The Adline Annual Review

By The Drum, Administrator

January 3, 2006 | 11 min read

As a brand new year begins, what better way to kick it off than to announce the winners of our Annual Review and discover which agency has been awarded the much coveted Hat Stand.

The Adline Annual Review looks at the highs and lows that have bestowed the industry over the course of the past 12 months. All who are featured in this Review are by definition working high above the industry standard and we believe should be flagged up for praise.

So, on to the science bit – how we reached our results.

The judging this year was completed by our Adline editorial team – we like to get out of the office on a regular basis and find out latest account wins, creative work and just who people in the industry rate. From our exposure to the industry we can then get down to judging the year’s highlights. Our creative awards were also used as a benchmark for finding the winners – those who have performed well in the Robert Horne North of England Design Awards, the Roses Advertising Awards, the Roses Design Awards or the Cream Awards in 2005.

The winners featured have made a huge impact in terms of both growth and creativity, building their business and generally raising the benchmark for the creative industry outside of London. All the agencies that have been shortlisted in each category by rights have made a huge impact on the marketing scene over the past twelve months.

However, we feel that the winners have really gone that extra mile and are able to hold their heads up against the rest of the competition nationwide as simply some of the best agencies in the country. So on to the categories...

North West Marketing Services

Agency of the Year

This was probably one of the toughest categories to judge – the fact that there are six companies in this category (making it the largest in this review) highlights this. All the agencies in this category, it could be argued, were more than worthy of the title with fantastic pieces of work created for clients that included Umbro and Playstation for Love, British Airways and Galaxy for BJL, Morrisons for BDH and True North’s work for the Imperial War Museum North and the National Road Safety Initiative.

Meanwhile, PR agency Brazen continues to go from strength to strength, with work for new clients that included the high profile T-Mobile and Magnet proving that the agency is a worthy competitor for the title.

However, there could only ever be one winner in the category and standing out against the rest was CheethamBell JWT. The agency has had a fantastically successful past 12 months with a Grand Prix win at the Roses Advertising Awards in May for client the Fabric Warehouse, and then picking up one of the largest accounts to hit the North West scene in the year – Magnet. Other wins for the agency included being reappointed to the COI roster and, most recently, picking up a rumoured £2million account win for Sue Ryder Health Care.

The agency has done its best to prove that being based outside of London does not limit success when it comes to picking up some fantastic creative awards prizes as well as the ever elusive multi-million pound creative accounts.

It is for these reasons alone that CheethamBell JWT has also been named as Adline’s Agency of the Year. Messrs Bell and Cheetham and the rest of the team show that through sheer hard work and some brilliant creative thinking that work created outside of London should be, and is, taken seriously by industry commentators.

Congratulations to everyone at CheethamBell JWT – this is a just deserved accolade.

North EAST Marketing Services

Agency of the Year

Yet again another difficult category to judge. However, the winners in this section have not only doubled the size of the agency but also successfully managed to pitch for high profile clients Holland and Barrett – Guerrilla Marketing. Other clients for the agency include Northumbria Police, NHS Teeside and Gateshead Council.

The agency has over the past twelve months more thandoubled its non-media turnover and increased their staffing levels from 13 to 25 – complete with 23 new business wins by October of this year.

The agency can certainly hold its own against the rest of the competition in the North East and it will be interesting to see how the business grows over the next 12 months.

Yorkshire Marketing Services

Agency of the Year

A year can be a long time in industry life – and nowhere is this more true than in this category.

Propaganda has always been an agency with a high profile in Yorkshire. However, the past six months have shown that the agency is making a major leap following the appointment of Mike Phillipson after his departure from PWLC.

The canny appointment was just one of the areas where the the agency has shown strength, ably headed up by our Marketing Services Head of the Year – Julian Kynaston.

Following Phillipson’s appointment, the agency has won a vast amount of business – starting with the highly lucrative £5million Fox’s creative account, quickly followed by the Car People, Braun UK, Butterkist and Prosperity 4.

In our opinion, the agency was the only other competitor to take on CheethamBell JWT this year. However, it was thought that this might be slightly premature as it has only been since the arrival of Phillipson that the agency has really moved up a gear, though we had been hearing good things about them over the past year.

We predict that agencies will be hard pushed to beat Propaganda’s success and growth continues at this rate, the agency will be a serious contender for the Hat Stand next year.

Midlands Marketing Services

Agency of the Year

After the announcement that Floors 2 Go had put their rumoured £7million account in McCann Erickson Central earlier this year it was inevitable that the agency would be hard to beat. The win – one of the largest accounts to be won this year – has really solidified agency chief executive Dean Lovett’s reputation in the Midlands.

