If the past year in direct marketing were to be summed up by the headlines it has attracted, it would make for a depressing read. The media firestorm has been such that one trade title described the year as 'DM's annus horribilis'.
Fighting to shake off its 'junk-mail' tag, direct found itself under even greater pressure following the suspension last August of Welsh postman Roger Annies, who had explained to people on his delivery round how they could stop receiving items of unaddressed mail. The heavy-handed response by his employer did not help the medium's cause, and figures from Royal Mail show that both mailing volumes and expenditure declined by 2.1% in 2006, to 5.03bn items and £2.32bn respectively.
For all these setbacks, the industry is in good spirits. Agencies are generally upbeat, confident about the future and the discipline's place within marketing. To argue that they no longer rely predominantly on mailings would be a gross overstatement, but direct agencies do now have significant alternative revenue streams, meaning there is enough happening in the industry to give cause for optimism.
The rise of these new channels - principally digital - has been an ongoing theme in direct for several years. What stands out over the past 12 months, however, is the pace of this change. Typically, digital now accounts for about 20% of agencies' total revenues; for some it is significantly more.
This is the result of a shift in budgets for agencies of all sizes. Flourish, for example, a small but fast-growing shop, has seen the proportion of its budgets represented by digital leap from 2% to 20% in the past year. Further up the table, Partners Andrews Aldridge posted a 40% hike in its total digital budgets as clients such as AirMiles adopted a multi-channel strategy.
The most notable shift has occurred in work aimed at younger consumers, where it acts as a particularly effective channel. It is no coincidence that, according to Royal Mail, the biggest drop in mailing volumes came in those targeting 16- to 34-year-olds, down by 25%, compared with an 11% drop in those for 35- to 44-year-olds.
The move to digital has enabled agencies to work in ways that were not previously possible. Mark Davison, former managing partner at DS-J and now in the same role at Partners Andrews Aldridge, cites the example of email. 'We can test different creative offers with live cells before we send out a campaign to an entire database,' he says. 'We'll know within half an hour which one performs best.'
Digital work also offers financial benefits. Margins have been squeezed on mailings as clients have sought their own production arrangements. Conversely, margins for online work are higher because production is often carried out in-house and new techniques are often used for which there is no precedent on price. Digital is also more cost-effective because it does not involve the added costs of print and postage, enabling clients to stretch their budgets further or, in many cases, to cut them.
The changes have been welcomed by many. 'As someone who used to work on the creative side, I'm delighted to see that clients are spending less on message delivery and proportionately more on message creation, which has to be good news for the industry and for consumers,' says Richard Madden, chief executive of Claydon Heeley.
Yet a word of caution is sounded by Matt Atkinson, group chief executive at EHS Brann. He argues that digital should be used only where relevant, not simply because it costs less. 'The danger is that people turn to digital because it's cheap and it's easy to blast the hell out of the customer,' he says. 'We've seen that with lots of the big clients. They are wearing it out already.'
The most common areas in which direct agencies will become involved in digital work are eCRM and email activity. Honda, for example, has complemented its offline customer relationship work handled by Hicklin Slade & Partners with an online microsite. The latter was designed to encourage visitors to reveal details about themselves and their cars.
These are natural extensions of offline work. Indeed, in the case of customer relationship work, digital often lends itself better to regular communication with a targeted database than mailings, and can be used to improve data capture. They are natural first steps for brands seeking to transfer some of their budget online. As a result, direct agencies have found themselves well placed to hold their clients' hands as they experiment with more sophisticated online techniques, leading them into areas previously the preserve of digital specialists.
Examples are numerous. CMW Interactive, Clark McKay Walpole's digital arm, recently worked with Cadbury on a social-networking campaign for Creme Egg; Archibald Ingall Stretton is extending its CRM work to mobile for clients such as O2; and Tullo Marshall Warren has set up a division called Sway to monitor online communities and find ways to target key influencers who can affect perceptions of brands. This crossover between disciplines was brought into even sharper perspective this month when digital shop 20:20 London acquired direct agency Keevill Barton Kershaw.
These shifts do not require a major change in agency structure as a lot of digital production work can be outsourced, but it does require a real understanding of how digital works from the top down; this is vital to finding the best mix of online and offline work, according to Ian Armstrong, manager of customer communications at Honda. 'I don't want a direct agency looking for a new revenue stream by hiring a couple of digital people,' he says. 'The strength has to be in strategy. We can always buy in extra technical resource if needed.'
Email and digital tend to work best in highly targeted communications, especially customer-retention work, which is a prime reason for its rapid take-up. While plenty of clients, especially financial-services brands, continue to 'carpet-bomb' cold lists, the overall focus has shifted from acquisition. In part, this reflects changes in the business climate. 'A lot of the big client sectors are now saturated markets with big, established players,' says Phil Andrews, chief executive of Partners Andrews Aldridge. 'These companies are very focused on how to keep customers and build relationships in a more profitable way.'
The area in which all these trends dovetail is data. Targeted communications and customer-retention work require good customer databases, and using digital channels can generate a raft of additional information to be processed and analysed.
