School Reports 2015: Goodstuff Communications


Score: 7  Last year: 7

Goodstuff Communications is still punching above its weight in a media agency environment dominated by the big players. It has continued to expand since repositioning itself as both a planning and buying agency in 2012. In 2014, the agency celebrated its tenth birthday by doubling its billings and increased its income by more than 25 per cent.

New business through the doors included Wren Living’s £8 million account and the TV planning and buying for Zoopla Property Group without a pitch. Before the year was out, Goodstuff had racked up wins including Kopparberg, Vision Direct, RateSetter and Etsy to complement brands such as talkSPORT.

The new-business highlight was the retention of the £75 million Virgin Media UK business alongside its partner, Manning Gottlieb OMD. OMD beat Dentsu Aegis Network to the £150 million European account after a four-month pitch process.

Goodstuff ended the year ninth in the media new-business table – a decent performance for a company with only 42 staff, although the7stars was the highest independent agency this time around.

Huawei, which Goodstuff picked up in 2013, called a review at the start of 2015 but, given that its billings never really materialised, Goodstuff is unlikely to be slowed down should the client go elsewhere.

The media world would be a lot less fun if Goodstuff was not around. Although competing with the big boys on size and scale is not its métier, another top-tier brand would help Goodstuff move to a new level.

In the meantime, it is doing lots of good work with a slate of interesting clients.

How the agency scores itself: 7

How the agency rates itself: Good. Pound for pound, we won more new business than any other agency, retained Virgin Media for the third time, doubled our billings, grew income by 25 per cent, brought out-of-home buying in-house, celebrated our tenth birthday and continued to win awards for our creativity. Not quite as many as we’d like, so that’s our focus for 2015.

Goodstuff Communications
Type of agency Media planning and buying
Company ownership Independent (minority stake held by Omnicom Media Group)
Nielsen billings 2014 £38m
Nielsen billings 2013 £20m
Declared income £3.2m
Total accounts at year end 32
Accounts won 8 (biggest: Zoopla Property Group)
Accounts lost 4 (biggest: HouseTrip)
Traditional media 89%
Digital media 11%
Number of staff 42 (+34%)
Key personnel Andrew Stephens founding partner
Ben Hayes founding partner
Bobby Din investment partner
Simeon Adams creative partner
Paul Gayfer planning partner

Score key: 9 Outstanding 8 Excellent 7 Good 6 Satisfactory 5 Adequate 4 Below average 3 Poor 2 A year to forget 1 Survival in question

Footnote: *indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.


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