Direct marketing Top 75

The direct industry finally appears to be emerging from the fallout of the recession, writes Robert Epstein.

The direct fraternity has not had reason to feel this optimistic since the 2001 recession hit. After two years of sluggish business, which resulted in staff being shed, recruitment all but halted and new business at a premium, 2004 marked a gradual return to health.

After a tough first half to 2004, clients began to release budgets in the third quarter and, by the fourth, accounts that had been won earlier in the year were finally resulting in work. 'There were lots of briefs that did not materialise into concrete work at the time, and many agencies are only now beginning to see the fruits of their labour,' says Mike Spicer, managing director of Arc. '2005 is off to a promising start and it certainly looks as though the market is picking up.'

The most recent Bellwether Report from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising reveals that more than 40% of clients have set aside greater budgets for direct activity in 2005 than they spent in 2004.

Further encouragement came last month in the form of research from the Direct Marketing Association, carried out by The Future Foundation. It showed that 70% of consumers are happy to receive direct communications, as long as they are targeted - a far cry from the doom-mongering of the BBC's Brassed Off Britain show last June. The programme rated direct mail - which still accounts for the majority of direct spend - as the British public's greatest irritant.

'Almost everyone can find pieces of mail they find annoying. Companies committing the worst excesses are those that ignore the regulations,' says Rapier chief executive Jonathan Stead.

'They have upset a lot of consumers, which has led to a negative halo around direct marketing in general. But consumers can differentiate between trash and relevant information as long as the industry concentrates on getting the targeting right.'

The past year has seen the inevitable round of consolidation - Tequila\London's merger with TBWA\GGT made it the biggest direct agency by gross profit, according to Companies House figures - and the demise of agencies Mr Smith, Mercier Gray and Cramm Francis Woolf. Other major industry trends have included: improvements in targeting and personalisation; the growth of digital media as an integral part of the mix; and the ascension of direct agencies to strategic roles.

Direct agencies' ability to target consumers with relevant communications has been augmented by a fresh approach to data. Amid fears that European legislation on consumer opt-in for email and telephone communications will be extended to mail within the next two years, boosting consumers' willingness to receive marketing material is a must.

To improve mailing lists, Archibald Ingall Stretton has been overlaying attitudinal research with customers' behavioural needs through customer insight agency tree.

For Skoda, AIS used surveys that showed the marque's drivers are thoroughly independent. It ran a campaign for its Octavia model that included mailings presenting the car as an alternative to the norm; items common to all drivers - a driving licence and tax disc - were sent out using lines that included 'You have to pay the same road tax as everyone else. But you don't have to drive the same car.' From 40,000 mailings, Skoda achieved a response rate of 3.95% - almost double the industry standard.

Tequila\London took personalisation to the mass market for Sainsbury's using digital printing. In one execution, the agency produced a mailing that rewarded loyal customers with a gift on their birthday. Using Nectar data to identify customers celebrating their birthdays, as well as the gift that would most suit their purchasing behaviour, the supermarket sent out more than 400,000 cards a month. Redemption rates increased from 28% on its previous campaign to 40%.

Clients have begun to appreciate that direct marketing is an attitude, rather than a technique, which can be used to encourage interaction with brands. As the media market becomes increasingly fragmented, involving consumers with the brand is a smart way of cutting through.

While mail still accounts for 5.5bn items and £2.47bn of spend, according to the Direct Mail Information Service, channels such as DRTV, the internet and email have become integral to agencies' offerings, while ambient, branding and even above-the-line briefs are falling within their remit.

'Mail is extremely effective, but marketers are not in love with it as a medium,' says Rory Sutherland, vice-chairman and creative director of OgilvyOne. 'When other media come along (that are more suitable), they are happy to adopt them.'

Spread of innovation

In its work for Cancer Research UK, OgilvyOne looked beyond the usual media of TV, radio and poster ads. Instead, it used park benches on which lines such as 'Jane Pearson loved sitting here ... and still does thanks to cancer research', accompanied by a website address and phone number, took the place of typical memorial dedications.

Claydon Heeley Jones Mason's work for The Guardian, meanwhile, included driving awareness of a free CD offer by stamping the hands of consumers entering live music gigs across the UK, thus targeting fans of music similar to that featured on the CD. The stamps - in the style of those often used to denote paid entry to a gig - comprised a branded message about the offer. Sales of the Saturday Guardian featuring the CD were 89,000 higher than the previous week's issue.

The vast majority of agencies saw growth in digital activity in 2004, but it was not, by and large, carried out in seclusion. 'Twelve months ago, clients were giving briefs for direct work, but had a different agency working on their digital needs,' says Carolyn Stebbings, managing director of FCBi London. 'It is refreshing to see them now viewing digital as an integral part of their overall plan.'

Draft London launched a campaign earlier this month for Saab's high-performance 9-3 Aero model. The activity, which played on the marque's engineering expertise, enhanced by its history as an aircraft manufacturer, extended seamlessly from offline to online. The mailing, promising that 'Behind every Saab you'll find our aircraft heritage', was supported by similar creative in web ads and a microsite.

Publicis Dialog took a similar approach for Renault's Modus model. The colour and playfulness of the mailing, which focused on the Modus as a 'fun' car and included a pop-up decision dice with such advice as 'Do a handstand' and 'Take a test-drive', was replicated online with ads that encouraged users to 'pop' balloons with their mouse to 'find' a car.

Adding value

The inclusion of digital media in the direct marketer's armoury has helped to develop a perception of the industry as being capable of transforming businesses. 'Return on investment has become a given, which means agencies have to look at ways of influencing the business as a whole,' explains Sez Maxted, managing director of Draft London. 'We are taking on a more strategic role, where the impact is wider than the results of a single campaign, focused on providing a sustainable business advantage.'

Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw managing partner Marc Nohr adds that, over the past five to 10 years, agencies have been recruiting senior people from traditional ad agencies, which has helped them become more brand-literate.

Tullo Marshall Warren, whose recruitment policy means the skills represented in its creative department span graphic design, digital, above-the-line and direct disciplines, was charged with launching a holiday brand for Thomas Cook. The agency came up with the proposition, identity and all communications for the high-end launch. 'It shows clients are entrusting brand-focused work to direct marketing agencies,' says TMW's business development director, Richard Marshall.

Despite its low price points, FMCG is an area with potential for the industry, as direct channels let brands build loyalty through relationships.

The rise of digital means that, whereas the cost of a stamp and envelope for a mailing may exceed the margin on a product, now the cost can be negligible.

Some products will have more use for it than others. As Proximity London chief executive Chris Thomas says: 'A brand such as Whiskas can make good use of direct, as cat owners have a strong relationship with their pets, but it is less easy for a crisps brand as there is not the same engagement.'

According to TMW's Warren, whose agency works for clients including Unilever's Flora Pro.Activ, FMCG will make more use of direct marketing because it 'keeps customers locked into the brand and can give detailed information on other product launches. It is relationship marketing that imbues brand values'.

Marlow Foods' meat-substitute brand Quorn handed its entire marketing budget to direct agency Fenix. It wanted to become more mainstream by targeting meat eaters. Fenix's solution highlighted how Quorn can help consumers reduce their fat and calorie intake. The activity comprised a door-drop, in-store promotions, sampling, TV, a website and email.

Pharmaceutical business

Direct has also proved a useful channel for pharmaceutical companies, as direct-to-consumer advertising of drugs is illegal in the UK. WWAV Rapp Collins London, which now works for six of the top 10 global pharma companies, launched a specialist Consumer Health unit in October.

The agency splits pharmaceutical work into two categories: compliance and presentation. The former targets people who have a long-term illness, 50% of whom stop taking their treatment after a year. The latter requires the agency to make consumers aware that there are treatments available for specific conditions. They can then go to their GP, who will be able to prescribe the treatment.

WWAV has carried out this type of activity for Abbott Laboratories' anti-obesity drug, Reductil. Press and poster ads used the creative theme 'I decide' and featured people recalling the moment they decided to lose weight.

Just as direct's cause is progressing, so agencies' relationships with procurement departments are improving. Though procurement is still there to ensure value for money, many - but by no means all - understand that cheapest does not mean best.

Rapier's Stead is a staunch advocate of procurement. 'If you work with them, they see the value of having a strong relationship on both sides,' he says. 'The difficulty comes when procurement departments think of agency roles in a commoditised way - why pay £120 for an account manager when another costs £100? Some still ignore the experience of the individual.'

MRM chief executive Alastair Duncan adds that agencies must be careful not to fuel procurement's drive for value by engaging in price wars, which some, he says, 'are too quick to do'.

Recruitment is proving a challenge across the industry. Following a chronic lack of investment during the recession years, there is a dearth of capable staff who are one or two years into their career. 'The biggest cost for agencies comes when they are held to ransom by sometimes fairly mediocre staff because of lack of talent in the market,' says Scott Knox, managing director of the Marketing Communication Consultants Association.

An issue unlikely to go away is the argument over whether clients prefer independents or networks. Partners Andrews Aldridge managing partner Phil Andrews, fresh from a management buyout from Havas, claims that clients like the fact they 'can access people who run and own the business, who are not tied up with network issues when they should be dealing with clients'.

EHS Brann chairman Terry Hunt demurs, however. 'Senior time is no more elastic at independents than at big agencies,' he says. 'I don't have to deal with administration, so I have more time to spend with clients.

If clients weren't happy with the service (from senior staff), why would they stay with us for so long? Mini has been with us for 10 years, Tesco since 1991 and British Gas since 1993.'

While independents can partner with whichever agencies a client already works, those in networks offer the global scale multinationals often look for. As TMW's Warren concludes, whatever the status of the agency, 'this is a service industry, and our clients expect a good service'.

Growth indicators

A final indication of the health of direct is the number of start-ups emerging. Barraclough Edwards Chamberlain, Hall Moore CHI, Personal UK and, most recently, Stephens Francis Whitson have entered the fray, all led by experienced direct marketers, all emphasising creativity and dynamism.

While some in the industry believe start-ups will find it difficult to move beyond boutique projects, the experiences of Elvis and Keevill Barton Kershaw, both of which launched towards the end of 2003, suggests they can hold their own.

Elvis has a projected gross profit of more than £3.5m in the year to June 2005, having won 13 accounts, including Pizza Hut and Cadbury. Keevill Barton Kershaw clients include health insurance company WPA, for which it is developing a brand awareness campaign.

'WPA does a lot of its creative in-house, so we're focusing on consultancy rather than design-led everyday communications,' says creative director Simon Kershaw.

In 12 months' time, no doubt, reporting on the direct industry will require less focus on its bounce back to health and more on its increasingly central role in the media landscape.

