AGENCY 2001: Below The Line Agency of the Year - Joshua - Joshua recorded a fantastic list of victories in 2001, and its work for long-time client Royal Mail would prove to be its crowning glory

If it's creativity you were after, small was definitely beautiful

in direct marketing in 2001, with baby agencies such as Partners Andrews

Aldridge, oneagency, Leonardo and Archibald Ingall Stretton dominating

at the recent DMA Awards.



But big ain't so bad, or so it proved for Joshua, which had a

record-shattering year of wins that boosted this highly profitable

Grey-owned agency's gross profit by 37% to £18.9m. Those are the

sort of numbers you would expect in boom times.



The only major loss was NTL, which was moved to Black Cat following its

acquisition by JWT, but this was offset within weeks by the £7m

ITV Digital account. Other major wins included £2m of work with

QuinetiQ, a government military business; and the Post Office Counters

account, adding to its long-standing relationship with Consignia's

Parcelforce and Royal Mail divisions.



Other new wins included Nike Town, Metropolis, Handbag.com, and Bird's

Eye Walls, which started by giving Joshua the account for its frozen

peas and added potatoes, waffles and Carte d'Or. Joshua also

consolidated its relationship with Barclays by winning the

clearlybusiness.com account; and made further inroads with BA, adding BA

Holidays, London Eye and Speedwing.



And there was also a healthy amount of below-the-line work attached to

the Zurich financial services rugby sponsorship ad, featuring Peter

O'Toole.



Winning streak



Joshua didn't have it all easy. Fiona Godwin Brown, director of

responsive marketing at Joshua, admits that earlier in the year there

were some lay-offs, but she believes the agency is on a winning streak.

The agency has consistently reached the final client shortlist, and its

winning percentage has been over 90%. But despite winning £18m of

new business (including above-the-line media spend), Godwin Brown does

feel that it's "increasingly difficult to make new business pay in

profit terms".



The key to Joshua's success, says Godwin Brown, is not so much in the

abstract creative sense, but in its strategic thinking. "It's not a

question of whether it looks beautiful on a piece of paper. What's

important is that it works."



She highlights Joshua's 'flower' work for Royal Mail as a real success

story. The Royal Mail 'second internet age' campaign was designed

(beautiful irony for a DM agency) to generate increased direct mail

revenue as a complementary media to web activity, and it took as its

starting point, the fact that more than £1m in worldwide

investment had been wasted on web companies that went out of

business.



Seeking to assess how web site strategy had evolved, Royal Mail and

Joshua developed direct response ads, direct mail packs, a supporting

web site and an e-strategy resource fulfilment pack for respondents. The

Royal Mail set 3.5% as the objective for response rate from

below-the-line activity; in actual fact, the response rate was

9.63%.



The impact on mailing revenues will be evaluated one year on. In the

meantime, a second campaign, involving a woman with a Harley Davidson

tattoo, has already exceeded response-rate targets and it's only just

launched, she adds.



As for those creativity awards, Godwin Brown is considering a boycott of

future awards. "We think there has to be a real question mark over the

judging of these awards, because we're on a winning streak and we

wouldn't be winning all these accounts if we weren't producing the

goods."



IMP



IMP is in the form of its life. It is expected to post its biggest year

ever this year, with fee income up 12% to £14.8m, after winning

ten of the 12 accounts it pitched for, says chief-executive John

Quarrey.



Starting the year lean after 12 months spent grappling with a field

marketing business it had acquired, IMP got off to a bad start losing

the National Australia Group's regional British banks.



Since then there's been no looking back, as the agency picked up £10m accounts for Vizzavi and WHSmith, and a decent chunk of business

from Mars, Heineken, Hammerite and Philips.



Even more impressive was the Prudential win: from a standing start it

entered a pitch for the business from a long list of incumbents, and won

one of the three chunks that were handed out. And it also survived a

Compaq review from 14 agencies to two to secure the interactive element

of the computer giant's business.



Creative highlights have included a ton of eye-catching work for

Vizzavi; an excellent campaign for the Fiat Multipla people carrier

(which had a 6.6% response rate), and DM work for the Rugby Football

Union that led to a sell-out of the Tetley's Bitter Cup semi-finals for

the first time in years, and a big increase in attendance at the final

itself.



TEQUILA



Tequila lost several key accounts this year, including BT, but the

agency recovered incredibly well.



IBM was replaced with work for Canon; RBS Avanta was offset by a

Barclays job; there was a £3m integrated account for Psion, a

sales promotion effort for Nissan (involving a tie-up with Shrek), while

Tequila picked up a much-coveted Echo for a Virgin One campaign. Other

wins included Le Meridien, Going Places, Family Assurance, Shark, Grand

Marnier, e-commerce procurement company Ariba and Kraft (for Dime

bars).



But the greatest source of pride (and revenue) has come from Tequila's

work for Shell, estimated to be worth £32m. It started in April

with a promotion for Shell's European Oil Products (SEOP) division.

After raising £51m worth of prizes with a pan-European sales

promotion involving 75 Mazda MX5s, service station revenue was up by

£16.8m (more than twice as much as the fuel target; and triple the

target for convenience store sales.) Not surprisingly, in July, Tequila

was given the Shell global account, and is now responsible for

promotions across 65 markets. A management restructure in January will

see Paul Biggins moving from the Manchester office to head up the London

operations. Tom Wass will focus on international work.



