Agency Republic (UK)

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Agency Republic was a UK digital marketing agency that operated latterly as part of Omnicom's DAS Global marketing services division. After a slow decline and the loss of several key accounts, not least mobile provider O2, it became the UK outpost of the group's North American digital agency Critical Mass in early 2014. Like most other Omnicom-owned agencies, it also relocated to the group's new London HQ on the South Bank.

Agency Republic was originally created in 2001 as a joint venture between direct marketing agency Claydon Heeley and the London office of Agency.com, primarily to handle Claydon Heeley's interactive work. It established a strong reputation in its own right quite quickly and the links to Agency.com were severed the following year. However, the partnership with Claydon Heeley continued, and that alliance was further expanded at the end of 2005 with the creation of a wider family of digital shops under the name Zulu Network. The following year proved to be Agency Republic's best to-date, in which a string of account wins were capped by the accolade of being named as Campaign's Digital Agency of the Year.

Inevitably perhaps, there were significant reverses during 2007 as the agency was rocked by the departure of several senior managers, not least Zulu CEO Martin Brooks, who quit to join other defectors in breakaway unit Work Club. Zulu was disbanded in 2008, and Claydon Heeley realigned with another Omnicom subsidiary, data agency Targetbase (until it was itself absorbed into Rapp UK).

Following Brooks' departure, David Eastman transferred from Agency.com to head up what was now rebranded as the Agency Republic family. Yet further turmoil ensued at the end of 2008 when Eastman too quit to join JWT. He was replaced by co-founder Jane McNeill. A further substantial blow was the loss in 2010 of lead client O2 after a nine-year partnership. That led to a dramatic down-sizing of staffing levels.

Although the group successfully added several other smaller accounts during that year, there was a new shake-up of the management team at the beginning of 2011. McNeil was shifted to the role of chief operating officer, and was replaced as chief executive by Matt Kwiecinski, previously managing director. At the same time, the agency's executive creative director Gavin Gordon-Rogers left the company, later replaced by Alistair Campbell. McNeil resigned from the agency at the end of the year.

Last full revision 3rd November 2017


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