Code Computerlove CEO Tony Foggett has spoken candidly about life in charge of the Manchester digital agency as part of a new series of interviews between MiNetwork managing director Richard Draycott and leading agency bosses.
In a revealing insight into the running of his agency, Foggett spoke openly about how Code managed to maintain its size and stature despite having to overcome losing two major clients last year.
He said: "In the space of the same week in 2010 we had pretty much a million quid's worth of business walk out the door.
"HMV repitched and Kimberley Clark wanted to go for a pan-global agency for all their digital activity.
"Luckily we were at the same time pitching for the Matalan work and the Butlins work, so we ended the year with exactly the same numbers as we had previously.
"The difference was that rather than retained work they were essentially one off project pieces. So we felt a hit for that in 2011. For the first time ever in our history we did shrink slightly in 2011."
Rather than lament the losses, Foggett said the disappointment actually made the agency more determined.
"It’s often the crises like that that really drive you forward.
"It’s easier to say this in retrospect, at the time I was probably panicking like crazy ... but I think it’s surprising how quickly you can grow.
"Often it’s the work you don’t win that defines what happens next. Sometimes it’s the pitches you lose that are drivers for changing things within the business.
"I guess we lucked out. But it certainly made us more committed to winning the work we were going to do.
"We did feel the pinch but now we're back to where we were."
You can hear Foggett's full one-hour interview on the exclusive Agency Eavesdropper CD, which will be made available to MiNetwork members only. For more information see the MiNetwork website.