TRIANGLE



After selling out to Publicis in the Spring, Triangle won a string of

awards (including the SPCA Agency of the Year) and picked up lots more

business, including an £8m contract for Transport for London, and

big accounts with Symantex for its Norton anti-virus software; P&G for

Iams cat food (Europe only), and Tetley. Other wins were Golden Wonder,

Kellogg, Evian, Barclaycard's Indigo Square and Bestfoods (for Pot

Noodles and Marmite).



This performance enabled Triangle to overcome the economic downturn, and

the loss of the Bullmer's Strongbow account, with relative ease: group

planning director Elizabeth Baker estimates that results will be in line

with 2000.



With 18 awards to its name, Triangle has also excelled in the creative

department. A Tango megaphone promotion which 'outs' non-Tango drinkers

has been highly decorated, and its award-winning work with Tango looks

set to continue: moving away from its anarchic and wild heritage,

Triangle was the first agency to launch a promotion giving away mobile

phone time.



The promotion was so successful that Tango is all set to repeat the

program, which is a Tango first. Also ground breaking is a massive

text-messaging-based instant-win promotion for Cadbury which has already

generated a whopping four million responses to date.



LOWE LIVE



There's a new name on the letterhead (it changed from Lowe Direct), but

Lowe Live didn't need any rebranding of its financial performance.



Growth was not quite up to the 32% recorded in 2000, but in this market

no-one at IPG is likely to complain about a 15% increase in fee income,

which this year topped £12m. One fillip was the fact that Lowe

Live picked up the global £50m 3Com account from its sister agency

in New York.



Already responsible for below-the-line in Europe, the move was

precipitated because the B2B software provider switched its focus to

below-the-line.



Winning several chunks of HSBC business (offshore banking, a Yahoo joint

venture, global and online work) has led to the creation of a Hong Kong

office.



Other wins included a £10m RBS Avanta account; work for Dollond &

Aitchison; new business for Shell on its Visa card; and a Slendertone

campaign which led to a 9% increase in unprompted awareness. (And the

launch of the bottom and side-toning shorts outsold the abs belt by 3:1,

we are reliably informed.)



Now 110-strong, Lowe was one of the few agencies actively hiring this

year, and bucking another trend, most of the new resource went into

boosting its digital division. The only downer was that Lowe didn't win

the Orange account. Well, relationships aren't everything.



CRAIK JONES



It's hard to argue with the record of Craik Jones. Celebrating its 10th

year, this mid-size DM shop picked up its biggest-ever contract this

year, the £25m Orange account - and it did so against the odds,

with Lowe Live the favourite because of the Orange relationship with

above-the-line sister agency Lowe Lintas.



Other wins have included the COI, a big chunk of the Prudential account

(one of three winners in the recent rationalisation), Johnny Walker

Black Label, comdirect, and a spot on the competitive Barclays roster.

All of which helped the agency to grow its 2000 fee income of £6.7m by a modest amount, while holding profits level.



The only losses (Charles Schwab and Dolphin) came about as a result of

conflicts with new clients. In the meantime, Craik Jones continued to

crank out high-quality creative for core clients such as Gordon's,

Virgin and Land Rover (which picked up four awards at the recent DMA

Awards).



Another particularly memorable and effective campaign was for the Young

Person's Railcard. Craik Jones came up with a humourous execution

called' Don't be a local' which showed pictures of 'locals' (and avoided

trying to represent or typecast 'yoof'). After four years of static

sales of the discount card, they increased by 24%.



TOP 30 BELOW-THE-LINE-AGENCIES

Rank Agency Gross Profit Gross Profit % chge

2000 (pounds) 1999 (pounds)

1 WWAV Rapp Collins

(London) 28,500,000 21,100,000 35.07

2 OgilvyOne 27,965,000 21,604,000 29.44

3 ehsrealtime 24,124,000 17,561,000 37.37

4 Claydon Heeley

Jones Mason 19,877,000 17,167,000 15.79

5 BHWG Proximity 19,105,000 18,215,000 4.89

6 McCann

Relationship Marketing 17,300,000 9,500,000 82.11

7 Tequila London 15,600,000 15,100,000 3.31

8 Momentum 14,300,000 7,500,000 90.67

9 KLP Euro RSCG 13,852,000 11,863,000 16.77

10 Joshua 13,735,000 13,000,000 5.65

11 TBWA/GGT Direct 13,377,000 10,105,000 32.38

12 141 13,300,000 10,000,000 33.00

13 IMP Group 13,257,000 13,488,000 -1.71

14 The Marketing Store 13,165,000 11,862,000 10.98

15 Clarke Hooper Proximity 12,500,000 10,000,000 25.00

16 DraftWorldwide 11,623,000 14,200,000 -18.15

17 Triangle 11,356,000 9,314,000 21.92

18 Lowe Live 10,800,000 8,200,000 31.71

19 Finex

Communications Group 9,856,000 4,253,000 131.74

20 Mosaic Marketing

Services 9,655,000 14,877,000 -35.10

21 Interfocus Network 8,991,000 8,175,000 9.98

22 The Haygarth Group 8,814,000 7,278,000 21.10

23 Dynamo Group 8,512,000 6,270,000 35.76

24 Rapier 8,300,000 5,920,000 40.20

25 Geoff Howe Mktg Comms 8,004,000 4,535,000 76.49

26 Black Cat 7,139,000 3,927,000 81.79

27 Craik Jones WMV 6,703,000 4,022,000 66.66

28 DP&A 6,523,000 3,441,000 89.57

29 Tullo Marshall Warren 6,146,000 4,779,000 28.60

30 Poulter Partners 6,000,000 5,300,000 13.21

Source: Marketing League Tables



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