Campaign Magazine gives Wieden+Kennedy London a score of 8 out of 9 in its annual 'School Report' for the second year in a row, which equates to a rating of 'excellent
A lot of creative agencies like to say they are all about the work. But with Wieden & Kennedy London this year, there is very little else to talk about – except perhaps the shop hiring more people to do the work.
Staff numbers were up 34 per cent to 190 in 2013. That’s two more than Wieden & Kennedy had in 2010 before Nokia – then its largest client – took its custom elsewhere, and the agency was forced to axe more than a third of its employees.
The creative duo Paul Knott and Tim Vance joined from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO in August, while the creative directors Dave Day and Larry Seftel joined from Mother in November. Later that same month, Christen Brestrup and Bertie Scrase joined from Crispin Porter & Bogusky, where they had been responsible for some of the best Paddy Power ads. The agency must have felt a certain delight in nicking Brestrup and Scrase, given that the CP&B creative directors were former Wieden & Kennedy stars who jumped ship.
Wieden & Kennedy set the bar high early on in terms of work. Its “the pony” spot for Three, released in February, was a genuine viral smash and easily the 2013 highlight. That said, its spots for Honda and Lurpak would make anyone’s highlight reel for the year too.
The horsemeat scandal that engulfed Tesco gave Wieden & Kennedy the chance to flex a different set of muscles: drafting the supermarket’s apology. The newspaper ads made headlines in their own right, but were later banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for stating that meat standards were an issue for the entire food industry. It seems that the agency has yet to fully stretch itself on the Tesco account.
In addition to wheeling out ancient long-copy skills, Wieden & Kennedy showed off its tech credentials, creating an app for Stride gum that was controlled by chewing motions – it won an award from the Internet Advertising Bureau.
In short, 2013 was a good year for an agency that seemed to be enjoying itself once again.
Elsewhere in the same issue, Campaign has published its latest 'top 100' league table of agencies by billings. W+K London has moved up seven places from number 20 to number 13, with a reported rise of 25%, which according to Campaign makes W+K London the fastest growing agency in the UK top 20 last year.