As a result, both clients and agencies are scrambling to bolster their data-handling capacity, which in many cases is long overdue. 'Some companies still haven't got their data together. For example, recipients are still being addressed as Mr when they're a Mrs. The direct industry still has a lot to do to ensure data is clean,' says Jackie Stephenson, deputy managing director of Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel, which won the Grand Prix at the DMA Awards for a First Direct campaign.
Taking charge of data
Data has always been an important part of direct work, but it has not always been the agencies that have overseen the sort of customer information at the centre of CRM campaigns; in the past, many clients have handled this in-house. But the need for better data and more interesting analysis of it is providing broader opportunities for agencies. Earlier this month, for example, Boots launched a search for an agency to help it use the data from its Advantage Card more effectively. Like many brands, it looks to Tesco's Clubcard as the benchmark.
One emerging model is to combine digital and direct strength with data analysis, an offering toward which several agencies are moving. Over the past year Ben Langdon, former chairman of Euro RSCG London, has set up an agency grouping called Digital Marketing Group, which has been buying shops across a number of disciplines. Its choices have been significant: acquisitions have included direct agency Dig for Fire, telemarketing group HSM, online specialists Inbox Digital and Cheeze, and data-capability firm Jaywing.
It is not alone. Earlier this month Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, which already has ties with digital agency Under- wired, announced that it was to invest in the Huw Davis Partnership, a data strategy and analysis firm based in Singapore. Elsewhere, Archibald Ingall Stretton is building a data department after selling off its 40% stake in third-party data consultancy Tree.
'There is an appetite in the market for smart data solutions,' says Kitcatt Nohr managing partner Marc Nohr. 'Every agency is thinking about how it is going to deal with data.' His views are echoed by Mark Runacus, chief strategy officer at Hicklin Slade. 'If I were to push anything I'd want to invest in our business success, it would be data,' he says.
The investment required is worth it, according to Rapier chief executive Jonathan Stead. His agency has seconded one of its data analysts to Virgin Media, for which it handles direct and advertising work. He believes that as firms rely on data more, providing strong analysis of it can give an agency a strategic advantage over shops from other disciplines. 'If you're close to the data and analyse and interpret it appro- priately, it means you understand far more about the value of the customers you are winning and losing, and are in a better position to advise clients on where to spend their marketing budget,' he says.
As direct agencies attempt to realign their businesses, challenges remain. The most immediate of these is recruitment, especially in terms of digital talent. With competition fierce for digital-literate staff - Claydon Heeley, for example, poached a five-strong team from 23red - recruitment represents a major cost for agencies. Tequila has tackled the issue by sourcing talent through its overseas offices. 'This means most of our digital department is from the Southern hemisphere, so it can look like we work in a surf town,' admits Tim Bonnet, Tequila\London's chief executive.
Another growing challenge is the environment. The direct industry is hardly light on carbon use - 5.1bn items were mailed last year, and in February, David Miliband, secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs, called for a 'war on junk mail'. He argued that legislation is needed to force companies to mail to opt-in databases only, with the aim of reducing the 550,000 tonnes of mailings sent out every year.
Many agencies argue that the industry needs to be ahead of the game on its responsibilities. 'We are in for a kicking if we don't (do something),' says Tullo Marshall Warren director Richard Marshall. 'As a sector, we all bleat about negative media coverage, but still send out too much junk mail. The sooner we realise we that are not only polluting the planet but also wasting money, the better.'
Alex Lloyd, director at Haygarth, agrees that these pressures will result in hastening the shift toward targeted work. 'Rather than being seen to blitz vast areas and dumping paper, we need to find people who are going to be receptive,' she explains, adding that creatives need to avoid over-packing work and making pieces too complicated, which only adds to levels of waste.
Miliband's high-profile crusade may win him some green points, but there is a certain hypocrisy involved. 'The Labour Party is one of the biggest spenders on direct marketing, because it's effective and will help deliver votes,' points out Gavin Wheeler, managing director at WDMP.
Nevertheless, Robert Keitch, the Direct Marketing Association's director of media channel development, agrees that the environmental debate will be direct marketing's biggest challenge over the next five years. The DMA is building a carbon calculator for the industry to work out its emissions and how to offset them. It is also looking to create an environmental standard that will be controlled and verified by an independent third party. However, it is a slow process - he says it will be at least another year before it is in place.
The big question is whether brands are happy to pay more to make a greater effort with the materials they are using. John Butler, chief executive at Harrison Troughton Wunderman, has his doubts. 'They are not willing to bear the cost,' he says. '(Environmental issues) are not something that will lose a pitch for you if you're tied.'
This wait-and-see attitude is backed by Honda's Armstrong. He says that while it will do what it can to reduce the impact of mailings, Honda will not make wholesale changes to its direct work unless it feels under pressure from customers to do so.
In the meantime, print retains a cachet, particularly with upmarket brands using direct mail to grab the attention of high net-worth consumers. Haygarth's recent work for private aircraft firm NetJets is a case in point. 'It's getting tougher to find these people, and clients are looking to direct mail as one of their highest priorities to reach them,' says the agency's Lloyd.
Mercedes' use of direct marketing would seem to confirm this, taking it a step further by using mailings not just to drive transactions but as an experiential channel. It opted for direct mail as a major plank in the launch if its M-Class model. Claydon Heeley targeted 50,000 prospects and customers with a mailpack containing a miniature M-Class that could be taken for a 'test-drive' through an accompanying booklet. About 25% of the audience were contacted again by phone; 16% of those called requested a test-drive and 4.5% an extended test-drive.