TOP DIRECT MARKETING AGENCIES

Name Gross profit Gross profit Gross profit

2004 (pounds) 2003 (pounds) % change

Tequila\London* n/a 27,008,724 n/a

Proximity London* n/a 22,131,478 n/a

EHS Brann* n/a 20,634,474 n/a

1 Carlson Mktg Group 20,500,000 21,402,811 -4.2

WWAV Rapp Collins

London* n/a 19,450,432 n/a

Claydon Heeley

Jones Mason* 14,156,000 n/a n/a

Joshua* n/a 13,904,144 n/a

Arc Worldwide UK* n/a 13,338,000 n/a

2 Tullo Marshall

Warren 11,310,000 11,038,000 2.5

Publicis Dialog* n/a 11,254,000(2002) n/a

3 The Marketing Store 11,119,000 10,779,000 3.2

Haygarth* n/a 10,923,103 n/a

RMG Connect* n/a 10,657,021 n/a

4 Rapier 9,900,000 9,200,000 7.6

MRM Partners* n/a 9,294,000(2002) n/a

5 Iris 8,830,106 5,527,556 59.8

6 Target Navigator 8,367,000 7,642,000 9.5

7 Dig for Fire 8,322,538 n/a n/a

8 Clark McKay

and Walpole 8,225,000 7,665,000 7.3

Craik Jones Watson

Mitchell Voelkel* n/a 7,839,271 n/a

9 Chemistry

Communications Grp n/a 6,371,000 n/a

Draft London* n/a 6,062,000(2002) n/a

10 Billington Cartmell 6,027,000 5,935,000 1.6

Triangle Group* n/a 5,151,542 n/a

11 Gyro 4,700,000 3,000,000 56.7

12 LIDA 4,415,121 4,705,000 -6.2

13 Millennium Direct 4,400,000 3,600,000 22.2

14 Tidalwave 4,312,000 3,661,000 17.8

FCBi London*

(formerly DP&A) n/a 4,274,448 n/a

15 JDA 4,100,000 3,278,000 25.1

16 Hicklin Slade

& Partners 3,732,608 3,161,250 18.1

17 Tri-Direct 3,650,000 3,830,000 -4.7

Archibald Ingall

Stretton* n/a 3,616,000 n/a

18 Beechwood 3,149,000 2,998,000 5.0

19 JJ Group 3,101,447 2,672,419 16.1

20 TDA 3,079,000 2,858,000 7.7

21 Partners Andrews

Aldridge 3,052,200 2,199,800 38.8

22 DMP 2,913,000 2,588,000 12.6

23 Heresy 2,820,000 1,817,000 55.2

24 Meteorite 2,773,340 2,178,654 27.3

25 Positive Thinking 2,400,000 2,500,000 -4.0

26 Story 2,400,000 2,000,000 20.0

WWAV Rapp Collins

Edinburgh* n/a 2,377,532 n/a

27 Eclipse Marketing 2,343,000 2,471,000 -5.2

28 Communique 360 2,300,000 1,800,000 27.8

29 Kitcatt Nohr

Alexander Shaw 2,142,781 1,381,531 55.1

30 Liquorice 2,120,000 1,643,000 29.0

31 The Ladders Agency 1,982,000 2,240,000 -11.5

32 Red C 1,970,000 1,930,000 2.1

33 Entire 1,930,000 1,760,000 9.7

34 Liquid Communications 1,900,000 1,800,000 5.6

35 SMP n/a 1,876,000 n/a

36 Dialogue DLKW 1,867,000 988,000 89.0

WWAV Rapp Collins

Bristol* n/a 1,832,659 n/a

37 Cheeze 1,802,000 559,000 222.4

38 River 1,684,000 1,181,000 42.6

39 Bright 1,588,568 611,943 159.6

40 23red 1,478,000 1,467,000 0.8

41 Langham Works 1,462,000 n/a n/a

42 Teamspirit 1,444,590 1,167,257 23.8

43 WDMP 1,370,000 767,000 78.6

44 Head to Head 1,370,000 1,075,000 27.4

45 Juice 1,312,000 1,087,000 20.7

46 Response Advertising

Media 1,221,000 828,000 47.5

47 Mason Zimbler 1,130,000 717,000 57.6

48 Moonfish 1,114,000 1,279,000 -12.9

49 Watson Phillips

& Norman 923,499 464,104 99.0

50 Halpern Cowan 860,000 452,000 90.3

51 KHWS 845,419 633,702 33.4

52 Forth Marketing

Services 793,000 638,000 24.3

53 Fenix 723,033 468,936 54.2

54 Diametric 704,759 408,301 72.6

55 WDPA 661,000 559,000 18.3

56 Hall Moore CHI 600,496 n/a n/a

57 Agency Inc 311,000 n/a n/a

58 Keevill Barton

Kershaw 240,431 n/a n/a

 

