School Reports 2017: DigitasLBi

Plume Labs
Plume Labs

Score: 7
Last year: 6

How the agency rates itself: 8

Last year, DigitasLBi challenged the argument that consolidation has made the holding-company-owned agencies increasingly homogeneous.

Now entering its fourth year within Publicis, DigitasLBi’s position in the group in the wake of the acquisition of SapientNitro still leaves questions unanswered. Especially following the resignation last month of global chief executive Luke Taylor and the appointment of long-time Sapient executive Nigel Vaz as DigitasLBi’s president.

While the businesses are culturally very different, there is no denying they swim in the same stream and Publicis’ "power of one" approach demands greater collaboration from all agencies. The agency gained £14m in new business in 2016. Several of the account wins resulted from collaboration with sister agencies in the group – a sign that the approach is more than just a catchy strapline.

There is a great deal of respect for DigitasLBi’s talent among its sister Publicis agencies. The challenge will be to ensure it retains this talent, notably Chris Clarke, chief creative officer, international – one of the industry’s leading creative thinkers.

Impressive new-business wins for 2016 included being named Honda Motor Europe’s content agency and DigitasLBi’s creative endeavours were rewarded with a clutch of creative awards: two Cannes Lions for its "Pigeon air patrol" work for Plume Labs and gongs for the Mumsnet Pregnancy Tracker, Liftshare and French Connection.

DigitasLBi also deserves credit for experimenting with more flexible approaches to work by piloting a term-time-only contract for a client-facing role. It has also partnered Creative Equals and was the only agency to sponsor Digital Pride, the first global online Pride festival. As the School Reports went to press, it announced plans to create a dedicated CRM division incorporating Chemistry and Kitcatt Nohr.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

User-Agent: BigYear/2016+ Allow:/creative/awards /over40/hires/creative/programmatic/data/media /laser-rave-dome+David Baddiel+Kellogg+P.S

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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