There is clearly scope, then, for a more intelligent mix of creatively driven offline work and web activity. Agencies have been talking about it for years, but are now putting these words into action. Telecoms clients are proving particularly receptive to such innovations, leaving financial-services brands, once the industry's pioneers, largely lagging.
Over the coming year, a combination of a growth in customer-retention work and external pressures - environmental and otherwise - should see a continued emphasis on targeted marketing. Maybe then the industry's reputation will receive a welcome boost.
THE SARBANES-OXLEY EFFECT
For agencies affected by the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which restricts the information firms are allowed to make public, we have used Companies House data provided by Willott Kingston Smith. They have been placed in the table as a guide to their size, but not ranked. In all cases the latest data available is for the 2005 financial year. No data could be found for the following agencies: OgilvyOne, which pools its Companies House figures with the rest of Ogilvy; Harrison Troughton Wunderman, which is not separated out at Companies House; and DraftFCB, the result of last year's merger between Draft London and FCB.
TOP DIRECT AGENCIES
Name Gross profit Gross profit Gross
2006(pounds) 2005(pounds) profit
WWAV Rapp Collins* n/a 25,272,030 n/a
Proximity London* n/a 23,336,804 n/a
Tequila*1 n/a 22,657,221 n/a
1 Iris 18,000,000 12,816,000 40
EHS Brann* n/a 17,721,191 n/a
Joshua G2* n/a 16,710,910 n/a
2 Publicis Dialog 16,710,000 18,768,000 -11
3 Tullo Marshall Warren 15,300,000 14,100,000 9
4 Gyro International 14,629,000 9,058,000 62
5 Carlson Marketing 13,734,000 16,845,924 -18
Arc Worldwide* n/a 13,382,000 n/a
6 Rapier 12,400,000 10,200,000 22
7 Billington Cartmell 11,300,000 8,170,000 38
8 Haygarth 10,535,442 10,125,353 4
9 The Marketing Store n/a 10,168,000 n/a
10 Millennium 9,900,000 8,100,000 22
11 Cello Response 9,890,000 9,013,000 10
RMG Connect* n/a 9,768,205 n/a
MRM Worldwide* n/a 9,372,372 n/a
Craik Jones Watson Mitchell n/a 8,852,638 n/a
12 Claydon Heeley 7,576,000 n/a n/a
13 Archibald Ingall Stretton 6,587,106 5,559,512 18
14 LIDA 6,409,000 5,197,000 23
15 Clark McKay & Walpole 6,237,000 6,261,000 0
16 Dialogue DLKW 5,807,000 4,731,000 23
17 Chemistry Communications 5,596,000 6,373,000 -12
18 Elvis 5,466,166 3,749,008 46
19 Dig For Fire 5,138,000 n/a n/a
20 SOUK 5,010,000 n/a n/a
21 The JJ Group 4,020,110 3,754,400 7
22 WDMP 3,980,558 2,280,000 75
23 Tri-Direct 3,875,000 4,429,000 -13
24 Hicklin Slade & Partners 3,833,939 3,636,016 5
25 Hall Moore CHI 3,770,000 1,520,000 148
26 Partners Andrews Aldridge 3,680,000 3,400,000 8
27 Teamspirit 3,662,892 3,600,704 2
28 TMN Media 3,277,906 2,763,716 19
29 JDA 3,172,000 3,645,000 -13
30 Response One 3,165,000 2,500,000 27
31 Eclipse Marketing 3,120,000 2,600,000 20
32 TDA 3,021,333 3,503,594 -14
33 Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw 3,000,000 2,646,369 13
34 Golley Slater Direct 3,000,000 2,000,000 50
35 Beechwood 2,829,936 3,504,100 -19
36 23red 2,829,450 2,417,000 17
37 Story 2,600,000 2,400,000 8
38 Personal 2,573,282 1,627,383 58
39 Geronimo 2,554,987 2,106,022 21
40 Mason Zimbler 2,493,550 1,721,325 45
41 EDR 2,445,528 1,075,000 127
42 Crayon Direct Advertising 2,432,273 1,412,720 72
43 Flourish 2,205,887 1,378,277 60
44 Iceberg Marketing 2,131,673 2,881,032 -26
45 SMP 2,100,000 1,980,000 6
46 Watson Phillips Norman 1,999,426 1,465,365 36
47 Spinnaker 1,900,000 621,000 206
48 Liquid Communications 1,850,000 1,700,000 9
49 Base One 1,829,815 1,676,073 9
50 Juice 1,829,000 1,772,000 3
51 Bright 1,637,823 1,541,224 6
52 Communication Solutions 1,637,000 1,612,738 2
53 Intelligent Marketing 1,559,840 1,119,485 39
54 Them 1,512,099 1,455,311 4
55 Mike Colling & Co 1,478,985 1,212,351 22
56 Stephens Francis Whitson 1,459,145 n/a n/a
57 Presky Maves 1,379,603 1,534,901 -10
58 The Response Team 1,367,700 1,933,888 -29
59 Red C 1,335,000 1,540,000 -13
60 Space 1,246,239 571,000 118
