Marketing Special Report: Customer publishing - The vital statistics

Last year was a struggle for the customer publishing sector, which faced a downturn in consumer spending as a recession loomed. However, the sector is continuing to grow steadily, with two agencies, in particular, standing out.

AGENCY OF THE YEAR - REDWOOD

Redwood clinched a hat-trick, by scooping Marketing's Agency of the Year award for the third time in succession in 2008. The agency showed no sign of resting on its laurels, with a constant desire to grow by doing the best work for its roster of clients. In what was a relatively subdued year for the industry, Redwood won Homebase's business, the biggest account of 2008. It also picked up Clarks, Knight Frank, Lewis Silkin and the British Society of Magazine Editors, with a 100% pitch conversion success rate - no mean feat in the current market. While this achievement is impressive, perhaps the biggest credit to Redwood was the volume of incremental business that it picked up over the year: it totalled 26 extra briefs and was worth £4.5m.

ONE TO WATCH - SUNDAY

Sunday's energetic management team and commitment to its staff and clients ensured the agency received a glowing report from Marketing's judges in its Agency of the Year awards. Of particular note was the fact that such a young business felt so strongly about corporate social responsibility that it had already committed to a company attitude survey. While business wins - notably the prestigious Mothercare account - were equally impressive, perhaps the biggest kudos came from the fact that so many of Sunday's clients expanded their relationship with the agency on the basis of its excellent work and ethos. Sunday was involved to a significant extent beyond initial client expectation for both Westfield and Toyota.

KEY FINDINGS - CUSTOMER PUBLISHING 2008

Average circulation of print titles - 321,257 up from 277,501 in 2005

Combined total circulation of surveyed print publications - 137m up from 82.4m in 2005

Source: Mintel/APA

TOP 10 CUSTOMER PUBLISHING AGENCIES

Rnk Agency Gross t'over (pounds m) % Staff Print Online
2007 2006 chg (%) (%)

1 John Brown 54,535,605 57,110,446 -5 285 96 4
2 Redwood 44,147,656 35,917,481 23 240 89 11
3 Ten Alps 39,875,479 29,400,000 36 507 93 7
4 Publicis Blueprint 28,526,000 33,757,000 -15 101 88 12
5 Seven Squared 26,636,000 25,191,000 6 140 100 0
6 Redactive Media Group 24,700,000 21,300,000 16 128 90 10
7 Cedar Communications 22,861,589 20,892,588 9 90 95 5
8 Haymarket Network 22,200,000 21,100,000 5 118 90 10
9 River Publishing 18,600,000 14,900,000 25 85 98 20
10 Forward 14,671,706 13,652,056 7 86 94 6

Source: Marketing Customer Publishing League Table 2008

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