Name Turnover Turnover Turnover

2004 (pounds) 2003 (pounds) % change

Tequila\London* n/a 51,015,182 n/a

Proximity London* n/a 43,474,579 n/a

EHS Brann* n/a 35,209,522 n/a

1 Carlson Mktg Group 38,900,000 38,547,641 0.9

WWAV Rapp Collins

London* n/a 45,474,517 n/a

Claydon Heeley

Jones Mason* n/a n/a n/a

Joshua* n/a 23,176,198 n/a

Arc Worldwide UK* n/a 28,572,000 n/a

2 Tullo Marshall

Warren 17,156,000 16,536,000 3.8

Publicis Dialog* n/a 26,755,000(2002) n/a

3 The Marketing Store 19,862,000 21,713,000 -8.5

Haygarth* n/a 22,151,153 n/a

RMG Connect* n/a 16,490,231 n/a

4 Rapier 14,500,000 13,400,000 8.2

MRM Partners* n/a 15,414,000(2002) n/a

5 Iris 19,453,145 11,221,662 73.4

6 Target Navigator 20,724,000 20,484,000 1.2

7 Dig for Fire 10,776,845 n/a n/a

8 Clark McKay

and Walpole 18,888,000 18,376,000 2.8

Craik Jones Watson

Mitchell Voelkel* n/a 13,794,811 n/a

9 Chemistry

Communications Grp 11,000,000 11,161,000 -1.4

Draft London* n/a 8,403,000(2002) n/a

10 Billington Cartmell 11,000,000 10,300,000 6.8

Triangle Group* n/a 11,996,287 n/a

11 Gyro 7,800,000 5,900,000 32.2

12 LIDA 5,791,223 8,384,000 -30.9

13 Millennium Direct 14,100,000 12,900,000 9.3

14 Tidalwave 6,537,000 6,412,000 2.0

FCBi London*

(formerly DP&A) n/a 13,392,380 n/a

15 JDA 19,315,000 15,473,000 24.8

16 Hicklin Slade

& Partners 5,875,510 6,414,900 -8.4

17 Tri-Direct 44,700,000 40,500,000 10.4

Archibald Ingall

Stretton* n/a 8,681,000 n/a

18 Beechwood 4,835,000 4,933,000 -2.0

19 JJ Group 8,133,813 8,140,146 -0.1

20 TDA 4,143,000 4,297,000 -3.6

21 Partners Andrews

Aldridge 4,686,860 3,612,440 29.7

22 DMP n/a n/a n/a

23 Heresy 5,842,000 3,272,000 78.6

24 Positive Thinking 6,000,000 7,500,000 -20.0

25 Story 3,600,000 3,400,000 5.9

WWAV Rapp Collins

Edinburgh* n/a 6,090,551 n/a

26 Eclipse Marketing 4,661,000 4,327,000 7.7

27 Communique 360 4,800,000 3,700,000 29.7

28 Kitcatt Nohr

Alexander Shaw 3,163,484 2,105,892 50.2

29 Liquorice 3,000,000 2,854,000 5.1

30 The Ladders Agency 4,045,000 5,767,000 -29.9

31 Red C 3,600,000 3,600,000 0.0

32 Entire 5,260,000 5,130,000 2.5

33 Liquid Communications 3,100,000 3,000,000 3.3

34 SMP n/a 4,592,000 n/a

35 Dialogue DLKW 2,660,000 1,501,000 77.2

WWAV Rapp Collins

Bristol* n/a 5,234,288 n/a

36 Cheeze 4,677,000 2,333,000 100.5

37 River 3,014,003 2,227,000 35.3

38 Bright 2,303,012 843,462 173.0

39 23red 2,565,000 2,322,000 10.5

40 Langham Works 2,359,000 n/a n/a

41 Teamspirit 3,715,042 2,867,792 29.5

42 WDMP 3,280,000 2,050,000 60.0

43 Head to Head 2,650,000 2,452,000 8.1

44 Juice 3,246,000 2,612,000 24.3

45 Response Advertising

Media 10,740,000 6,983,000 53.8

46 Mason Zimbler 2,166,000 1,918,000 12.9

47 Moonfish 1,841,000 2,232,000 -17.52

48 Watson Phillips

& Norman 2,400,000 1,095,000 119.2

49 Halpern Cowan 1,016,000 535,000 89.9

50 KHWS 1,495,280 975,931 53.2

51 Forth Marketing

Services 2,329,000 2,035,000 14.5

52 Fenix 1,555,033 920,949 68.9

53 Diametric 1,269,000 614,954 106.4

54 WDPA 1,045,000 1,100,000 -5.0

55 Hall Moore CHI 1,132,072 n/a n/a

56 Meteorite 3,900,000 3,200,000 21.9

57 Agency Inc 947,000 n/a n/a

58 Keevill Barton

Kershaw 383,355 n/a n/a

 

Name Staff total Creatives

2004 2004

Tequila\London* 259 36

Proximity London* 225 30

EHS Brann* 213 33

1 Carlson Mktg Group 273 20

WWAV Rapp Collins

London* 210 40

Claydon Heeley

Jones Mason* n/a n/a

Joshua* 210 55

Arc Worldwide UK* 142 40

2 Tullo Marshall

Warren 155 39

Publicis Dialog* 100 24

3 The Marketing Store 185 55

Haygarth* 129 29

RMG Connect* 120 20

4 Rapier 96 24

MRM Partners* 250 50

5 Iris 94 52

6 Target Navigator 129 25

7 Dig for Fire 79 25

8 Clark McKay

and Walpole 90 26

Craik Jones Watson

Mitchell Voelkel* 100 29

9 Chemistry

Communications Grp 73 20

Draft London* 89 25

10 Billington Cartmell 60 16

Triangle Group* 65 24

11 Gyro 51 11

12 LIDA 55 17

13 Millennium Direct 118 20

14 Tidalwave 70 36

FCBi London*

(formerly DP&A) 42 7

15 JDA 70 17

16 Hicklin Slade

& Partners 32 10

17 Tri-Direct 63 2

Archibald Ingall

Stretton* 80 17

18 Beechwood 46 15

19 JJ Group 77 10

20 TDA 42 13

21 Partners Andrews

Aldridge 47 16

22 DMP 38 12

23 Heresy 29 15

24 Positive Thinking 40 15

25 Story 27 10

WWAV Rapp Collins

Edinburgh* 48 10

26 Eclipse Marketing 60 1

27 Communique 360 34 13

28 Kitcatt Nohr

Alexander Shaw 31 11

29 Liquorice 40 10

30 The Ladders Agency 23 6

31 Red C 36 10

32 Entire 32 4

33 Liquid Communications 18 n/a

34 SMP 30 12

35 Dialogue DLKW 38 14

WWAV Rapp Collins

Bristol* 25 5

36 Cheeze 12 1

37 River 35 12

38 Bright 24 10

39 23red 30 15

40 Langham Works 18 5

41 Teamspirit 32 10

42 WDMP 19 7

43 Head to Head 18 6

44 Juice 21 7

45 Response Advertising

Media 24 1

46 Mason Zimbler 30 10

47 Moonfish 28 5

48 Watson Phillips

& Norman 17 4

49 Halpern Cowan 21 10

50 KHWS 14 4

51 Forth Marketing

Services 21 2

52 Fenix 15 8

53 Diametric 11 0

54 WDPA 14 4

55 Hall Moore CHI 22 8

56 Meteorite 49 11

57 Agency Inc 6 3

58 Keevill Barton

Kershaw 8 4

 