61 DSJ 1,138,933 885,851 29
62 DNX 1,047,916 1,000,000 5
63 Prego 963,625 854,907 13
64 Connection2 861,000 430,000 100
65 Barraclough Edwards Chamberlain 828,000 594,000 39
66 Snowball 788,206 384,000 105
67 AMS Direct 784,000 923,000 -15
68 mabox 618,101 484,945 27
69 Agency Inc 593,485 363,777 63
70 Cognito Integrated Marketing 357,000 233,000 53
Name Turnover Turnover T'over
2006(pounds) 2005(pounds) % chng
WWAV Rapp Collins* n/a 78,522,167 n/a
Proximity London* n/a 45,640,378 n/a
Tequila*1 n/a 45,819,878 n/a
1 Iris 37,000,000 26,009,000 42
EHS Brann* n/a 28,326,564 n/a
Joshua G2* n/a 37,008,152 n/a
2 Publicis Dialog 30,251,000 23,215,000 30
3 Tullo Marshall Warren 23,200,000 22,900,000 1
4 Gyro International 24,796,000 13,347,000 86
5 Carlson Marketing 29,581,000 33,758,102 -12
Arc Worldwide* n/a 27,750,000 n/a
6 Rapier 15,100,000 14,900,000 1
7 Billington Cartmell 25,000,000 17,000,000 47
8 Haygarth 20,077,387 19,855,206 1
9 The Marketing Store n/a 15,210,000 n/a
10 Millennium 22,500,000 20,000,000 13
11 Cello Response 27,152,000 22,301,000 22
RMG Connect* n/a 14,137,199 n/a
MRM Worldwide* n/a 16,474,000 n/a
Craik Jones Watson Mitchell n/a 25,672,837 n/a
12 Claydon Heeley n/a n/a n/a
13 Archibald Ingall Stretton 8,314,103 8,006,569 4
14 LIDA 10,726,000 7,021,000 53
15 Clark McKay & Walpole 8,701,000 8,563,000 2
16 Dialogue DLKW 6,100,000 4,980,184 22
17 Chemistry Communications 9,859,000 10,952,000 -10
18 Elvis 9,460,630 9,333,578 1
19 Dig For Fire 6,873,000 n/a n/a
20 SOUK 9,420,000 n/a n/a
21 The JJ Group 11,228,660 9,710,334 16
22 WDMP 7,708,257 4,640,000 66
23 Tri-Direct 49,355,000 54,193,000 -9
24 Hicklin Slade & Partners 4,598,474 5,231,361 -12
25 Hall Moore CHI 9,130,000 3,260,000 180
26 Partners Andrews Aldridge 59,190,000 5,900,000 903
27 Teamspirit 4,438,863 4,354,010 2
28 TMN Media 4,051,910 3,110,564 30
29 JDA 13,231,000 16,002,000 -17
30 Response One 15,961,600 15,839,807 1
31 Eclipse Marketing 4,600,000 4,100,000 12
32 TDA 4,301,143 4,452,670 -3
33 Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw 5,029,000 3,865,585 30
34 Golley Slater Direct 5,300,000 3,600,000 47
35 Beechwood 3,726,091 5,463,275 -32
36 23red 3,730,725 3,490,000 7
37 Story 3,700,000 3,200,000 16
38 Personal 6,711,028 4,186,936 60
39 Geronimo 3,264,064 3,214,038 2
40 Mason Zimbler 4,751,170 2,786,423 71
41 EDR 7,810,000 3,390,000 130
42 Crayon Direct Advertising 2,776,862 1,867,886 49
43 Flourish 3,313,094 1,887,166 76
44 Iceberg Marketing 17,077,421 18,319,403 -7
45 SMP 4,800,000 3,542,000 36
46 Watson Phillips Norman 4,575,972 3,756,309 22
47 Spinnaker 2,800,000 1,080,000 159
48 Liquid Communications 3,000,000 3,000,000 0
49 Base One 2,981,163 2,914,330 2
50 Juice 4,416,000 4,108,000 7
51 Bright 2,201,256 2,348,217 -6
52 Communication Solutions 2,322,000 2,334,165 -1
53 Intelligent Marketing 2,355,425 2,061,341 14
54 Them 3,024,538 3,101,417 -2
55 Mike Colling & Co 15,131,988 10,074,049 50
56 Stephens Francis Whitson 2,360,664 n/a n/a
57 Presky Maves 2,020,070 2,543,720 -21
58 The Response Team 9,098,538 12,121,193 -25
59 Red C 2,178,000 2,620,000 -17
60 Space 2,760,000 1,300,000 112
61 DSJ 2,672,700 1,960,715 36
62 DNX 1,911,217 2,000,000 -4
63 Prego 1,990,979 2,070,627 -4
64 Connection2 2,340,000 1,680,000 39
65 Barraclough Edwards Chamberlain 1,087,000 866,000 26
66 Snowball 1,583,296 788,206 101
67 AMS Direct 13,931,000 16,551,000 -16
68 mabox 1,361,927 1,247,361 9
69 Agency Inc 1,304,434 1,121,376 16
70 Cognito Integrated Marketing 1,250,000 475,000 163
Name Staff total Creatives
WWAV Rapp Collins* 348 n/a
Proximity London* 256 26
Tequila*1 264 n/a
1 Iris 297 130
EHS Brann* 334 70
Joshua G2* 206 45
2 Publicis Dialog 162 35
3 Tullo Marshall Warren 220 23
4 Gyro International 280 75
5 Carlson Marketing 217 15
Arc Worldwide* 136 26
6 Rapier 108 26
7 Billington Cartmell 105 28
8 Haygarth 140 30
9 The Marketing Store 157 52
10 Millennium 185 35
11 Cello Response 143 30
RMG Connect* 96 n/a
MRM Worldwide* 225 50
Craik Jones Watson Mitchell 108 30
12 Claydon Heeley 82 22
