Campaign School Reports 2020: AnalogFolk

First published Campaign

It’s tough being a digital agency at a time when many marketers expect all creative agencies to be "digital". In this context, one has to admire AnalogFolk’s tenacity and creativity in 2019. Campaign’s Digital Agency of the Year sustained a good new-business record and doubled its profits compared with 2018. 

It also doubled its research and development investment, and efforts in this area brought in significant revenue. It launched an agency-wide manifesto, "Stay restless", to drive change across the business, and expanded its Microsoft partnership to improve staff’s AI skills.

Bill Brock handed the global chief executive reins to former Publicis Worldwide boss Guy Wieynk (Brock is to focus on international clients), having also acquired Wieynk’s fledgling Serum Consulting. Other major new recruits included Unilever data chief Clare Salter, former Digitas customer experience specialist Michelle Watson, Publicis.Poke head of strategy Sol Ghafoor and Adjust Your Set’s Anna-Louise Gladwell, who joined as London managing director to replace Ete Davies after he became chief executive at Engine Creative. AnalogFolk also exceeded its diversity and inclusion targets, with more than half of its leadership being female and a third BAME.

It produced some meaty digital transformation projects for key clients, such as BT, for which it tripled the size of the account by adding digital innovation to its existing customer engagement brief, and Nando’s (pictured), for which it built their first combined, take-away and delivery platform, using cutting-edge computing technology to handle spikes in customer demand. 

Mark: 9

Agency's own mark: 8

Last year's mark: 7

From the headmaster: Excellent digital performer

2019 in the agency's words: We launched new services, won awards for breakthrough work, amassed 16 new business wins and doubled our year-on-year profits. We strengthened our leadership team with Guy Wieynk as global CEO, Clare Salter (data), Michelle Watson (CX) and Sol Ghafoor (strategy) and appointed Anna-Louise Gladwell as new London MD.

We acquired Serum Consulting, a specialist eight-person creative consultancy, and in the same month opened our seventh office in Amsterdam, led by ex-MediaMonks MD Kris Smith. We continued our commitment to talent, exceeding our targets – with 53.3% female leadership, 33.3% BAME leadership and 63.2% staff retention.

 

Type of agency and ownership Independent digital agency

Nielsen billings 2019 n/a

Declared income n/s

Total accounts at year end 38

Accounts won 16 (biggest: Diageo)

Accounts lost 2 (biggest: Booking.com)

Number of staff 190 (-3%)

Key personnel Bill Brock, founder and chief executive; Matt Dyke, founder and chief strategy officer; Morag Bruce, editor-in-chief; Simon Richings, executive creative director; Anna-Louise Gladwell, managing director London

Star player Dan Noller, associate creative director. "Pushes the boundaries of clients’ creative ambitions, while inspiring teams to solve the (seemingly) impossible."

Females in senior management 54%

BAME in senior management 33%