School Reports 2017: Maxus


Score: 7 
Last year: 6

How the agency rates itself: 8

Retaining BT and adding £60m of billings from EE as part of a consolidation was the highlight of a strong year for Maxus. It would be easy to assume the review was a breeze because EE’s old agency, MEC, had a conflict with Vodafone, but Nick Baughan’s team faced fierce competition in the biggest UK media pitch of 2016.

Maxus claims it "pitched more, won more, changed more than in any other year", landing an extra £140m in billings. But leave aside EE and the other wins didn’t look that remarkable. Huawei UK added to an existing relationship in other markets. Other new clients such as Mazuma Mobile and Helly Hansen were relatively small fry, although they included an eye-catching consumer brand that cannot be named.

Maxus lost two group clients, Arcadia and Seiko, which represented ten brands between them.

Under the global leadership of Lindsay Pattison, Maxus has a "never stand still" mantra and there was evidence that the UK is driving change.

Alex Steer, the chief strategy officer, set up TED, a tech, effectiveness and data team that has made data-led planning a major part of its offering for clients – and Maxus claims three IPA Effectiveness awards for Plusnet, L’Oréal and the Royal British Legion was proof that it is working. The performance team increased revenues by 26%, including an EMEA-wide remit for JLL.

The agency moved into a slightly sterile space on Finsbury Square in the heart of the City and opened an office in Scotland.

Employee churn is low at 12%. A good initiative has been to introduce equal shared parental leave, giving new mums and dads the same right to take up to six months of parental leave at near full pay and 12 months’ leave overall. The agency also ran its first Diversity Week and recruited eight school-leavers under its Maxus Calling apprenticeship scheme.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

2016 a year of brisk acceleration for Maxus – structure, effectiveness, proposition, culture and growth – move fast, never stand still.

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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