School Reports 2018
[Extended edition]
Wavemaker



Wavemaker



Type of agency & ownership:  Full-service media agency, owned by WPP
Nielsen billings 2017: £672m (-2%)
Declared income: n/s*
Total accounts at year end: n/s
Accounts won: 18 (biggest: Home Office)
Accounts lost: 3 (biggest: Freeview)
Number of staff: 575 (-4%)
Key personnel: Jason Dormieux, chief executive; Paul Hutchison, chief operating officer; Sandeep Vohra, chief financial officer; Verra Budimlija, chief strategy officer; David Fletcher, chief data officer
Star player: n/s

Year in review

Riding high after a series of major new-business wins in 2016, including BMW and Nationwide, and scoring top marks in last year’s School Reports, MEC seemed destined to dominate the UK media landscape for some time to come.

However, in this globalised era, the less impressive performance of MEC’s international network, along with that of sister shop Maxus, convinced Group M chief executive Kelly Clark to merge the two agencies and form new entity Wavemaker.

So any evaluation of the performance of Jason Dormieux and his old MEC team – which forms the backbone of the leadership of Wavemaker – is overshadowed by the intrigue of what is yet to come.

For what it’s worth, MEC enjoyed a decent 12 months, securing a host of wins from the Crown Commercial Service, including a £15m planning account from the Home Office.

The growth of its digital, data and content capabilities was plain to see with the addition of non-planning and buying assignments from advertisers including Disneyland Paris, AIG and Bupa.

The loss of Freeview to Omnicom’s Rocket (now part of Hearts & Science) represented a rare blow.

MEC emerged with a series of awards for its work with Public Health England, including a D&AD Pencil and an Effie.

Dormieux and co must now find a way to maintain this momentum with the Wavemaker name over the door, while integrating a host of former Maxus clients and teams.

Agency's Year In A Tweet


"We never thought 2017 would be our last as MEC but we’re proud to have gone out on a high with one of our best years ever."

Scores


Score this year: 7
Score last year: 9
How the agency scores itself: 8
Management strength: 8
Creativity: 7
Innovation: 8
New business: 7
Diversity: 7

Business performance and accounts

Gross income

Latest: £49.1m
Previous: n/s
Change: 13.5%

Operating profit

Latest: £7.7m
Previous: n/s
Change: -9.5%

List of total accounts

Top 10 clients:

Vodafone

Morrisons

BGL

Kingfisher

Jet2

Nationwide

BMW Group

Netflix

Danone

Beiersdorf

Top three spending accounts:

Vodafone (n/s)

BGL Group (n/s)

Morrisons (n/s)

Number of retained accounts: More than 100
Number of accounts that are projects: 6
Biggest win: Home Office planning assignment (£15m)
Biggest loss: Freeview (£15m)

Diversity


Awards

Haymarket award wins


Campaign Tech Awards: 2

Media Week Awards: 3

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