Focus on Wales
Agencies in Wales are something of a mystery, avoiding the limelight like a reluctant movie star while beavering away on a profusion of national clients who have recognised the talent and skills base which resides behind the Welsh border. And with around a fifth of residents in Wales maintaining the country’s own language, much of the government-funded work needs to be produced in English and Welsh, providing yet more work for local agencies.
However, aside from managing to hold on to some of the biggest projects coming out of (or staying in) Wales, these agencies’ talents have been recognised far and wide. Clients based in the England, as well as other parts of Europe, continue to employ Welsh agencies for significant creative and strategic accounts. Here, The Drum uncovers some of the most recent goings on for Wales-based agencies and showcases the creative work that’s earning them the reputation as trendsetters...
Cardiff is home to the headquarters of the ever-expanding Golley Slater Group, which in the last three years has seen its turnover double from £30million to £60m. An example of the agency’s growth was demonstrated last year when digital marketing was added to the existing services of advertising, public relations, direct marketing, promotional marketing and recruitment. Golley Slater Digital launched in February with the acquisition of London-based Push Digital. Clients for the new arm include Tesco and BMW.
Recent new business wins across other disciplines have included TK Maxx, which hired Golley Slater to run its entire customer relationship management programme, and the likes of Spam, Cash Converters and Neal’s Yard. And following a three-way pitch, Golley Slater was appointed by the Central Office of Information and the Welsh Assembly to work on two new campaigns ahead of next year’s smoking ban.
The agency has also added a new north Wales office, taking the UK network up to 11, with staff numbers passing the 300 mark for the first time.
Headquartered in Cardiff, and with offices in seven other UK cities (Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sheffield, Southampton and London), Freshwater is one of the UK’s fastest growing PR and marketing networks.
The firm has 60 staff operating in ten teams, and in 2006 alone it completed acquisitions of four other agencies. Freshwater provides marketing, public relations, graphic design, website and training services, and has specialist expertise in sectors including health, technology and property. Clients in Wales include Specsavers, Neath Port Talbot College, Lloyds TSB Insurance, Newport Unlimited, Knight Frank, Geldards LLP and The Welsh National Walk of Fame.
Specialising in utility and public sector work, Warwick Emanuel PR is something of a best-kept secret. However, major wins in the energy and water sectors over the past 12 months have cemented its reputation in the market. The Cardiff-based consultancy won a six-year contract for all external business communications for Welsh Water, one of the largest outsourced PR contract in Wales. The nine-strong consultancy also won a contract for services to Wales & West Utilities, which manages gas supply to seven million people in Wales and the south west.
Warwick Emanuel continues to represent Scottish and Southern Energy’s Swalec energy brand, and has a portfolio of green energy clients – including Acciona Energy UK, which is part of one of the world’s largest renewable energy companies. The Carbon Trust in Wales, which promotes carbon reduction by the business and public sector, has also renewed its contract with the firm. In the public sector, Warwick Emanuel works on projects for the Welsh Assembly, and others in the public health and education sectors. Disability specialist Remploy recently engaged Warwick Emanuel for PR work in the southern half of the UK.
Peter Gill & Associates
As the name suggests, Peter Gill & Associates (PGA) is run by managing and creative director Peter Gill. A trained graphic designer, Gill worked at Foote Cone & Belding London and BBC Wales before launching the design consultancy PGA Peter. His experience includes brand schemes for Welsh Rugby Union, National Museums & Galleries of Wales, Welsh Development Agency, Welsh Water, Lake District National Park and the National Botanic Gardens of Wales.
PGA has been consolidating its creative reputation with a number of new business wins. Having already produced the booking brochures for the HSBC Brecon International Festival of Jazz, it is now in the final stages of completing the festival’s souvenir programme. The new brand has been carried across onto all three brochures to give the festival a renewed, vibrant feel to tie in with its recent partnership with HSBC.
And if that’s not enough, The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth has commissioned PGA to build on its current branding and promotional material, creating a new design style to be used in exhibitions, adverts, postcards and banners, while Croeso, an initiative created by the Commission for Racial Equality, has launched a campaign created by PGA to promote diversity and integration in communities, workplaces and institutions.
Sporting one of the best agency names we’ve come across on our travels, limegreentangerine is a design studio based in Cardiff. The agency is currently developing a suite of promotional material for The Sherman Theatre’s latest production of Educating Rita, starring Little Britain’s Ruth Jones, and a new website for Cardiff-based jewellers, Platinum Ring Company. The site showcases several new product ranges, and the new design has been created to provide a more user-friendly shopping experience. A CMS control panel enables staff to administer content.
Meanwhile, limegreentangerine has developed an interactive sales presentation for Zorba Foods, demonstrating its state-of-the-art site expansion. Using 3D renders, intuitive interfacing and video footage, the virtual tour provides an insight into both existing processes and future possibilities.
Launched by creative director Andrew Gallo, a successful designer with a specialism in corporate branding and commercial property, this agency operates in the arena of advertising, marketing and design. Recent developments include the sponsorship of the Cardiff Design Festival and Gallo’s appointment by Wales’ first private doctor. Gallo created an identity, marketing literature and website for the practice, which has major expansion plans this year.
Another recent project was marketing Skavsta airport in Sweden, with its capacity for one million passengers, as the competitive option to Stolkholm’s primary airport. The agency has created a brochure and website to convey the airport’s youthful appeal and potential for fast growth.
Founded in 2002 by technology specialist Rob Tomson, Marotori’s core offering lies in interactive development and content management systems. Its client base includes the likes of Tiger Beer, CarSearch, Medicine Man and Cathedral Group. Marotori has also recently opened an office in Maine, USA. Headed up by Marc Beltrante, the new office aims to better service clients in the US by providing a local point of contact.
Pentagon, another member of Cardiff’s thriving design scene, has been offering graphic design, web design, packaging design, advertising and photography services for more than 12 years.
Established in 1998, 6721 works across disciplines such as advertising, design, branding and film and TV production. The agency has been responsible for ‘Wales’ branding, after being commissioned by the Welsh Assembly, and has handled projects for the likes of the Welsh Development Agency and Visit Wales UK.
Web design agency Jerboa handles projects for the likes of start-up SMEs through to large organisations, including local authorities, and has recently launched websites for Momentum Furniture, Neil Niblett Ltd and Aukland Arms.
Brazil Design has been operating for 11 years, producing literature, stationery, direct mail, exhibition and events, posters, signage, packaging, point of sale, vehicle livery, billboards/adshels and bus-sides. The agency’s core skills lie in design – both print and online – and clients include the University of Wales in Newport, Lloyds TSB/Black Horse, WTI ExportAssist, the Welsh Development Agency and Air Wales.
Stills was founded in 1981 by managing director Chris Carpenter and creative director David Lea. Specialising in branding, graphic design and internet development, Stills has grown to become a 14-strong team with a £1.2million turnover. Its key clients include BT, Corus, Microsoft, Madbag, Panasonic, Ofcom, S4C and the Welsh Language Board.