School Reports 2016: OgilvyOne

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

After a protracted 18-month break-up, British Airways finally cut ties with OgilvyOne in April 2015. But so emotionally invested in BA are the agency’s executives that the departure of the digital business – after the CRM account went to Bartle Bogle Hegarty the previous year – was never likely to bring closure.

That said, OgilvyOne’s 20 new clients and projects in 2015 should have gone some way to filling the BA-shaped hole – especially the wide-ranging global digital assignment from the "big four" auditor EY.

The WPP agency also picked up projects from Kimberly-Clark, the Post Office, Sabre and Slim Fast, as well as a social CRM brief for a client it must keep confidential. At the time of writing, it was still in with a chance of winning Transport for London, which would be a coup.

OgilvyOne does a nice line in interactive outdoor ads and continued that tradition in 2015 with a fun campaign for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home that followed people around a shopping centre – and picked up gold at the DMA Awards for its trouble. Reimagining Premier League stars as pub signs in a campaign targeting landlords was another a highlight. As was the drive to get kids active through Public Health England’s "10 minute shake up" – although the agency is now defending the account in a statutory review. Overall, OgilvyOne says its clients’ revenues grew by a whopping 17 per cent during the year.

The agency’s long history of excellence means that it will always be tough to get top marks in this report. Its management team will be hoping the move to Sea Containers helps OgilvyOne get back on a steeper flight path in 2016.

How the agency rates itself: 8

"It’s been a year of doing things differently and laying new plans for our move to Sea Containers. We launched the category’s first "customer lab". Partnered with "mad tech accelerator" Collider. Launched "Healthier Happier Me" and "Grow Fest" for our talent. While also growing existing clients by 17 per cent. Welcoming 20 new clients worth over £30 million in billings. And winning over 50 awards across 11 accounts."

Type of agency Customer engagement
Company ownership WPP
Declared income n/s*
Total accounts at year end 62
Accounts won 20 (biggest: EY)
Accounts lost 2 (biggest: British Airways)
Number of staff 454 (+9%)
Women in senior management 22%
BAME staff in senior management n/s
Key personnel Sam Williams-Thomas, chief executive
Jo Coombs, managing director
Charlie Wilson, chief creative officer
Emma de la Fosse, chief creative officer
Ann Higgins, head of strategic services

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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