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
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
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
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
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
’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
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
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,’
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
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,’
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
Brussels managing director Matthew Andersen was appointed as president
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
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
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
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.