Name

Tequila\London*

Subsidiary TBWA\Worldwide. Founded 1992. Non-exec chairman Rod

Wright, CEOs Tim Bonnet, Penny Reid, creative dir Nick Moore.

Clients include Army, Abbey, Hewlett-Packard. Multi-discipline.

Member IPA, ISP, IDM. www.tequila-uk.com

Proximity London*

Subsidiary Omnicom. Founded 1991. CEO Chris Thomas, client service

dir Amanda Phillips, creative dir Caitlin Ryan. Clients include TV

Licensing, Royal Mail, Shell. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA,

MCCA. www.proximitylondon.com

EHS Brann*

Subsidiary Havas. Founded 1991. Chairman Terry Hunt, MD Matt

Atkinson, creative dirs Lu Dixon, Trevor Chamben. Clients include

Tesco, British Gas, Barclays. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA,

IDM, BIMA. www.ehsbrann.com

1 Carlson Marketing Group

Privately owned. Founded 1990. President Jose Ferrao, group client

services dir Jed Murphy, creative dir Nick Meads. Clients include

COI, Shell, Lloyds TSB. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, ISP.

www.carlsonmarketing.co.uk

WWAV Rapp Collins London*

Subsidiary Omnicom. Founded 1981. Chairman Ian Haworth, CEO Marco

Sconamiglio, creative dirs Nick Platt, Barney Cockerell. Clients

include British Gas, NSPCC, Wanadoo. Predominantly DM. Member DMA,

IPA, FEDMA. www.wwavrc.co.uk

Claydon Heeley Jones Mason*

Subsidiary Omnicom. Founded 1991. Chairman Jon Claydon, creative

dirs Dave Woods, Peter Harle. Clients include Mercedes, Egg,

Goodyear. Predominantly DM. Member ISP. www.chjm.com

Joshua*

Subsidiary Grey Global Group. Founded 1998. Chairman Peter Thompson,

MD Nick Spindler, creative dir Mitch Levy. Clients include NatWest,

Masterfoods, Post Office. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA, ISP,

MCCA. www.joshua-agency.co.uk

Arc Worldwide UK*

Subsidiary Publicis Groupe. Founded 1968. Chairman John Quarrey, MD

Mike Spicer, creative dir Simon Darwell-Taylor. Clients include P&G,

Fiat, Diageo (Johnnie Walker). Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA,

ISP, MCCA. www.arcww.com

2 Tullo Marshall Warren

Privately owned. Founded 1987. MD Chris Warren, creative dir Paul

Tullo. Clients include Nissan, Diageo, British Airways.

Predominantly DM. Member DMA, ISP, IDM, Marketing Society.

www.tmw.co.uk

Publicis Dialog*

Subsidiary Publicis Groupe. Founded 1998. Chairman Dennis Kerslake,

MD Simon Marshall, creative dir Mike Cavers. Clients include

Renault, Allied Domecq, Powergen. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA,

ISP. www.publicis-dialog.co.uk

3 The Marketing Store

Subsidiary The Havi Group. Founded 1986. Chairman Graham Kemp, MD

Charles Croft, creative dir Shelford Chandler. Clients include

McDonald's, Cereal Partners Worldwide, Asda. Multi-discipline.

Member ISP, MCCA. www.themarketingstore.com

Haygarth*

Subsidiary High Co. Founded 1984. Chairman Stephen Morris, MD Sophie

Daranyi, creative dir Grace Goni. Clients include Nokia, PepsiCo,

Signet Group. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, ISP, PRCA.

www.haygarth.co.uk

RMG Connect*

Subsidiary WPP. Founded 2004 (formerly rmg:black cat). Chairman

Jonathan Harman, MD James Clifton, creative dir Trefor Thomas.

Clients include Vodafone, HSBC, Shell. Predominantly DM. Member DMA,

FEDMA. www.rmgconnect.com

4 Rapier

Privately owned. Founded 1998. Chairman Jonathan Stead, MD Alison

Meredith, creative dir John Townshend. Clients include AA, Telewest,

COI. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA. www.rapieruk.com

MRM Partners*

Subsidiary Interpublic. Founded 2004. Chairman/MD Alastair Duncan,

creative dirs Matt Mayes, Piggy Lines. Clients include Microsoft,

Unilever, RBS. Multi-discipline. Member DMA. www.mrmpartners.co.uk

5 Iris

Privately owned. Founded 1999. MDs Ian Millner, Stewart Shanley,

creative dir Sean Reynolds. Clients include Sony Ericsson, Shell,

T-Mobile. Multi-discipline. Member ISP, MCCA. www.irisnation.com

6 Target Navigator

Subsidiary Cello Group. Founded 1993. Chairman Stephen Pidgeon, MD

Andy Carolan, exec creative dir Nick Thomas. Clients include HBOS,

British Heart Foundation. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA.

