Fitzgerald Shurey Tarbuck (FST) has proved it is more than a match for its bigger competitors, scooping the coveted Marketing Customer Publishing Agency of the Year award after a phenomenally successful 12 months.
The agency, which is just three years old, is an excellent example of how a fully integrated media approach pays dividends.
The judges praised FST for its 'great innovation around its existing client base and an intelligent diversification of its offer into above-the-line, intranets, TV programme content and eCRM'. Of particular note was the fact that all of the staff hired at launch remain on the payroll. In addition, its team has grown by a third.
From press ads and microsites for Habitat to the Toni&Guy TV channel, the agency has consistently over-delivered and proved that the 360 degs multiplatform content-creator model for customer publishing agencies is the future of the industry.
Judges also noted FST's commitment to creative innovation and the 'clear ability to work across multiple content platforms offering clients a discrete end-to-end service'.
The agency has invested heavily in social media and creating content for smartphones and the iPad. FST has also proved its prowess in ecommerce, devising the digital retail strategy for the Toni&Guy Label.m brand.
When Fitzgerald Shurey Tarbuck opened its doors just three years ago, it set itself a challenge of creating a full-service content agency. Its phenomenal year of developing beautifully crafted, highly effective and multiplatform work for its wide range of clients demonstrates that it has more than achieved that goal. Cause for celebration indeed.
Focus On - Step Up After School Learning
Despite its small size, Fitzgerald Shurey Tarbuck has invested heavily in CSR projects, including an after-school learning club for underprivileged children aged between four and 12 to encourage them to take on new skills.
The agency created the Step Up After School Learning brand name, logo and communication plan from scratch after being approached by a consortium of private stakeholders.
With the branding and communication in place, The Step Up Learning Centre aims to roll out the concept with three Milton Keynes centres by the end of 2010 and another 400 across the UK in the next 12 to 18 months.
Best of the rest
In a fiercely fought race, Seven Squared came in a close second and there is no doubt that 2010 brought much to celebrate. Not least that, in a tough climate, the agency delivered a fantastic run of new business, with 15 account wins valued at £10m and additional projects from current clients worth £500,000. Major wins included the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, as well as additional business from New Look and JD Sports. The agency now sells more than 5m magazines a year on the newsstand, making it a phenomenal business success story.
Not only has Seven Squared delivered strong, brand-building content for its clients, it has also generated revenue for them through innovation and licensing deals. An impressive leadership team, with best-in-class editorial talent, makes Seven Squared one to watch in 2011.
It was another sterling year for Wardour. The judges praised its innovation in response to the downturn and the 'agility and creativity' of its leadership. It is no exaggeration to say the past 12 months have been transformational for Wardour. It has successfully diversified into digital builds and app development, as well as substantially increasing its investment in video content. Beautifully executed work combined with the appointment of Claire Oldfield from Metro International as managing director ensured the agency stood out in a crowded market. Eleven new business wins and a substantial increase in turnover suggest its creativity and clarity of vision is paying dividends.
The past 12 months proved that big is beautiful for John Brown. The agency, which topped Marketing's annual Customer Publishing Leagues this year, picked up a wealth of new business from clients including Homebase, McLaren and Nickelodeon. Over the past 10 years John Brown has won 110 awards and the agency shows no sign of slowing down. As its creation of magazine Waitrose Kitchen this year proves, John Brown does not take success for granted.
Future Plus has had a brilliant year, continuing to grow despite the challenging economic climate. The agency has proven its prowess on emerging platforms with the launch of digital magazine Sky Magazine Live. The agency has also built on its 360 degs approach by working closely with clients' advertising agencies to deliver on briefs.
Last year's winner, Sunday, made the shortlist for the second year running, proving that it remains a class act. As well as gaining extra business from existing clients, it beat Cedar and Seven Squared to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors account. Sunday's solid growth in revenue was further boosted by the addition of KPMG and The Prince's Trust as clients.