13 Archibald Ingall Stretton 107 30
14 LIDA 65 20
15 Clark McKay & Walpole 85 18
16 Dialogue DLKW 57 35
17 Chemistry Communications 69 26
18 Elvis 65 21
19 Dig For Fire 80 27
20 SOUK 70 10
21 The JJ Group 87 15
22 WDMP 50 18
23 Tri-Direct 52 0
24 Hicklin Slade & Partners 45 13
25 Hall Moore CHI 52 14
26 Partners Andrews Aldridge 51 16
27 Teamspirit 40 12
28 TMN Media 25 0
29 JDA 60 15
30 Response One 46 0
31 Eclipse Marketing 68 1
32 TDA 41 18
33 Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw 50 14
34 Golley Slater Direct 32 6
35 Beechwood 47 17
36 23red 40 15
37 Story 30 10
38 Personal 44 10
39 Geronimo 32 10
40 Mason Zimbler 50 20
41 EDR 20 0
42 Crayon Direct Advertising 48 16
43 Flourish 22 10
44 Iceberg Marketing 29 5
45 SMP 45 8
46 Watson Phillips Norman 38 11
47 Spinnaker 30 13
48 Liquid Communications 20 0
49 Base One 32 12
50 Juice 21 5
51 Bright 26 11
52 Communication Solutions 36 15
53 Intelligent Marketing 37 12
54 Them 24 8
55 Mike Colling & Co 26 0
56 Stephens Francis Whitson 32 9
57 Presky Maves 26 7
58 The Response Team 19 4
59 Red C 26 10
60 Space 17 6
61 DSJ 18 4
62 DNX 25 8
63 Prego 16 7
64 Connection2 30 5
65 Barraclough Edwards Chamberlain 16 6
66 Snowball 6 1
67 AMS Direct 38 4
68 mabox 12 3
69 Agency Inc 12 6
70 Cognito Integrated Marketing 9 4
WWAV Rapp Collins*
Founded 1981. Subsidiary Omnicom Group. Chairman Ian Haworth; chief
executive Marco Scognamiglio. Clients include British Gas, NSPCC,
Sony. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA. www.wwavrc.co.uk
Founded 1991. Subsidiary Omnicom Group. Chairman Cilla Snowball;
chief executive Amanda Phillips. Clients include TV Licensing, Royal
Mail, Intercontinental Hotels. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA,
MCCA, ISP. www.proximitylondon.com
Founded 1992. Subsidiary Omnicom Group. Chief executives Tim Bonnet
(London), Fergus McCallum (Manchester). No clients disclosed.
Multi-discipline. Member DMA, MCCA. www.tequila-uk.com
Founded 1999. Privately owned. Chairman Ian Millner; managing
director Sam Noble. Clients include Sony Ericsson, COI, Adidas.
Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA, MCCA, ISP. www.irisnation.com
Founded 1968. Subsidiary Havas. Chairman Terry Hunt; chief executive
Matt Atkinson. Clients include Barclays, Tesco, BSkyB. Predominantly
DM. Member DMA, IPA. www.ehsbrann.com
Founded 1978. Privately owned. Chairman Peter Thompson; managing
director Nick Spindler. Clients include Masterfoods, Post Office,
Nestle. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA, MCCA, ISP.
2 Publicis Dialog
Founded 1998. Subsidiary Publicis Groupe. Chairman Dennis Kerslake;
chief executive Simon Marshall. Clients include Hewlett-Packard,
Renault. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA, MCCA, ISP.
3 Tullo Marshall Warren
Founded 1987. Subsidiary Creston. Managing director Chris Warren;
creative director Paul Tullo. Clients include Nissan Europe, Lloyds
TSB, T-Mobile. Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.tmw.co.uk
4 Gyro International
Founded 1991. Privately owned. Chairman Mark Speeks; chief executive
Gary Brine. Clients include Virgin Atlantic, T-Mobile, Sony.
Multi-discipline. Member DMA, MCCA. www.gyrointernational.com
5 Carlson Marketing
Founded 1960. Privately owned. Chief executive Jonathan Harman;
creative director Nick Meads. Clients include Lloyds TSB, Arla
Foods, BT. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, MCCA, ISP.
Founded 1968. Subsidiary Publicis Groupe. Chairman Bruce Haines;
managing director Andrew Edwards. Clients include Tesco, Post
Office, Procter & Gamble. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA, MCCA,
Founded 1988. Privately owned. Chief executive Jonathan Stead; chief
operating officer Sue Payne. Clients include Virgin Media, AA,
PruHealth. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA. www.rapieruk.com
7 Billington Cartmell
Founded 1990. Privately owned. Joint chairmen Ian Billington, Paul
Cartmell. Clients include Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, Lloyds TSB.
