The7stars is London's largest independent media agency, with billings estimated by Nielsen (in Campaign) at £320m for 2018, earning a place among the Top Ten agencies for the first time, above Vizeum, UM, Havas and others. In its accounts for ye Mar 2019, parent entity The7Stars Holdings reported gross billings of £382m, gross profit over £22m and a net profit of £940k. The agency is noted in particular for excellent client service and a commitment to full transparency in its accounting. It generates income only from agreed fee income and not from media rebates or other such increasingly controversial backroom practises. "We have no vested interest in anything other than what's right for the client," says Biggam. "This is important because agencies that are owned by holding companies often have conflicting objectives and sometimes become very focused on maximising profit for the network", often at the client's expense. The7stars was named as Campaign's Media Agency of the Year in 2015 and again in 2017. The business was founded in 2005 by a trio of senior managers from Carat led by former MD Colin Mills, and was named after the pub round the corner from Carat where plans for the start-up were hatched. However Mills resigned from the business three years later, leaving it under the control of co-founders Jenny Biggam and Mark Jarvis. The latter stepped down in 2017 and sold his shares; Jenny Biggam remains chief executive and majority shareholder. The7stars backed the launch of creative content unit Alpha Century in 2013, and also signed a deal to represent Interpublic's BPN media network in the UK through an affiliate arrangement. In 2017, The7Stars launched secondary media shop Bountiful Cow (also named after a pub) to serve as an overflow resource, and prevent making the original agency too big to manage. It also launched content unit 8th Wonder Films. The7stars has no offices of its own outside the UK but is represented internationally by partner association Local Planet, comprising 54 leading independents spread across 67 countries. Partner agencies include Horizon Media in the US, Vision7 in Canada, UK rival Goodstuff, Testa's Media Italia in Italy and BlueFocus in China.
Capsule checked 3rd January 2020
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Adbrands Weekly Update 21st April 2016: A group of the world's biggest remaining independent media agencies have teamed up to form a global partnership network, to be named Local Planet. Founder partners include Horizon Media of the US, the UK's the7stars, Armando Testa's Media Italia in Italy, Percept Media of India and France's CoSpirit MediaTrack. Martyn Rattle, former chief client officer for Dentsu Aegis Media, was named as the first chief executive of Local Planet, with Horizon founder Bill Koenigsberg as chairman. "We know that many international marketers are looking for an alternative to the holding company model," said Rattle, "a more agile and service-oriented solution built around their specific needs... Each one of Local Planet's agencies has started, grown and succeeded by fighting for and on behalf of their clients. We are now bringing that start-up, independent spirit to our global network. We are looking forward to working together with international clients in the pursuit of shared success."
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Oct 2013: Interpublic is extending its recently launched third media network BPN to the UK through a strategic alliance with local media agency the7stars. That shop will remain independent, but will act for BPN under an affiliate arrangement.
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