www.cellogroup.co.uk

7 Dig for Fire

Privately owned. Founded 2003. CEO Charles Buddery, MD Charles

Glover, creative dir Nigel Wood. Clients include Little Chef,

Express By Holiday Inn, Tesco.com. Multi-discipline. Member DMA,

ISP, IDM. www.digforfire.co.uk

8 Clark McKay and Walpole

Subsidiary Media Square. Founded 1995. Chairman Jonathan Clark, MD

Janet McKay, creative dir Bob Nash. Clients include Porsche, John

Lewis Partnership, Renault Retail Group. Predominantly DM. Member

DMA, IDM. www.cmw-uk.com

Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel*

Subsidiary Abbott Mead Vickers Group. Founded 1991. Chairman/CEO

David Watson, MD Fiona Scott, creative dir Mark Buckingham. Clients

include Land Rover, Orange, NatWest. Predominantly DM. Member DMA.

www.craikjones.co.uk

9 Chemistry Communications Group

Publicly quoted. Founded 2000. Chairman Bernard Fisher, CEO Joe

Garton, creative dir Claire Elworthy. Clients include Transport for

London, Unilever, Yell. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, ISP.

www.chemistrygroup.co.uk

Draft London*

Subsidiary Interpublic. Founded 1996. MD Sez Maxted, creative dir

Arthur Parshotam. Clients include General Motors, Post Office, RBS.

Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IDM. www.draftlondon.com

10 Billington Cartmell

Privately owned. Founded 1990. Chairmen Ian Billington, Paul

Cartmell, MD Jason Nicholas, creative dir David Booth. Clients

include GlaxoSmithKline, Nestle UK, Unilever. Multi-discipline.

Member ISP, MCCA. www.bcl.co.uk

Triangle Group*

Subsidiary Publicis Groupe. Founded 1975. CEO John Quarrey, MD Nick

Hoadley, creative dir Kevin Frost. Clients include Diageo, Lloyds

TSB, VisitBritain. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, ISP, MCCA.

www.thetrianglegroup.co.uk

11 Gyro

Privately owned. Founded 1991. CEO Gary Byrne, MD Richard Perry,

creative dir Darren Bolton. Clients include Sun Microsystems, Adobe,

BEA Systems. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, MCCA. www.gyrogroup.com

12 LIDA

Subsidiary M&C Saatchi. Founded 2000. Chairman Nick Hurrell, MD Lisa

Thomas, creative dir David Harris. Clients include NatWest, BA,

KPMG. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA. www.lida.com

13 Millennium Direct

Privately owned. Founded 1996. Chairman/MD Martin Smith, creative

dir Adrian Mullen. Clients not disclosed. Predominantly DM. Member

DMA. www.millenniumdirect.co.uk

14 Tidalwave

Privately owned. Founded 1997. Chairman Julian Soweby, MD Paul Cash,

creative dir Simon Platman. Clients include Hewlett-Packard, HMV,

Etrade. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, ABBA. www.tidal-wave.com

FCBi London* (formerly DP&A)

Subsidiary FCB. Founded 1991. Chairman Martin Wright, MD Carolyn

Stebbings, creative dir Dan Douglass. Clients include Goldfish,

World Vision, BSkyB. Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.dpa.co.uk

15 JDA

Privately owned. Founded 1982. Chairman/MD Carl Hopkins, creative

dir John Sheridan. Clients include BT, Cattles, HBOS. Predominantly

DM. Member DMA. www.jda.co.uk

16 Hicklin Slade & Partners

Privately owned. Founded 1998. Chairman Nick Horswell, MD Matthew

Brown, creative dir Adam Haywood. Clients include Honda, Camelot.

Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA, MCCA. www.hicklinslade.com

17 Tri-Direct

Privately owned. Founded 1989. MD Patrick Carew. Clients include

Bose, Express Gifts, Norwich Union. Predominantly DM. Member DMA.

www.tri-direct.co.uk

Archibald Ingall Stretton*

Privately owned. Founded 1998. Managing partners Stuart Archibald,

Jon Ingall, creative partner Steve Stretton. Clients include O2,

BMW, Skoda. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA, IDM.

www.archibaldingallstretton.com

18 Beechwood

Privately owned. Founded 1989. Chairman Philip Beeching, MD John

Wood, creative dir Derek Hayes. Clients include HMV, Alliance &

Leicester, Pernod Ricard. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IAB.

www.beechwood.com

19 JJ Group

Privately owned. Founded 1989. Chairman James Goddard, MD Robert

Beck, creative dir Dave Jones. Clients include Volvo, Beefeater,

Next Generation Clubs. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA, ISP.

www.thejjgroup.com

20 TDA

Privately owned. Founded 1996. Chairman/MD Heather Westgate,

creative dir Mark Pearson. Clients include Alliance & Leicester,

Norwich Union, HBOS. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IDM.

www.tdaltd.com

21 Partners Andrews Aldridge

Privately owned. Founded 1998. Managing partner Phil Andrews,

creative partner Steve Aldridge. Clients include Lloyds TSB, Lexus,

RAC. Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.andrewsaldridge.com

22 DMP

Privately owned. Founded 1989. MD Emma Simpson-Jarrett, creative dir

Mark Attrill. Clients include Barclaycard, Barclays, Arval PHH.

Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.dmp.co.uk

23 Heresy

Subsidiary Chime Communications. Founded 2000. Chairman Sue Farr, MD

Anne Yeoman, creative dir Shaun McIlrath. Clients include Texaco,

IPC, Premier Travel Inn. Multi-discipline. Member IPA, ISP.

www.heresyhq.com

24 Positive Thinking

Founded 1994. Chairman Tim Miller, MD Julian Reiter, creative dir

Nick Carter. Clients include Royal Carribbean International, The

Children's Mutual, American Airlines. Multi-discipline. Member ISP,

MCCA. www.positive-thinking.co.uk

25 Story

Privately owned. Founded 2002. Chairman/MD Sue Mullen, creative dir

Dave Mullen. Clients include First Direct, Clydesdale & Yorkshire

Banks, Stagecoach. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA.

www.storyuk.com

WWAV Rapp Collins Edinburgh*

Subsidiary Omnicom. Founded 1991. Chairman Ian Haworth, MD John

Young, creative dir Caroline Cooper. Clients include Scottish

Friendly, Tesco Personal Finance, Visit Scotland. Predominantly DM.

Member DMA. www.wwavrcedinburgh.com

26 Eclipse Marketing

Privately owned. Founded 1988. MD David Pickering, creative dir Erik

Beaton. Clients include Betfair, Alpro, Vauxhall. Member DMA.

www.eclipsemarketing.co.uk

27 Communique 360

Privately owned. Founded 1990. Chairman/creative dir Tim

Petherbridge, MD Simon Barbato. Clients include Diageo, Premier

Travel Inn, Virgin. Multi-discipline. www.communique360.co.uk

28 Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw

Privately owned. Founded 2002. Chairman Jeremy Shaw, MD Marc Nohr,

creative dir Paul Kitcatt. Clients include Virgin Holidays, VSO,

COI. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IDM. www.kitcattnohr.com

29 Liquorice

Privately owned. Founded 1998. CEO Quentin Boyes, creative dir Alan

Gilby. Clients include Kettle Foods, David Lloyd Leisure, McNeil.

Multi-discipline. Member MCCA. www.liquorice.net

30 The Ladders Agency

Subsidiary Real Affinity. Founded 1991. MD Mark Richardson, creative

dir Paul McManus. Clients include P&G Professional, DaimlerChrysler

Services, Green Flag Motoring Assistance. Predominantly DM. Member

DMA, IPA. www.laddersagency.com

31 Red C

Privately owned. Founded 1994. Chairman Howard Seaton, MD Adrian

Rowe, creative dir Adam Shackleton. Clients include Freedom Finance,

PC World, Co-op Pharmacy. Predominantly DM. Member DMA.

www.redcmarketing.com

32 Entire

Privately owned. Founded 2000. MD Ian Stockley, creative dirs Ian

Bates, Sean Moore. Clients include Tourism Ireland, Vernon's Pools,

Otto Group. Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.theentirecompany.com

33 Liquid Communications

Privately owned. Founded 1999. MDs Andy Annett, Olly Raeburn.

Clients include News International, Lever Faberge, Loot.

Multi-discipline. Member DMA. www.liquidcommunications.co.uk

34 SMP

Privately owned. Founded 1983. MDs Simon Mahoney, Chris Simpson,

creative dir Rob Ellingham. Clients include Kimberly-Clark, Budget

Car Rental, Novartis. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, ISP.

www.smp.uk.com

35 Dialogue DLKW

Subsidiary DLKW Holdings. Founded 2002. MD Paul Biggins, creative

dir Penny Buck. Clients include Halifax, Burger King, AA.

Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA. www.dialoguedlkw.com

WWAV Rapp Collins Bristol*

Subsidiary Omnicom. Founded 1996. Chairman Helen Simpson, MD Nick

Davies, creative dir Tony Weller. Clients include Chelsea Building

Society, Guide Dogs, British Red Cross. Predominantly DM. Member

DMA, IPA, IDM. www.wwavrcbristol.co.uk

36 Cheeze

Privately owned. Founded 1999. Chairman Jamie Riddell, MD Katherine

Jerman. Clients include Budget Car Rental, Monarch Airlines, Cendant

Vacation Rental Group. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA, IAB.

www.cheeze.com

37 River

Privately owned. Founded 1990. Chairman Mark Thornton, MD Howard

Barkley, creative dir David Gullen. Clients include RBS Commercial

Services, Samsung, Bell Microproducts. Predominantly DM.

www.rivercg.co.uk

38 Bright

Privately owned. Founded 2002. MD Jeremy Hall, creative dir Chris

Martin. Clients include Norwich Union, Betfair, Thomson Holidays.

Multi-discipline. Member DMA. www.bright-uk.com

39 23red

Privately owned. Founded 2000. Chairman Jane Asscher, MD Adam Wylie,

creative dir Sean Kinmont. Clients include COI, Ladbrokes, AG Barr.

Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA, ISP. www.23red.com

40 Langham Works

Subsidiary Real Affinity. Founded 2003. Managing partners Tim Sykes,

Jeremy Taylor. Clients include Tesco Personal Finance, Which?

Magazine, Chrysler Jeep UK. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA.

www.langhamworks.co.uk

41 Teamspirit

Subsidiary Chime Communications. Founded 1995. Chairman Sue Farr, MD

Joanne Parker, creative dir Richard Hayter. Clients include Norwich

Union Healthcare, Prudential. Multi-discipline. Member Marketing

Society. www.teamspirit.uk.com

42 WDMP

Privately owned. Founded 2002. Chairman Gavin Wheeler, MD Craig

Wheeler, creative dir Fraser Metcalf. Clients include Carphone

Warehouse, Chelsea FC, British Gas. Predominantly DM. Member DMA,

MCCA. www.wdmp.co.uk

43 Head to Head

Privately owned. Founded 1996. MDs Rod Geoghegan, Sandra Lawrie.

Clients include Johnson & Johnson, BUPA, Renault. Multi-discipline.

www.headtohead.net

44 Juice

Privately owned. Founded 1990. Chairman Lesley Gear, MD Rob Husband,

creative dir Al Stewart. Clients include BSkyB, Mercedes, L'Oreal.

