School Reports 2016: Vizeum


If Vizeum were a dog, it might be a terrier. What it lacks in size (relative to its sister Dentsu agency Carat), it tries to make up with energy and noise.

Richard Morris, the smooth-talking managing director, has kept pushing hard into digital, data and customer relationship management but its best output has combined that with broadcast media.

Notable work included Budweiser "Dream Goal", a partnership with Sky that showcased amateur footballers that won two golds at the Campaign Media Awards, and a three-minute National Lottery-branded version of Gogglebox that ran in the ad break during the Channel 4 show.

Vizeum saw strong growth from eCRM, winning extra business off three existing clients – Burger King, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Fitness First – which drove revenues in that division up 25 per cent.

There was also more data-based use of out-of-home for Burger King, Camelot and Mini, including "multiple-trigger", weather-based messaging. Vizeum was also a trial partner for Dax, the programmatic radio ad exchange.

New business was decent as Vizeum added ten accounts, including Weetabix and Trinity Mirror, as the agency enjoyed 16 per cent growth.

Two notable losses were Hiscox (£6 million) and Trainline. The lengthy global review of one of its top-three clients, 21st Century Fox, cast a shadow through the second half of the year.

Morris also recruited Louise Martell as the head of planning and promoted Charlie Ebdy to head of strategy to boost his top team. 

All in all, Vizeum has some bite to match its bark.

How the agency rates itself: 8

"We continued to innovate for our clients, delivering the first dynamic TV ad for Camelot, redefining broadcast sponsorship with I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! for Aunt Bessie’s and winning two Campaign Media Awards for Budweiser. Our talent pool grew with Louise Martell joining while our new head of strategy, Charlie Ebdy, achieved an IPA Diploma distinction. We welcomed Weetabix, and VF Corporation, and grew 16 per cent."

Type of agency Media
Company ownership Dentsu Aegis Network
Nielsen billings 2015 £283m
Nielsen billings 2014 £272m
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 48
Accounts won 10 (biggest: Weetabix)
Accounts lost 2 (biggest: Hiscox)
Traditional media 60%
Digital media 40%
Number of staff 162 (+11%)
Key personnel Richard Morris, managing director
Jem Lloyd-Williams, executive director, product and innovation
Charlie Ebdy, head of strategy
Chrissy Totty, head of innovation
Anna Blackwell, head of eCRM

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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