The agency has stepped out of the shadow of the behemoth McCann Communications House in Manchester and is really holding its own in the Midlands and beyond.

However, just because McCann has been awarded this prize, it would be churlish not to recognise some of the strengths that the other agencies have shown over the past 12 months. Wins for Freya, Rigby and Peller and Fantasie were some briefs (boom boom) that helped cap off a highly successful year for RBH, while Big Communications picked up the Mailbox and Hush Puppies this year. Meanwhile, Checkland Kindleysides produced some stunning work for high profile clients including Levis, Boots and Timberland – all impressing our editorial team. The future, it has to be said, is looking bright for agencies throughout the Midlands.

Southern Marketing Services

Agency of the Year

There could only ever be one winner in this category for 2005 – and that high accolade goes to Bray Leino after the acquisition of the Bristol based firm BCLO in May of this year.

The Bray Leino brand now operates across the Barnstable and Bristol offices and has in excess of 250 staff and a turnover of £40million. They are one of the largest players in Adline’s patch and have a vast array of well known brand names for clients such as Wrigley’s, Olbas, Bazuka and Ibulev and Yamaha.

That is not to say that the other companies nominated in this category did not have a successful year – far from it in fact, with all of the firms producing some high profile work for a range of different companies. Taxi Studio for example has recently completed work with Sommerfield, while the English Group’s relationship with Bafta continues to go from strength to strength. Meanwhile, McCann Erickson Bristol is holding its own with recent account wins for Toys R Us and Mentadent P in the past 12 months.

Client Company of the Year

Again this was a hard one to judge. The criteria for this differed vastly from nomination to nomination – some were placed in this category as they had a huge budget to offer a marketing services agency and decided to stay outside of London when flashing the cash, while others might not have as enviable a budget as such, but are astute enough to pick some exceptionally creative agencies who have delivered some real knock-out work

The client who wins this year has consistently worked with agencies outside of London and this year moved it’s creative account from The Chase to Sheffield based Dig for Fire. The quality of work that has come from The Chase and that is expected to come from Dig For Dire is high and we here at the Adline editorial team believe that the Co-op is worthy of that title.

Client marketing services director of the year

Theresa Lindsey at Yorkshire Forward is one canny lady indeed. And that is why we at Adline believe that she deserves the title of Marketing Services Director of the Year. Some regional development agencies, it could be said, merely follow the book when it comes to appointing agencies, however, at Yorkshire Forward it is different. Over the past year the agency has invested heavily in the creative industries and there is a feeling among many within the creative community that these are clients who know what they want from an agency and the performance they expect. The decision to split the creative brief between Brahm and Thompson earlier this year is one such example and Adline feels that this is in many ways is down to Lindsey’s understanding and belief in the capabilities of the agencies she chose. The launch of Propeller TV later in the year was yet another indication of the commitment to the area and the abundant talents that lie within it.

Media Buyer of the Year

Later this year we will recognise the Sales Team of the Year. However, in the meantime this category recognises the individuals who really have gone that extra mile and deserve to be recognised for their work.

Chris Broadbent of Brilliant Media is worthy of the title this year. At the start of 2005 he firmly cemented his reputation, with the announcement that the team in Manchester had been appointed to work on Subaru’s account – a job that was worth £6.5million.

He is well respected within the industry and has been integral in building the Brilliant brand – the agency has had a stellar year with wins that include Asda and most recently HomeForm. No doubt the whole team will feature heavily in the 2006 Sales Team of the Year polls, however, until then we say well done Mr Broadbent!

Client Satisfaction Poll

And now, the final poll of our review of the year. In February, Faith Creative picked up the Client Satisfaction Poll at the Robert Horne Design Lunch so it might not come as much surprise that out of the research conducted for the annual Recommended Agency Guide the Wilmslow based agency won in this category too. The Guide asked clients to rate their agencies on a variety of areas that we felt were important including overall professionalism, account handling, creativity, value for money and strategic thinking. The agency was rated highly across all the categories and out of all the disciplines came up as the most recommended. Will they be able to hold their own next year when the 2006 Guide is produced? Only time will tell – the new book will be published early this year.

So, that is a round up of some of the agencies that in Adline’s opinion have performed quite superbly over the past 12 months. What will happen in the course of the following 12 months? Who knows – but we have asked some agencies to give us a Mystic Meg style preview in the next four pages.

Here’s to 2006!


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