Monday, January 26, 2009

Heat Chart



Here's the state of our industry in 2009, in the form of a Heat Chart, an idea I've borrowed from top Aussie ad blog Campaign Brief.

The vertical axis shows agency income, from the figures supplied by accountancy gurus Kingston Smith, and published in Campaign last week. Some might look a little off - for example, Y&R is at the top - but that's because these are group figures, so the Y&R figure might include things like their Direct and PR units. With that one caveat, this is an objective measure.

In contrast, the horizontal axis is entirely subjective. It's not based on any figures of awards won. It's purely my personal perception of how hot that agency is right now, creatively. (Not business performance, just quality of work).

I've excluded BBH from the chart, since it wouldn't be fair for me to sit in judgement on my homeboys and girls. But I think it's safe to say we would be somewhere in the top right quadrant - the 'big and good' area - or what you could call Powerhouses.

The bottom right hand corner - 'small and good' - shows today's Hotshops. There aren't many, are there? And BMB is growing so fast, it will surely soon be out of this niche.

In the north-west we have the Big Dumb Agencies. Again, quite sparsely populated. McCann has been on the uptick creatively, and Grey is improving dramatically, so the two bankers for this quadrant have let us down.

In the south-west we have the agencies which are small, and not currently setting the world on fire. If you work for one of these shops, I apologise. I admit that I have put you in the extreme cold, without actually knowing any of your work. On the other hand, the fact that I can't name a single one of your ads is not the best of signs. If you have done great work, please put me right.

That goes for every slot in the chart. If anyone thinks I've put an agency in the wrong place, feel free to say so in the comments. Back up your case with a couple of good examples and I'll be happy to admit I'm wrong, since that will give me an excuse to waste even more time mucking about moving these little boxes around.

82 comments:

Jam said...

Now this is surely asking for trouble...

Anonymous said...

Isn't it fascinating that Leagas and Wiedens are equally profitable?

Anonymous said...

Lowe still on a par with AMV and WCRS creatively? I thought it was a sinking ship.

Anonymous said...

Scamp,

How can you put MCBD, WCRS and CHI on the same level as LOWE, LOWE have probably had the worst season with it's client and department head losses?

I would put them just before VCCP.

Anonymous said...

and putting McCann behind Publicis? C'mon this is a wind up

Scamp said...

10:53 - the chart shows income not profitability.

11.00 - Lowe is certainly a sinking ship in terms of account losses. But creatively they are still doing well, aren't they? The John Lewis work has been consistently excellent.

11:08 - 'heat' refers to creative heat, not business success. I will go back and make that clear in the original post.

11:11 - thanks for your comment. Anyone else think McCann is hard done by here?

Anonymous said...

you've mentioned before your dislike for mccanns. what is your personal reason for this?

and what about mccann birmingham?

Anonymous said...

I think you've been a bit harsh on M&C...

I'm the new ECD in one of the agencies that's currently very cold on your chart Scamp. And if you look at our output over the last 12 months, I pretty much agree with you. My job is to move us as far to the right as possible, as soon as possible.

That may seem a bit daunting, but at least by your measure we can't get any worse.

Anonymous said...

Do a digital one, I want to see my place on a big colourful chart.

Let's the our figures out and measure 'em.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Lowe may have done a good Christmas commercial and maybe even a good Vauxhall commercial (this one is debatable) But apart from that, what else?

unforgiving bastard said...

"The John Lewis work has been consistently excellent"

Excellent? A CD from a "powerhouse" thinks that's excellent?

Balls is excellent, Skittles "Touch" is excellent, rainham sheds is excellent.

John Lewis is just "nice".
And the shadows thing is a rip off.

No, seriously... excellent?

No, seriously, excellent?

Scamp said...

11.43 - I have no personal dislike for McCann's whatsoever. In fact the CD's there are former colleagues of mine; they're good blokes. And as I said, the work there is getting better, no question. McCanns Birmingham is not on my chart because it was not in Kingston Smith's Top 50.