Predominantly DM. www.juice-uk.com

45 Response Advertising Media

Privately owned. Founded 1994. Chairman Paul Morley, MD Kelly

Farrington. Clients include Strike Lucky Games, Niagara Healthcare,

Marie Stopes International. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA.

www.ramedia.co.uk

46 Mason Zimbler

Privately owned. Founded 1997. MD Mark Mason, creative dir Paul

Carroll. Clients include Microsoft, Intel, MessageLabs.

Predominantly DM. Member IPA. www.mzl.com

47 Moonfish

Privately owned. Founded 1994. Chairman Kate Drewett, MD Roberto

Simi, creative dir Sarah Charlton. Clients include Your

Communications, United Co-op Travel, Intel. Digital agency. Member

DMA, IAB. www.moonfish.com

48 Watson Phillips & Norman

Privately owned. Founded 2003. Chairman/MD John Watson, creative dir

Maria Phillips. Clients include Picture Financial, PDSA, Marriott

Rewards. Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.watsonphillipsnorman.com

49 Halpern Cowan

Privately owned. Founded 1999. Chairman David Halpern, MD Louis

Halpern, creative dir Marcel Cowan. Clients include Urban Group,

Cheapest Flights, Ebookers. Multi-discipline. Member DMA.

www.halperncowan.com

50 KHWS

Privately owned. Founded 1993. MDs Andrew Watts, Nick Hawkes,

creative dir Mark Skelton. Clients include Sony, La Poste,

ExxonMobil. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, ISP. www.khws.co.uk

51 Forth Marketing Services

Privately owned. Founded 1991. MD Richard Bolton, creative dir

Philip Carson. Clients include Friends Provident, Britannic

Assurance, Legal & General. Predominantly DM. Member DMA

52 Fenix

Privately owned. Founded 2002. MD Mark Fosbueary, creative dir Kevin

Scott. Clients include Debenhams, Marlow Foods, Atkins Nutritionals.

Multi-discipline. Member DMA, MCCA. www.fenixuk.com

53 Diametric

Privately owned. Founded 2001. MD Robert Diamond. Clients include WH

Smith, Boots, Prudential. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IDM,

Marketing Society. www.diametric.biz

54 WDPA

Privately owned. Founded 1999. MD Huw Williams, creative dir

Christian Wilson. Clients include Tesco, Radisson Edwardian Hotels,

3663. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, MCCA. www.wdpa.co.uk

55 Hall Moore CHI

Privately owned. Founded 2004. MD Simon Hall, creative dir Warren

Moore. Clients include First Active, Carphone Warehouse, Telegraph

Group. Multi-discipline. Member IAB, IDB. www.hallmoorechi.com

56 Meteorite

Privately owned. Founded 1998. Chairman Hugh Bishop, MD Debbie

Smith, creative dir Ed Prichard. Clients include Whitbread, Nokia,

Homebase. Predominantly DM. Member MCCA, IDM. www.meteorite.co.uk

57 Agency Inc

Privately owned. Founded 2003. MD Matthew Morgan, creative dir Iain

Maclean. Clients include Companies House, Generali, Rugby Football

Union. Multi-discipline. Member DMA. www.agencyinc.co.uk

58 Keevill Barton Kershaw

Privately owned. Founded 2003. Chairman Phil Keevill, MD Steve

Barton, creative dirs Phil Keevill, Steve Kershaw. Clients include

Alpha Telecom, WPA, F&C Asset Management. Multi-discipline.

www.kbklondon.com

Source: Companies House financial data provided by Willott Kingston

Smith for agencies affected by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

 

THE SARBANES-OXLEY EFFECT

For agencies affected by the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which restricts the

financial information that firms are allowed to make public, we have

used Companies House data provided by Willott Kingston Smith.

In most cases, the latest data available was for the 2003 financial

year, although only 2002 data has been filed for Draft London, MRM

Partners and Publicis Dialog. We have placed these agencies within the

main table, using their latest figures as a measurement tool, although

we have not given them rankings; while not ideal, this at least provides

a barometer of the size and status of these companies within the UK

direct marketing industry. Agencies for which no financial data could be

found are BI and OgilvyOne, which do not split their financial figures

from their parents'.

 

TOP 10 FOR GROWTH

Big agencies

Agency Gross profit Gross profit %

2004 2003 change

1 Iris 8,830,106 5,527,556 59.8

2 Gyro 4,700,000 3,000,000 56.7

3 Heresy 2,820,000 1,817,000 55.2

4 Kitcatt Nohr 2,142,781 1,381,531 55.1

5 Partners Andrews Aldridge 3,052,200 2,199,800 38.8

6 Liquorice 2,120,000 1,643,000 29.0

7 Communique 360 2,300,000 1,800,000 27.8

8 JDA 4,100,000 3,278,000 25.1

9 Millennium Direct 4,400,000 3,600,000 22.2

10 Story 2,400,000 2,000,000 20.0

 

TOP 10 FOR GROWTH

Small agencies

Agency Gross profit Gross profit %

2004 2003 change

1 Cheeze 1,802,000 559,000 222.4

2 Bright 1,588,568 611,943 159.6

3 Watson Phillips & Norman 923,499 464,104 99.0

4 Halpern Cowan 860,000 452,000 90.3

5 Dialogue DLKW 1,867,000 988,000 89.0

6 WDMP 1,370,000 767,000 78.6

7 Diametric 704,759 408,301 72.6

8 Mason Zimbler 1,130,000 717,000 57.6

9 Fenix 723,033 468,936 54.2

10 Response Advertising Media 1,221,000 828,000 47.5

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