ADVERTISING & PROMOTION: Agency profile; Claydon Heeley

Claydon Heeley has moved on rapidly from its roots as a sales promotions agency in 1990 to become something of a jack of all trades in the below- the-line arena.

Claydon Heeley has moved on rapidly from its roots as a sales promotions

agency in 1990 to become something of a jack of all trades in the below-

the-line arena.

Few, however, could accuse it of being master of none, as its client

list testifies. The agency launched a ‘summer’ can for 7-Up and last

week it joined Ford’s roster of agencies to work on the autumn launch of

its new small car.

Ongoing accounts include: NPD and direct marketing for Abbey National’s

new direct insurance product; fundraising for The Conservative Party;

and an integrated campaign for Pepsi Max, spanning radio advertising,

sampling and event marketing.

The fact that the agency has broken the mould of traditional below-the-

line operations owes much to the characters of its founding partners.

The agency was started by Mark Heeley, a former director of sales

promotion agency the Core Group, and Jon Claydon, a former City boy with

a reputation for combining commercial expertise with a healthy disregard

for the conventions of the below-the-line sector.

With turnover up 81% year on year to pounds 10m in 1995-96, Claydon

Heeley is beginning to encroach on areas of marketing traditionally

handled by above-the-line shops; it is pitching against incumbent

McCann-Erickson and Mustoe Merriman for Asti Martini’s seven-figure TV

branding campaign.

Clients talk of the intelligence and creativity inherent within the


‘You talk to a lot of agencies across the disciplines and usually they

just don’t get it,’ says Tim Davie, director of innovation at Pepsico.

‘Claydon Heeley always gets it.’

One observer says: ‘Claydon Heeley is aiming to be the Howell Henry of


‘The agency brings a freshness and irreverence to the arena, in the same

way as Howell Henry is perceived to have done.’

The only cloud on a fast-moving horizon is the danger of over-stretching

the agency’s resources.

Andy Blackford, founder of Impact FCA, who works as a creative

consultant, believes the agency is smart enough to avoid the pitfalls of

sudden growth.

‘Claydon Heeley is growing vary fast and it avoids it by the skin of its

teeth, but it is very smart and has managed to stay one step ahead of

the situation.’


Claydon Heeley


1995-96 turnover                     pounds 10m

New business in 1996 Colman’s Mustard, BAA, 7-Up, Pepsi, Organics, The

Prince’s Trust and Ford

Key clients Abbey National, British Airways, Britvic, The Conservative

Party, Terry’s Suchard and Unilever



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