Scamp said...

12.18 - John Lewis work consistently excellent? Yes, that's my view, and I stand by it. And since the work has won heaps of awards, it seems that's an opinion shared by the creative community in general.

Anonymous said...

Name ads by TBWA (sinking ship with no management) and leagas delaney
that are on par with the work below:

Compare-the-meerkat

Binge drinking

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=njX_G2meJUo&feature=related

Alcohol Units

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=vrpmr8wM78Q

O2

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=iUZcp5enhO4

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bsFr7SB5mAI

Scamp said...

That's a fair point, anonymous friend of VCCP. It's a decent body of work. I will move said agency to the right when I do a revised version.

Anonymous said...

I like the fact you've just bunged anyone that isn't a famous London shop over to the extreme left of the chart, I'm sure with no actual research to what these agencies produce.

Just because they're not churning out the big multi-million pound waste of the airwaves that everyone sees doesn't mean they're not creative.

Scamp said...

12.41 - I fully admit I have done no research whatsoever, the chart is based purely on my current perceptions. But as I can't name a single good ad any of these agencies have ever done, and good work always gets attention, I have a strong suspicion they haven't done any. Please prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about bringing VCCP forwards. I'd just drop JWT, Burnetts and Leagas back a bit.

Anonymous said...

McCann's Manchester have at least a couple of things in D&AD almost every year, Big and TBWA Manchester also feature a lot in other creative award shows. Also I've noticed whenever British Airways is mentioned in Campaign it's an ad by BJL that's shown (Big Ben Airport thing) rather than anything by the lead agency, which correct me if I'm wrong is BBH.

Scamp said...

I can't recall the McCann's Manchester ads that have been in D&AD, and my annuals are all the way over the other side of the room. Can you tell me what they were?

Also, please tell me the Big and TBWA Manchester ads that are good, since I don't know them, and I always like to hear about good ads.

And I'm not familiar with the BJL 'Big Ben Airport' thing. Probably I'm just ignorant. Can you link to it, or just tell me what the idea is?

Anonymous said...

No arguments about DDB, though.

Christ, I wish I worked there.

Anonymous said...

The Big Ben idea for BA was OK, if my memory serves me right then basically they made Big Ben look like a traffic control tower with the headline, Manchester to London or something like that.

When if you think about it that say's nothing about Manchester to London. Why would big ben need to be a traffic control tower when they have several airports.

1.09. Do you work in Manchester?

Anonymous said...

I'd dispute W&K's position in the red-hot sector (it's like Top Gear with Scamp as the Clarkson figure). warm certainly, but no longer red-hot.

Anonymous said...

My mistake the endline reads 'fly from the heart of London"

Still shit though

Gordon Comstock said...

1.09 - The Big Ben as airport control tower looks like it came out of McCann Dusseldorf. Plus, when Campaign want a picture of Scamp they show him in a hot-pink Argyle sweater - it doesn't mean it's good, it just means they have very low editorial standards.

Anonymous said...

VVCP fanboy....

Adidas - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=62b813LAM-U

Resistance - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ISkClIu7lms

both of them creatively wipe their arses on anything you've done, ever.

Anonymous said...

mcann haved done decent work for Mastercard and Shreddies, i'd maybe put em up a few spots.

Leagas?

what's going on there? didn't they do that rottten pasta ad thingy, britain deserves better pasta, pardon?

Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous 12.35

Would suggest that TBWA's Nissan's Qashqai Car Games, PlayStation GT Academy (where they trained Gran Tusismo fanboys to be real racing drivers and got a TV series out of it) and LG Scarlet (where they fooled the world in to thinking the LG Scarlet TV was a proper TV series) show an agency that's very much in the game.

Anonymous said...

Breaking from everyone else's comments, I think it seems pretty accurate for the most part.

