Last year: 5
How the agency rates itself: 6
Rapp would no doubt have liked its story of 2016 to have been one of revitalisation. Chief executive Chris Freeland and executive creative director Ben Golik both started on 2 January, joining from Creston and Kitcatt Nohr respectively.
Managing director for media Ian Maynard left in March and senior vice-president for media Darran Snatchfold arrived in November. Rapp also hired a senior vice-president for customer experience, a vice-president for new business and a creative partner.
Unfortunately, these management changes were overshadowed by a lawsuit brought against the agency by former US president Greg Andersen, who claimed his employment had been wrongfully terminated after he alleged global chief executive Alexei Orlov had made sexist and racist comments. Orlov resigned at the end of June and the legal case is still ongoing. After Andersen’s allegations emerged, executive creative director Jason Andrews became the fourth high-profile departure. Several former Rapp London staffers contacted Campaign to make claims of bullying and abusive emails at the agency, although other members of staff insist these are not representative of the company’s culture.
That saga aside, it was a mixed year. Wins included CRM for L’Oréal and Mercedes-Benz, two of Rapp’s biggest-spending clients, plus a series of brands that bolstered its credentials in the fashion and jewellery sectors – Heist, Monsoon, Signet and Reiss. However, these were outweighed by the loss of accounts such as the Co-operative Group (now Co-op), Ladbrokes and Interflora.
A series of accolades, including two bronzes at the DMA Awards, will support hopes that Rapp can start 2017 on a better footing.
How the agency describes its year in a tweet
While we had headlines for the wrong reasons, 312 of us have been quietly and proudly making work for all the right reasons.