty, and household products that have a strong design and lifestyle

element,’ says Churchill.

’We are also looking to expand internationally. We work with quite a few

agencies in Europe and North America for clients like Burberrys and

Clarks,’ she says.

145 Catalyst Communications: pounds 347,846 - NEW ENTRY

Squeezing into the league table at number 145 is the hi-tech independent

Catalyst Communications which recorded an impressive 155 per cent jump

in fee income.

John Waite, managing director of the two-year-old company, links the

increase to the expanding software market. The agency started the year

with two software clients and ended with six, including Comshare, which

makes decision support applications and the software testing firm

Cyrano, which can assess computers for year 2000 compatability. It

ventured into the consumer sector with work for Samsung’s computer and

telecom products and was appointed by Ernst and Young’s Thames Valley

office, which specialises in IT.

The main loss was the account for the video conferencing company Vitel,

worth a total pounds 50,000, which it had worked on for 18 months. Vitel

switched to Ogilvy PR because it wanted a worldwide campaign.The agency

moved from Reading into London and increased staff numbers to seven.

Waite will continue to hire throughout 1998 and wants to move

increasingly more towards the consumer sector.

’We got our act together in 1996,’ says Waite. ’We stretched ourselves,

went out and hired, built up our resources and then went for it in


The Samsung win takes us towards consumer oriented products and that’s

where we would like to see growth in 1998.

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