Scamp - I'm curious. How long have DDB been in that category of hotness? I mean it's forever isn't it? W+K since Honda, Fallon since Sony, Mother since the late 90's (?), but DDB - since when?

Anonymous said...

Think 1.09 is on about this ad.

http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/british_airways_tower

Not a major fan of it myself

Anonymous said...

Warm? Let's see. They're one of the healthiest agencies in town financially. No redundancies so far, new business won, new talent being hired, Supernova for Nokia is perhaps the most innovative campaign of the year, etc.

So yeah. Warm.

In fact, I'm not sure they even fit on that list. W+K have always been mavericks. Tony and Kim couldn't care less about awards, rankings or lists. Unlike that corporate slag named DDB.

Damn, wish I worked there.
Fuck Tesco.

Dead Uncle said...

1:47 PM Say hello to jeremy while you're at the office.

Ant said...

1:35 PM

It's interesting, they look exactly as if someone had wipe his ass on them already.

BA: a) Since when the city airport is in the fucking heart of london? b) It's shit

Resistance: a)it's shit b)it's shit c)it's shit

There you have, Liam.

AD Guru number One said...

DDB have been good since the fifties.

That Big Ben ad is meh.

TBWA fanboy, your agency is a dying shitefest, and you know it. It's not in the game, it's ON the game, getting it's arse fucked by everywhere else as it sits in a gutter, bleeding out of its back passage.

AMV have done little that isn't middle of the road. This year's Economist was poor, Museum of Childhood is a joke hobby campaign and if you can name me anything else they've done, Scamp will give you a fiver.

Anonymous said...

what the fuck have saatchi's done to be there?

you must be buzzing off your tits scamp.

mm said...

Big = WKD

Scamp said...

I'm not buzzing off my tits - in fact I haven't taken a single E today. But I do think Saatchis is in about the right place. T-Mobile is getting a lot better, and they are still doing good work on NSPCC and Carlsberg. Or am I wrong?

Scamp said...

Oh, and I forgot the Visa ad. That's good too.

Anonymous said...

Where would you put BBH?

Scamp said...

Big do WKD? Not a bad campaign that. I like the one where the guy with the drill pretends to be a robot. Okay, I'll move them along when I do the revised version.

Anonymous said...

1.59. I've been had up on this charge before. Throw praise around instead of slagging everything off, and people instantly accuse me of working at these places.

I said the T-Mobile ad was pretty good too, and was told I 'clearly worked on this ad'.

It is just possible that some people have some good to say.

Anonymous said...

Albion's work is a shitload more creative than Ogilvy's. I left the latter to join the former for that very reason.

Adam said...

Fuck me someone mentioned the 'M' word, I thought you guys had forgotten we make adverts outside of London.

Nice to see some Manchester names on your board Scamp, even if I am a little dubious of the placing of some of them creatively.

Anonymous said...

"Supernova for Nokia is perhaps the most innovative campaign of the year"

Really? Are you sure about that Anon 1.58?

Scamp said...

BBH? We were the 4th biggest agency by income, according to Kingston Smith's figures, so that puts us very high up on the vertical. And surely all would agree we're on the red side. But I won't be sticking my own agency on the chart. That would be like judging your own dog in a dog show.

Scamp said...

Adam - help me out. Where should the Manchester agencies be?

Anonymous said...

There was one good press ad for Adidas Manchester that's worth a mention; the one with the rain cloud with the 3 stripes. But I can't think of anything else...?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, the 'rains in Manchester' concept. That's always creative and original, whatever brief you bolt it to.

M32 said...

Scamp, based on the assumption that to be hot (and not cold) in this chart, you need to have made heaps of profit and won plenty of awards...

why on earth are the likes of M&C saatchi, Y&R, ogilvy, publicis, leo burnett, jwt, ogilvy, tbwa london and euros all ahead of McCann?

McCann outperformed all of the above in profit, new business and awards won in 2008.

Only one other agency in the UK picked up a Campaign big award, Cannes Lion and D&AD pencil...

and it wasn't BBH!

