Fantasy Marketing League

By The Drum, Administrator

November 18, 2004 | 8 min read

The final tables

After a long and tough season, Iain Bunt of Edinburgh-based design and print company The Forth Craw has managed to steer his team of marketing hot shots, named The Craws, to victory in The Drum’s inaugural Fantasy Marketing League.

The Craws, which consisted of 1576 Advertising, Navyblue, The Big Partnership, Arc Worldwide and The Media Shop, built up an impressive tally of 79 points during the ten-month season that kicked off in January.

All the agencies that Bunt chose to make up his Fantasy Marketing Team had solid trading years, picking up new business, being involved in a number of high-profile, director-level appointments and had also been highly active on the merger and acquisition front.

An emotional team manager, Iain Bunt was presented with his Fantasy Marketing League Trophy at the agency’s offices on the eve of the Scottish Advertising Awards and now it stands in pride of place in the agency’s Gorgie office.

However, The Craws didn’t have it all their own way, as Angela Casey’s Porter Novelli All-Stars, which was made up of direct marketing agency WWAV Rapp Collins Scotland, new media consultancy Limone/MMI, 1576 Advertising, design firm McKinstrie Wilde and PR consultancy 3x1, showed.

Casey’s All-Stars was neck and neck with The Craws right up until the final whistle blew but as the season drew to a close The Craws just managed to pull away to taste victory. For details on how the Fantasy Marketing League worked, see the grey panel for the mechanics.

So let’s take a look at just how the season panned out for The Craws and its team members.


Navyblue began talks with Northcross to take over the design consultancy, which went into liquidation late in 2003. The deal was concluded later that month. On the PR front, The Big Partnership picked up the PR account for Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley, business worth an estimated £1.5m.


1576 kicked off its season in great style as it lands the Swinton Insurance account, while its brand consultancy arm, 1576bc, won project work for MyTravel and VisitScotland. In a busy start to the year for Navyblue’s head of business development Toby Southgate is appointed to the board of directors as the design consultancy also appoints Pete Burns, John Dow and promotes Jonathan Evans to creative director. Also a strong performance at the Scottish Design Consultancy of the Year review saw Navyblue earn even more points for The Craws.


The Big Partnership announced the launch of its Inverness office, and with it five points for The Craws. The consultancy also picked up new business in Glasgow in the form of Babtie and UK Steel Enterprise. The Craws managed to move into top spot this month, pushing the PN All-Stars into second.


No points scored ... poor show.


1576 is signed up by the consortium Red FM, which is bidding for the radio licence for Edinburgh. And also in the radio sector, The Big Partnership picks up the PR account for the launch of new Glasgow station Saga 105.2FM. 1576 scores again for The Craws by winning the advertising account for Ortak Jewellery. Despite earning respectable points this month, The Craws lose their top spot again to Angela Casey’s PN All-Stars, which scored heavily this month.


It’s the Scottish Design Awards and Navyblue scores points after winning awards for its L.A.U.N.C.H. book for Tullis Russell Papermakers and its corporate identity work for Bright Grey. The consultancy also outpaced all contenders by winning the chance to design the 2012 Olympic bid document for London. 1576 also weighed in with more points by winning the advertising business for Fettes College in Edinburgh. Still The Craws sit in second position behind the PN All-Stars but after June their lead is down to just one point.


Setting the pace again this month was Navyblue, which appointed former Elmwood director Alan Ainsley as its new design director. Also, rumours begin to circulate that 1576 is in talks to appoint former Draftworldwide boss Gary Smith as joint managing director. However, this speculation is not confirmed and so no points are awarded for this.

The Media Shop brings in its first points for The Craws by winning the media planning and buying business for construction firm MacTaggart and Mickel. Fortunately for The Craws, Angela Casey’s PN All-Stars only fared slightly better this month and were only able to stretch their lead at the top of the table to two points.


The big news this month was the Scottish Executive’s appointment of eight ad agencies, four PR consultancies, four new media agencies, but only one media independent to handle its consolidated marketing and communications business. The Craws scored big points as 1576 was retained to the business and The Big Partnership was appointed to the PR agency roster. However, there is some bad news this month for The Craws as Navyblue loses the design account for Edinburgh College of Art to Curious Oranj, following a pitch – the first points that The Craws have lost all season. But, to compensate, Navyblue scored points for appointing Jim Faulds as non-executive chairman.

The Craws slip quietly into the lead after a particularly good month, pushing Casey’s PN All-Stars into second spot.


After weeks of speculation, 1576 confirms that Gary Smith is to join as joint managing director, so The Craws score big points for that news. 1576 is officially crowned as top striker for The Craws this month after also winning the advertising account for the Daily Record’s new online recruitment service, Scotcareers. However, never one to be overshadowed, The Big Partnership picks up points after it joins forces with rival PR firm Catchline. The Media Shop also picks up points for the launch of its new brand identity, which was created by 999 Design. Meanwhile, Navyblue wins the design account for Napier University, further boosting The Craws’ points tally.

A great month for The Craws sees them start to pull away at the top of the fantasy Marketing League with an eight-point lead over the PN All-Stars.


The final week of The Drum’s Fantasy Marketing League is a nail-biting time for The Craws. A sudden surge by any of the PN All-Stars’ agencies could eat up the eight-point lead that The Craws have built up. Fortunately for Iain Bunt and The Craws, there were no late client wins, no senior appointments or mergers made and The Craws maintained their lead at the top of the Fantasy Marketing League and collected the first ever Fantasy Marketing League Trophy to mark their success.

On receiving his trophy, Iain Bunt, manager of The Craws, vowed to hold on to his hard-earned title next year. But will you let him? In January The Drum will launch the Fantasy Marketing League 2005. If you want to wipe the smug grin off the faces of The Craws and stand a chance of winning the Fantasy Marketing League Trophy, then keep your eyes peeled for the entry details.

How the league worked

The Fantasy Marketing League was launched in December 2003 when readers of The Drum were invited to choose the five Scottish marketing services agencies that they believed would perform the best during 2004 in terms of growth and new business.

Each team had to consist of an advertising agency, a design consultancy, a PR consultancy, a new media consultancy and a below-the-line agency. These were chosen from a pre-determined list by a team manager and e-mailed to The Drum to register them.

A points system was introduced, with points awarded for winning a new client, appointing a director or other senior-level staff member, the launch of a new subsidiary division and creative awards won.

Points were deducted for the loss of a major client, redundancies, a breakaway being formed and the resignation of a director or a senior member of staff. All points were deducted if any agency that was part of the team went out of business.

The editorial team took a decision on how many points to be awarded to a team in the event of any of its agencies being sold, acquired or merged or picking up a major piece of international business.

Points would only be awarded or deducted if the relevant news was covered by The Drum magazine.


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