Last month, EMEA president Hilary Jeffrey was promoted to executive vice-president of the whole network, with her previous role filled by Ian Clarke, central and eastern Europe chief executive of Omnicom Media Group.
In the US, under chief executive Nathan Brown and head of strategy Will Wiseman, PHD saw an acceleration in new-business wins. One of PHD’s key initiatives is its global exchange programme, which gives staff across its network – and, for the first time this year, included new Omnicom network Hearts & Science – the opportunity to work at the London headquarters for a month.
As we have come to expect from PHD, it was also another strong year for creative work. Inspired by a desire to improve the prospects of rural women, PHD India collaborated with Hindustan Unilever to create a mobile "career academy" for detergent brand Rin – it has earned 13 awards to date.
The Hong Kong office created the Bank of East Asia’s first foray into content marketing with a prank video – portraying two celebrities applying for a tax loan – that went viral.
London did itself proud with an evolution of the Sainsbury’s Christmas campaign during Channel 4’s Gogglebox by turning the show’s cast into animated characters – sparking fond memories of the award-winning Lego ad break created by PHD in 2014.
The sense that PHD places great stock in continuity is clearly felt – none more so than in the UK, where chief executive Daren Rubins must be credited for another successful year. The UK office stormed this year’s Media Week Awards, played a key role in winning the VW business and picked up Viacom’s £10m account.
Carat was a strong contender for Media Network of the Year, as it was in 2015. It started the year with aplomb, retaining the top spot in Recma’s leading global rankings in March.
The network’s new global president, Will Swayne, was able to boast 10% organic revenue growth across existing clients for the second year in a row – double the rate of its peers within Dentsu Aegis Network.
Carat retained $4bn in billings, including GM’s global business without a pitch, Diageo globally and Kellogg in EMEA. It claims to have picked up $1.5bn in new business, including more markets for Coca-Cola, Beiersdorf and General Motors.
The Procter & Gamble win prompted US chief executive Doug Ray to relinquish his global president role – which Carat insisted was not a demotion given Ray was overseeing the world’s biggest media market. In the UK, Carat took the bold move of hiring Mcgarrybowen boss Rick Hirst as chief executive, signalling its intent to break down silos.
Former UK managing director Matthew Hook was promoted to UK and Ireland chief strategy officer at Dentsu Aegis Network.
Hearts & Science
While it’s too early to have the rounded case needed to win Media Network of the Year, Hearts & Science is worthy of a mention. The media agency landscape received a jolt at the end of last year when Omnicom announced it would set up Hearts & Science to service the P&G US business.
Following its launch in April, AT&T consolidated its $4bn media account into the new network just four months later – an apparent endorsement of the innovative, data-driven approach promised by chief executive Scott Hagedorn.
Hearts & Science’s UK launch was announced in September and is being led by Frances Ralston-Good.
Recent winners: PHD (2015); Starcom Mediavest Group (2014); Group M (2013); Carat (2012); Maxus (2011).
(This article first appeared on CampaignLive.co.uk)