And what's the joke with the red brick road? They've done the square root of fuck all since that nice sky one prison break ad a year ago. Equally, why the fuck is St.Lukes in a warmer shade of blue???

Seriously scamp, I don't doubt that you have a good eye for creative work, and I'm a big fan of the blog, but your perception of this industry is poor. Just like the football team you follow.

Scamp said...

Leaving aside your unwarranted jibes about Mark Hughes's Mighty Blue Army... may I just correct you on one point?

The 'heat' I refer to in the chart is the heat of pure creativity, and nothing to do with profits, or new business wins.

However, I think you may still be right about McCanns. The X-Box campaign is better than anything Euro, Publicis and Ogilvy have done in a long time.

Just shows how long it takes to turn negative perceptions around, I suppose.

I'll be moving them along when I do the revised version.

Don't agree with you that Red Brick Road should be on the cold side though. Their Tesco work is still very good, and they've done some nice stuff for Olympus too.

Anonymous said...

Scamp, to save you the bother of looking into Lawton, they're in the right place.

Cunt d' Nast said...

3:05 PM
Supernova IS the most innovative campaign of the year. Who asks?

PS. My name isn't tony.
PS2. Or Kim.
PS3. Or nokia client.

Anonymous said...

Mother should be ahead of Fallon for the simple reason that the vast majority of their work is original, as opposed to being nicked from YouTube.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure M&C Saatchi have done more creative work than the likes of CHEETHAM Bell... come on scamp,

Anonymous said...

Agree with you anon 5:42. Dont bother moving them scamp, its just about right.

Rob Mortimer said...

Now what would be very interesting would be to handicap this chart by way of client.

In other words, Fallon did a couple of creatively good ads and now have pretty much free reign on their ads. Whereas most Manchester agencies (for example) have to work to much more hard working briefs. If you negated that out I wonder who would be high up?

Anonymous said...

Where are UBER who do the excellent DFS ads...?

Anonymous said...

"help me out. Where should the Manchester agencies be?"

To be fair, and I work in one of them Manchester agencies, they're placed about right.

That's not to say the creatives aren't good enough here, they are. Try selling through a great creative idea though, and suits react like you've raped their grandma.

lack leadership. lack balls.

I can't remember a great ad from my agency in the last year. And I've personally presented probably two great ideas. Suits killed one, despite CD's wanting it to go through. The other is currently on a ventilator.

Anonymous said...

Nice try Scamp, but it works better when a trade magazine like Campaign Brief passes judgement.

Scamp said...

Does it really, 9.54? Why? I know I'm not objective, but... are you sure the trade mag people are? Also, they're not creatives. Also, this little beastie is interactive - if readers think I've got something wrong, and can convince me with a few examples, I can change it. So... in what way do you think it works better if a trade mag did it?

Pato Banton said...

BMB is ├╝ber hot territory?

Is that for the carling campaign? Have they done anything else? All the others in that part of the woods have done some great stuff, and lots of it. Anyone else find it hard to separate the buzz around the agency from its actual output. What do you think Scamp?

Oh fuck, I've just remembered that Walls campaign. That was banging.

Scamp said...

I bought some McCain oven chips last week.

Anonymous said...

as you're a big fan of awards, it'd be interesting to see the x-axis based entirely on awards.
say, 5-gold, 3-silver, 1-in book/commendation ect...
over the last 3 years awards season and use campaign, d&ad and cannes.
it might take a little work, but it would be an interesting, more factual representation. that way, you could but bbh in the mix without there being any bias on your part.
what do you reckon scamp? or someone else?
if awards are the industry barometer, lets see if the perception meets reality? i think we'll be in for a shock.

Rocker Man said...

Base it on awards?? Don't do it Scamp! The Mighty Mark Denton busted his nuts producing Gongs a couple of years ago. The finished mag was splendid - but it was truly a labour of love. Hand the baton on the brave Anon who suggested the idea.....

