Don’t ask me why the bloody pic is sideways. I can’t figure it out. Anyway…
It’s ‘school report’ week in Campaign. The time when the UK’s main ad trade paper reviews the performance of the leading agencies over the previous year. There is a new ‘top 100’ (100 agencies; who’d have thought we need so many) agency league table published, and the most ‘influential’ shops get an individual rating of their performance from 1 (survival in question) to 9 (outstanding). Traditionally, only the agency of the year scores 9.
So what were the scores on the doors? Billings are an increasingly irrelevant measure of agency performance but that’s how the top 30 chart table is compiled. According to this, AMV BBDO stays at number 1, despite a 7% drop in billings. And this decline is seen across most of the network agencies: JWT down 25%, Publicis down 24.4%, DDB down 10.7%, Ogilvy down 11.9%, Lowe down 14.76%, McCann down 5.5%, and Grey down 2.6%. Two network shops bucking this trend: Euro RSCG up 32% and TBWA up 19%. Meanwhile, big growth came from Fallon up an impressive 150%, WCRS up 87%, DLKW up 20%, , VCCP up 17.9%, Miles Calcraft up 24%, BBH up by 13%. And Wieden + Kennedy up by a respectable 12%.
All this is not a pretty picture for network chiefs.
It’s interesting to compare how Campaign’s rating of agencies compares with their won self-assessment, which is also printed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost all agencies rate their performance higher than does Campaign. A few selected disparities:
Craik Jones Mitchell Voelkel.
Campaign says: "A spectacular fall from grace. The agency lost two of its flagship accounts and its entire senior management team in the space of a few months." (2)
The agency says: "2007 was challenging but there were some ups amid the downs". (5)
Campaign says: "Office politics are never far from the fore…Lowe is in danger of losing its place in London’s cultural centre." (4)
The agency says: "The management team is in situ and Lowe is looking all the rosier for it." (7)
(One wonders whether this self-assessment was written at the end of last year by one of the Lowe managers who have subsequently been axed.)
Campaign says: "A calamitous start…There is still a big job to do before we can talk of any turnaround…the decline in billings needs emergency surgery." (2)
The agency says: "We are fresh, excited and guaranteed to surprise a few people." (6)
Full disclosure: Wieden + Kennedy.
Campaign says: "With a positioning already at the cutting edge of advertising creativity, 2007 was the year when W+K also validated its network credentials…Creatively 2007 was not a vintage year but a high standard still prevailed." (8)
We said: "W+K London became a global force in 2007. We had a great new business performance, including probably year’s biggest and most desirable win: the Nokia worldwide account. We delivered strong, effective work across a broad portfolio of clients. We put interactive at the heart of our approach. We hired some great people. We continued to push into areas beyond advertising. We tried to do more good. Overall, our best year yet." (7)