School Reports 2017: Chemistry


Score: 4
Last year: 5

How the agency rates itself: 5

Remaining seaworthy during a turbulent year in which some major clients rocked its boat was the priority at Chemistry in 2016.

The first storm to blow in came from the direction of the Royal Mail, which, in April, consolidated its below-the-line business into Lida after a competitive pitch. This resulted in eight agencies – Chemistry included – being dropped from the organisation’s roster.

The second hit just before Christmas, when EE confirmed it would be jumping ship in 2017 as a result of BT consolidating all of its business under one roof.

Under the circumstances, it’s hardly surprising that Chemistry has been intent on battening down the hatches while seeking a safer haven through closer ties with the other Publicis UK shops.

Hence the rebranding at the beginning of last year from Publicis Chemistry – a concerted effort to re-energise the creative department – and a restructure in a bid to become the "go to" CRM specialist within the UK set-up.

Chemistry has claimed a 20% hike in organic revenue last year and a client list bolstered by the likes of Co-op, Procter & Gamble, Save the Children and Knight Frank.

Moreover, closer co-operation with its sibling agencies Publicis London, Poke, Vivid Brand (now part of Arc) and August yielded briefs from Heineken and online estate agent Yopa.

At the same time, there has been a new CRM programme for P&G oral care and a DRTV anti-hunger film for Save the Children.

Sometimes, however, it’s just better to travel together when navigating stormy seas. As the School Reports went to press, it was announced that Chemistry would be merging with Kitcatt Nohr to become a CRM division within DigitasLBi.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

A year of continued reinvention for Chemistry, positioned as the CRM specialist of Publicis Communications UK

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

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