If, like me, you have nothing to do but quaff champagne and sit in your wing-backed leather chair in your walnut-panelled corner office reading Campaign you'll see on the front page this morning that the main story is 'Adland hit as billings collapse'.
'BBH, Ogilvy and Wieden + Kennedy among the worst affected according to 2009 Nielsen figures'
The article says:
Following a year in which figures from The Nielsen Company show scarce instances of billings growth, even Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and McCann Erickson - which held their positions as number one and number two respectively – saw billings drop by £39.2m and £48.6m, compared with final 2008 figures.
BBH took the biggest knock of the top 20 agencies. Its slide of almost 25% wiped £59.1m off its 2008 billings and pulled it down the rankings from fourth to 11th. Ogilvy slipped four places to 13 with a £31.3m billings decrease, while Wieden & Kennedy dropped six to 31 with a 41% billings fall.
As they say - pause, review, reflect...
These figures measure billings (what clients spend on media). Not revenue (what clients actually pay us). They only measure UK billings, whereas most of what we do now at W+K London is international.
The truth is that in 2009 we grew. We lost no clients and we won pitches including Nestea, Fairtrade, Lactofree and COI underage drinking. Yes, most of our clients reduced their media spend. This is mainly because of the recession, also partly because dramatic changes in media and technology are diverting spend away from the 'above the line' media media measured by Nielsen and into owned and earned media.
Yes, many of our clients did cut
fees in 2009. But the truth is that overall, our revenue (fee income)
increased in 2009 over 2008, and our 2009 profit also actually
increased vs. 2008. We did not, unlike many of our competitors, make
sweeping redundancies. On the contrary, we are hiring. Our business,
despite challenging times, is healthy and growing. We are independent,
profitable and we have no debt. We are not worried about the
future. We are (cautiously) optimistic.As the name of this blog suggests.
And while I'm on the subject of today's Campaign, you can read on page 2 that 'Lurpak appoints Saatchis globally after a shoot-out against W+K London'.
Some clarification on this.
We lose nothing. We retain the UK
business, which is 70% of Lurpak's global business. Our work may also run in some markets outside the UK.
Here's what Danny Micklethwaite, Arla UK VP of marketing said to me yesterday:
"The appointment of Saatchi has absolutely no impact on the UK. We love working with W+K and they continue to produce brilliant work for us.
The UK represents over 70% of the global Lurpak sales and since W+K started working with us the brand has overtaken Flora to become the number 1 brand in the category for the first time in history."