“It has had a blinder of a year,” the judges said of Manning Gottlieb OMD’s record-breaking 2018 as it won the UK government’s £150m media buying account, defended the £45m Specsavers business and produced innovative work for clients.
Billings shot up 30% to £650m and profits rose 10% last year, driven “predominantly by value-added, fee-based services”, the agency said. Headcount was up from 380 to 500.
This success marked the culmination of years of investment in internal talent and succession planning, as Manning Gottlieb OMD has groomed its management team. Tim Pearson, chief executive, and Paul Knight, chief operating officer, have both been at the agency for two decades and counting.
Manning Gottlieb OMD maintains that it is now Omnicom’s biggest media agency in the UK, ahead of international networks OMD, PHD and Hearts & Science, and it can justly claim to have built a uniquely British culture, with a focus on media creativity and effectiveness.
Landing the UK government’s account, the biggest success in Manning Gottlieb OMD’s history since its foundation in 1990, was an appropriately patriotic win and the undoubted highlight of the year.
The Crown Commercial Service set tough standards on media transparency, and said quality of service, rather than pricing, would be key in this complex, competitive review, which encompassed more than 90 clients across government.
So, its victory was a significant endorsement for Manning Gottlieb’s approach. “We far exceeded the guidelines set by the ISBA 2.0 framework and the resultant structures and processes have set a new industry benchmark for all UK agencies and clients to strive for,” the agency said.