Multi-discipline. Member MCCA, ISP. www.bcl.co.uk
Founded 1984. Privately owned. Managing director Sophie Daranyi;
chief executive Stephen Morris. Clients include Nokia, Kia Motors,
Procter & Gamble. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, ISP.
9 The Marketing Store
Founded 1986. Subsidiary Havi Group. Chief executive Catherine Gale;
creative director Shelford Chandler. Clients include McDonald's,
Cereal Partners Worldwide, Shell. Multi-discipline. Member DMA,
MCCA, ISP. www.themarketingstore.com
Founded 1996. Privately owned. Managing director Martin Smith;
creative directors Adrian Mullen, Tony Weller. No clients disclosed.
Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.millenniumdirect.co.uk
11 Cello Response
Founded 2004. Subsidiary Cello. Chairman Stephen Pidgeon; managing
director Andy Carolan. Clients include Royal British Legion, HBOS,
COI. Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.cellogroup.co.uk
Founded 2004. Subsidiary WPP. Chief executive Tim Hipperson. No
clients disclosed. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA.
Founded 2000. Subsidiary Interpublic. Chief executive Alastair
Duncan; group creative director Matthew Mayes. Clients include
Microsoft, Intel, Dell. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA.
Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel*
Founded 1991. Subsidiary Omnicom Group. Chairman David Watson;
managing director Fiona Scott. Clients include Land Rover, Boots,
Unilever. Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.craikjones.co.uk
12 Claydon Heeley
Founded 1991. Subsidiary Omnicom Group. Chairman Jon Claydon; chief
executive Richard Madden. Clients include 3, Egg, Mercedes-Benz.
Multi-discipline. Member DMA. www.claydonheeley.com
13 Archibald Ingall Stretton
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Chairman Stuart Archibald; managing
partner Jon Ingall. Clients include O2, Abbey, Skoda.
Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA. www.archibaldingallstretton.com
Founded 1999. Subsidiary M&C Saatchi. Managing director Mel
Cruickshank; chief executive Lisa Thomas. Clients include NatWest,
Mini, British Airways. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA.
15 Clark McKay & Walpole
Founded 1995. Subsidiary Media Square. Managing director Martin
Nieri; creative directors Steve Walpole, Bob Nash. Clients include
HFC Bank, Peugeot, John Lewis. Predominantly DM. www.cmwlondon.com
16 Dialogue DLKW
Founded 2004. Subsidiary Creston. Chief executive Paul Biggins;
creative director Piggy Lines. Clients include HBOS, Burger King,
AA. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, MCCA, ISP. www.dialoguedlkw.com
17 Chemistry Communications
Founded 2000. Publicly quoted. Chairman Joe Garton; managing
director Diane Charlton. Clients include Diageo, Unilever, Transport
for London. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, MCCA, ISP.
Founded 2003. Subsidiary MCBD. Chairman Jeremy Miles; managing
director Mike Cullis. Clients include Cadbury Trebor Bassett, Pizza
Hut, Mitchells & Butlers. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, MCCA, ISP.
19 Dig For Fire
Founded 2003. Subsidiary Digital Marketing Group. Chief executive
Charles Buddery; creative director Nigel Wood. Clients include
Co-Operative Financial Services, Travis Perkins, Tesco.com.
Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.digforfire.co.uk
Founded 2005. Privately owned. Chief executive Bill Hart. Clients
include FlyBe, Sea France, Radisson Edwardian. Multi-discipline.
Member DMA, IPA, MCCA. www.soukcomms.com
21 The JJ Group
Founded 1989. Privately owned. Chairman James Goddard; managing
director Robert Beck. Clients include Volvo, British Gas Business,
Whitbread. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA, ISP.
Founded 2002. Privately owned. Chairman Gavin Wheeler; chief
executive Craig Wheeler. Clients include Carphone Warehouse, Thomson
Holidays, British Gas. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, MCCA.
Founded 1989. Privately owned. Chairman/chief executive Patrick
Carew. Clients include Norwich Union, Hiscox Insurance, Vue
Entertainment. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA.
24 Hicklin Slade & Partners
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Chairman Justin Hicklin; managing
director Matthew Brown. Clients include Honda, Camelot, Norwich &
Peterborough Building Society. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA.
25 Hall Moore CHI
Founded 2004. Privately owned. Managing partner Simon Hall; creative
partner Warren Moore. Clients include Carphone Warehouse, Daily
Telegraph, Royal Bank of Scotland. Multi-discipline.
26 Partners Andrews Aldridge
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Managing partner Phil Andrews;
creative director Steve Aldridge. Clients include Lexus, Vodafone,
AirMiles. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA.
Founded 1995. Publicly quoted. Managing director Joanne Parker;
creative director Richard Hayter. Clients include Prudential,
Norwich Union, Scottish Widows. Multi-discipline.
28 TMN Media
Founded 2006. Subsidiary TMN Group. Chairman Warren Taylor; chief
executive Mark Smith. Clients include MBNA, British Gas, Vernons.
Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.tmnmedia.com
Founded 1982. Privately owned. Chairman Carl Hopkins; managing
director Mike Ashton. Clients include HBoS, BT, Otto Versand.
Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.jda.co.uk
30 Response One
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Managing director Patrick Sargeant.
Clients include Redcats UK, National Trust, Open University.
Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.responseone.com
31 Eclipse Marketing
Founded 1988. Privately owned. Chairman David Pickering; creative
director Erik Beaton. Clients include Alpro, Vauxhall, Vodafone.
Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.eclipsemarketing.co.uk
Founded 1996. Privately owned. Chairman Heather Westgate; creative
director Mark Pearson. Clients include Alliance & Leicester
Commercial Bank, Cats Protection, Norwich Union. Predominantly DM.
Member DMA. www.tdaltd.com
33 Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw
Founded 2002. Privately owned. Chairman Jeremy Shaw; client partner
Marc Nohr. Clients include Norwich Union, Waitrose, Virgin Holidays.
Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA. www.kitcattnohr.com
34 Golley Slater Direct
Founded 2003. Privately owned. Managing partners Suzanne Coleman,
Rebecca Braithwaite. Clients include TK Maxx, Kraft Foods, British
Army. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA, ISP. www.golleyslater.com
Founded 1997. Subsidiary Dreamwooden. Chairman Philip Beeching,
managing director John Wood, creative director Barry Woodcraft.
Clients include Alliance & Leicester, Matalan. Predominantly DM.
Member DMA, IPA. www.beechwood.com
Founded 2000. Privately owned. Chairman Jane Asscher, creative
director Sean Kinmont. Clients include Bacardi Martini, COI,
Betfair. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA, ISP. www.23red.com
Founded 2002. Privately owned. Chairman Susan Mullen, creative
director David Mullen. Clients include First Direct, Scottish and
Southern Energy, Glenmorangie LVMH. Multi-discipline. Member DMA.
Founded 2004. Subsidiary the Engine Group. Chairman Christopher
Ward, creative director Jason Andrews. Clients include B&Q,
Privilege, GSK. Predominantly DM. Member IPA. www.personaluk.com
Founded 1994. Subsidiary the Meaningful Marketing Group. Chairman
Julian Dodds, managing director Andy Snuggs, creative director Becky
McOwen-Wilson. Clients include Direct Line. Multi-discipline. Member
DMA, MCCA. www.geronimo.co.uk
40 Mason Zimbler
Founded 1996. Privately owned. Chairman Mark Mason, creative
director Tyrone Probert. Clients include Microsoft, SAS, AMD.
Predominantly DM. Member IPA. www.mzl.com
Founded 2000. Subsidiary TMN Group. Chairman Warren Taylor, managing
director Tom Morgan. Clients include MBNA, BUPA, Dennis Publishing.
Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.edragency.com
42 Crayon Direct Advertising
Founded 2005. Privately owned. Managing partner Richard French,
creative director Steve Mulholland. Clients include BT, Norwich
Union, Paradise Poker. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, ISP.
Founded 2004. Privately owned. Managing directors Rich Hartson, Neil
Hecquet, creative director Keith Nichol. Clients include Betfair,
Chelsea Building Society, the Open University. Predominantly DM.
Member DMA. www.flourishdm.co.uk
44 Iceberg Marketing
Founded 1999. Privately owned. Chairman Clive Ingham, managing
director Simon Knibbs, creative director Nigel Pollard. Clients
include Loans.co.uk, Liverpool Victoria, Roadsure. Predominantly DM.
Member DMA. www.iceberg-marketing.com
Founded 1983. Privately owned. Managing directors Simon Mahoney,
Chris Simpson, creative director Rob Ellingham. Clients include
Microsoft, SanDisk, Kimberly-Clark. Multi-discipline. Member DMA,
46 Watson Phillips Norman
Founded 2003. Privately owned. Chairman John Watson, creative
director Maria Phillips. Clients include Which?, Picture Financial,
PDSA. Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.watsonphillipsnorman.com
Founded 2004. Privately owned. Managing partners Robert Goldsmith,
Brooke Dalton-Brewer, creative director Clare Winter. Clients
include De Vere Hotels, Sony Pictures Releasing, Multi-discipline.
Member DMA. www.spinnakerdirect.co.uk
48 Liquid Communications
Founded 1999. Privately owned. Managing partners Andy Annett and
Olly Raeburn. Clients include Scandinavian Airlines, Unilever,
Danone. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, MCCA.
49 Base One
Founded 1987. Privately owned. Managing director Richard Bush,
creative director David Thomas. Clients include British Gas
Business, Saab GB, Rackspace Managed Hosting. Multi-discipline.
Member DMA, IPA. www.baseonegroup.co.uk
Founded 1990. Privately owned. Chairman Lesley Gear, managing
director Barnaby Wilson, creative director Alan Learner. Clients
include Meat and Livestock Commission, AIG, LiOreal. Predominantly
Founded 2002. Privately owned. Managing director Jeremy Hall,
creative director Chris Martin. Clients include Orange, Thomson
Holidays, Best Western Hotels. Multi-discipline. Member DMA.
52 Communication Solutions
Founded 1993. Privately owned. Chairman Martin Bowden, managing
director Ian Smyth, creative director Jacqueline Steel. Clients
include American Express, TUI, NHS. Predominantly DM. Member DMA.
