School Reports 2019: OMD Group UK

Type of agency & ownership Media agency, owned by Omnicom
Nielsen billings 2018 £799m (0%)
Declared income £99.7m (2017)
Total accounts at year end 151
Accounts won 17 (biggest: HM Government)
Accounts lost 4 (biggest: Premier Inn)
Number of staff 864 (+31%)

Key personnel Tim Pearson, CEO, Manning Gottlieb OMD; Natalie Bell, MD, Manning Gottlieb OMD; Dan Clays, CEO, OMD UK; Laura Fenton, MD, OMD UK; Philippa Brown, CEO, Omnicom Media Group UK

Star players Sarah Gale, head of insight, OMD UK. “Sarah has elevated our understanding of Britain and customer journeys though stellar insight.” Matthew Merrett, client business director, MG OMD. “Matt leads MG OMD’s powerhouse and award-winning regional team.”

% of females in senior management OMD UK 65%; MG OMD 62%

% of BAME in senior management OMD UK 0; MG OMD 4%

Two of Britain’s top media agencies, Manning Gottlieb OMD and OMD UK, both had a good 2018. Indeed, in the case of MG OMD, it was an outstanding year. For the purposes of School Reports, Campaign continues to combine the two, because Nielsen measures them as a single entity, OMD Group UK. This might make sense for corporate reasons but is odd when each agency prides itself on its own culture and location.

Manning Gottlieb OMD was Media Agency of the Year in Campaign’s UK Agency of the Year Awards, capping its 2018, in which it won the UK government’s £150m buying account in a review setting new transparency standards, and defended Specsavers’ £45m business against 13 agencies.

Chief executive Tim Pearson and his team also produced strong work for John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners (pictured) (which dominated at Christmas with a mash-up of the two brands), Virgin Trains and Starbucks,

Manning Gottlieb OMD lost two pieces of business, including Premier Inn’s £9.5m account, but it ended the year with 500 staff, making it by far the biggest agency in Omnicom Media Group.

OMD UK also had a strong year as it fully recovered from its travails of early 2017, most notably picking up Lidl’s £70m planning account – a tribute to OMD’s connections planning team under Vicky Fox. Media wins included Betway and Daimler globally. The biggest uncertainty facing OMD UK chief executive Dan Clays was a McDonald’s review of its £124m account but the problem went away when the client unexpectedly called it off for internal reasons.

OMD UK, which has 364 staff, parted ways with two clients, Intel and RNLI, and was shortlisted for Media Agency of the Year at the Media Week Awards, with MG OMD. The gender pay gap at OMD Group UK is only 4.4% but both agencies admit they need to improve BAME representation.




From the headmistress: Some excellent work

2018 in the agency’s words

A record-breaking year for OMD Group UK with a 100% UK pitch strike rate for both agencies. Achieving an astounding £388m in new business across 17 new clients (including HM Government Media Buying Framework, Yopa, Betway and Lidl), the group also retained flagship clients Levi’s and Specsavers, among others, collectively worth £56.2m.

Along with the group’s highest client NPS scores to date, 64 award wins, including 12 Media Week Awards (four golds) and the lowest gender pay gap of any UK agency creative and media (4.4%), OMD Group UK has had a year like no other.

This article was originally published in Campaign.

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