Anonymous said...

What have Weidens done recently of any worth? they should be way back in the list, the Nokia work is very very average. As for not caring about awards, are you having a laugh!

Anonymous said...

scamp, how are those overn chips as i'm curios to find out.

Also, waht variety did you go for?

Im guessing crinkled!

Anonymous said...

10:02's got a point. M&C did do them ladbrokes casino ads which were pretty damn funny. Don't recall anything done by Cheetham?

Anonymous said...

behave yourself son

Anonymous said...

Can't really argue with the creative positions. Only query would be that maybe W&K should nudge left of Mother based on their work in 2008?

The Kingston Smith data is a bit flawed though, because of the reason you mention but also because often the data is across different time periods for different agencies (often a difference of as much as 12 months).

I'd be interested to see this chart based on 2008 billings when the Campaign school report comes out in a week or so. That's also a crude measure, but better than the Kingston Smith chart as a reflection of agency size across a uniform time period.

Yes, I am an account man.

Scamp said...

Account Man you are absolutely right about the time periods being different, and that is a problem. The 2008 billings might be a fairer comparison, though it could also be argued that income is a better measure of agency size than billings. In any case, the release of Campaign's billings table will probably be a good moment for me to revise the heat chart.

Bolt said...

11:15 AM
What have W+K done? Fucking loads. Just because you don't see their stuff on award shows or scamsoftheworld.com doesn't mean they haven't been producing amazing stuff.

Neither W+K or Fallon care about awards. Haven't been at Mother's but I imagine it's the same there. Creatives are not encouraged to pursue awards the way they are at places like DDB (see Scamp's obsession as a result).

I've been lucky enough to have spent time both at fallon and wk and not a single time I heard the word "awards". Not even when gorilla won the cannes grand prix.

Of course they enter award shows because that's good for individual's careers but they don't let awards criteria shape their creative product.

Anonymous said...

Next up, after tackling Campaign Brief's graphs, how about the Big WON's rankings? According to them, top 3 copywriters in the UK are 1) Juan Cabral 2) Mark Fairbanks 3)= Paul'n'Angus (a bit greedy, surely to have both in there). Big WON don't think D&Ad is as important as Cannes because it's a "local" award. Is this fair? Are they on the money with their creative rankings?

Craig Kind said...

It never ceases to amaze me how bitter the ad world can be. You're not sweeping streets, and you're not sleeping on em (far from it for most of us) you're getting paid to be creative. People are paying you to do what you want.

You should have just slapped the agencies on there at random. Masterminded a social experiment. In the name of science... and shits and giggles.

Then again, you might have had a full scale riot on your hands. But you gotta admit Scamp, sounds tempting, don't it?

Anonymous said...

prev anon, Juan Cabral is not a copywriter.

Anonymous said...

Good post though Scamp, certainly got the debating juices flowing.

richard said...

Scamp, really interesting chart.

Maybe you should do it every year - make it a little annual guage for everyone?

Anonymous said...

Scamp, I think the heat chart is great and is an interesting way of charting the mood of things out there. how about doing a monthly one or so, to get a flavour of who's doing well out there?

Anonymous said...

8:31 PM
Mother output original?!?!?!?
Just to name a few.


Cactus Kid - Badlands
PG tips - Moracambe & Wise
Somerstown - the script isn't even theirs.

Anonymous said...

Scamp - I think you're assuming a lot of the profit in these agencies is coming from the ATL side.

Ogilvy's ATL, for example, is now far smaller than Ogilvy One.

And DDB haven't got any accounts left have they??

Jam said...

http://interestedinpeople.blogspot.com/2009/01/you-i-know-i-love-you-really-dude.html

Anonymous said...

Hello Scamp,

If you're interested you can see something that Langland made here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMFFg5SJHPA

Good work can come from unexpected places.

Andrew

Scamp said...

Very nice ad, that. I shall move Langland rightwards when I do the revised chart.