53 Intelligent Marketing
Founded 2003. Privately owned. Managing director Tricia Weener,
creative director Andy Maxwell. Clients include HSBC, Diageo,
Tchibo. Multi-discipline. Member DMA, ISP.
Founded 1996. Privately owned. Managing directors Sandra Lawrie,
Walter Denny, creative director Jim Archer. Clients include Johnson
& Johnson, BUPA, Wilkinson Sword. Multi-discipline.
55 Mike Colling & Co
Founded 2002. Privately owned. Chairman John Watson, managing
director Mike Colling. Clients include Which?, Channel Four, Early
Learning Centre. Predominantly DM. Member DMA, IPA. www.mcand.co.uk
56 Stephens Francis Whitson
Founded 2005. Joint venture with Chime Communications. Chairman Ben
Stephens, creative director Neil Francis. Clients include More
Th>n, House of Fraser, Callaway Golf Europe. Predominantly DM.
Member DMA, IPA. www.sfwlondon.com
57 Presky Maves
Founded 1999. Privately owned. Chairman Robin Presky, managing
director Peter Worster, creative director Stuart Woodington. Clients
include Barclaycard, Glenfiddich, DSGi. Predominantly DM. Member
58 The Response Team
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Chairman Dominic Benton, creative
director Rajnish Razdan. Clients include Carphone Warehouse, Amazon,
Bristol & West Mortgages. Predominantly DM. Member DMA.
59 Red C
Founded 1994. Privately owned. Chairman Howard Seaton, managing
director Adrian Rowe, creative director Julian Gratton. Clients
include BUPA, Littlewoods, JD Williams. Predominantly DM. Member
Founded 2003. Privately owned. Managing partners Guy Hepplewhite,
David Atkinson, creative director Paul Iaquaniello. Clients include
Eurostar, Beiersdorf, SWERDA. Multi-discipline. Member MCCA, ISP.
Founded 2002. Privately owned. Managing partners Mark Davison,
Edmund Smiley-Jones, creative partners Paul Snoxell, Andy Todd.
Clients include BBC Worldwide, Sony, Network Rail. Predominantly DM.
Member ISP. www.dsjlondon.com
Founded 2000. Privately owned. Joint managing directors Drew
Nicholson, Domini Pettifar, creative director Simon Fraser. Clients
include Blacks, Timberland, NTL:Telewest. Multi-discipline. Member
Founded 2002. Privately owned. Managing director Steve Henry,
creative director Jared Read. Clients include William Hill,
Littlewoods, BUPA. Predominantly DM. www.prego.co.uk
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Chairman Thomas Hughes, managing
director Gary Kemp, creative director Alex Helbig. Clients include
Sun, Motorola, IBM. Multi-discipline. Member DMA.
65 Barraclough Edwards Chamberlain
Founded 2003. Privately owned. Chairman Chris Barraclough, managing
partner Nic Chamberlain, creative director Steve Edwards. Clients
include Nectar, Daimler Chrysler, UIA Insurance. Predominantly DM.
Founded 2003. Privately owned. Chairman Damian Bentley, creative
director Byron Lapidus. Clients include Bang & Olufsen, Dunhill,
Trailfinders. Predominantly DM. Member DMA. www.snowball.co.uk
67 AMS Direct
Founded 1975. Subsidiary AMS Communications. Managing director Paul
Phelps. Clients include Thomas Sanderson, Carcraft, Kuoni.
Multi-discipline. Member DMA, IPA. www.amsgroup.co.uk
Founded 2001. Privately owned. Managing director Tim Hallac,
creative director Andy Powell. Clients include Destiny Group,
Valpak, Reed Recruitment. Multi-discipline. www.mabox.co.uk
69 Agency Inc
Founded 2003. Privately owned. Managing director Matthew Morgan,
creative director Tim Diviny. Clients include Companies House, RFU,
Ascot racecourse. Multi-discipline. Member DMA. www.agencyinc.co.uk
70 Cognito Integrated Marketing
Founded 2002. Privately owned. Managing partners Bon Brenchly, Karl
Heasman, creative director Greg Oxford. Clients include Nivea, IDT
Finance, Steljes. Multi-discipline Predominantly DM. Member DMA,
* Source: Companies House data provided by Willott Kingston Smith for
companies affected by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
1 Tequila figures include the London and Manchester offices
2 Partners Andrews Aldridge merged with DS-J this month
3 DS-J merged with Partners Andrews Aldridge this month
TOP 5 FOR GROWTH - BIG AGENCIES
Name Gross profit Gross profit %
2006 2005 change
1 Hall Moore CHI 3,770,000 1,520,000 148
2 WDMP 3,980,558 2,280,000 75
3 Gyro International 14,629,000 9,058,000 62
4 Golley Slater Direct 3,000,000 2,000,000 50
5 Elvis 5,466,166 3,749,008 46
TOP 5 FOR GROWTH - SMALL AGENCIES
Name Gross profit Gross profit %
2006 2005 change
1 Spinnaker 1,900,000 621,000 206
2 EDR 2,445,528 1,075,000 127
3 Space 1,246,239 571,000 118
4 Snowball 788,206 384,000 105
5 Connection2 861,000 430,000 100