Report on Fallon London for CEO of Publicis Groupe, Arthur Sadoun
Dear Arthur Sadoun,
This report is a comprehensive analysis on Fallon Worldwide (specifically Fallon London as one of its subsidiaries).
In 1998, Fallon London an affiliate office of ‘Fallon Worldwide’ was born and opened its doors as the Fallon HQ. Fallon Worldwide (originally known as Fallon McElligott Rice) was founded in 1981 in Minneapolis by Pat Fallon and four other partners (Tom McElligott, Nancy Rice, Fred Senn and Irv Fish). They have been named Ad Age’s Agency of the Year three times since its conception (1983, 1995 and 1997) and in 2015 were awarded the comeback agency of the year. In February 2000, Fallon worldwide was bought by Publicis Groupe for $120 million and added to Publicis already extensive holdings in the United States.
Fallon London is a creative agency with similar values and beliefs as Fallon Worldwide but is mostly about transformational creativity which has been proven by use of campaigns. In 2015 changes were made to the company and Gareth Collins, a managing partner at AMVBBDO was made new CEO of Fallon London. Since Collins joined Fallon he won some very important clients (Expedia, SKODA, AXA UK and Deliveroo). His experience stretches as far as spending 12 years with AMVBBDO. When Collins joined he formed a new management team. This team included Nick Bell as the Executive Creative Director and David Hackworthy as the Chief Strategy Officer both who have been named part of Campaign’s ‘The A-List’.
Some of Fallon London’s clients over the years include AXA UK, SKODA, Expedia, Cadbury, Deliveroo, Sony, Virgin mobile, Amazon, Cadbury, McDonald’s and many more. Some of Fallon London’s more notable campaigns include Deliveroo’s ‘HaveMoments’ TV ad, which was released to commemorate its first ever TV campaign and opening up in its 100th and city. Skoda is also part of Fallon’s clients they wanted a campaign which would bolster its perception as a premium brand. They used Bradley Wiggins (first British rider to win Tour de France) to achieve campaign which suggests, like Wiggins you too can be ‘driven by something different’.
In April 2017, Fallon London lost their biggest client, Cadbury, after 11 years. “The account is Fallon’s largest piece of business and accounts for around 30% of its revenues. However, when considering Fallon’s client roster by individual brands, Cadbury accounts constitute 50% of the list.”. In previous years, Cadbury spent over £7 million on advertising. The decision to leave Fallon London was made based on Cadbury’s end of year review. “Global brand director Ben Wicks says: “We are excited to partner with VCCP to write the next chapter in the brand’s famous advertising history. I look forward to evolving the creative direction of the Cadbury brand and creating some truly exceptional work going forward.” (2017)
One could argue that Fallon London was not meeting up with the required creative expectations
of Cadbury, hence the move to VCCP. In 2011, Fallon London won AXA London’s £26 million ad account and became their new advertising agency. In September 2017, AXA London premiered a new £5 million advertising campaign. The advert narrates a story about a dancer born with a bone disorder with the brand’s new tagline ‘restless for a reason’. “It’s a campaign centred around all the reasons AXA is restless to make the world a safer, better- protected place. ‘With this campaign, Fallon London showed the world that they are capable of first-class adverts.” An article written on the drum, by writer John McCarthy had a headline of “AXA transcends insurance with ‘restless for a reason’ ad campaign focusing on customer service” which is positive feedback courtesy for Fallon London.
Fallon London aligned with Leo Burnett in October 2017, with Gareth Collins as the joint CEO of both Publicis Groupe owned agencies. This was a good opportunity for Fallon London due to the strength and experience including spending 12 years with AMVBBDO. Also, Collins brought order to the framework combined with Leo Burnett’s similarities with Fallon London. When Fallon London lost Cadbury, they lost half their revenue, but they regained whatever they lost by hiring new clients. Despite, Collins two-year tenor with Fallon London his management team is not ageing but have young fresh and open-minded. Fallon London could take steps to hire more fresh minds by offering more job opportunities to graduates and undergraduates in terms of internships and fellowships. This will enable Fallon London to take away the threat of their management allowing them to be left behind. Fallon London also possesses strong creative minds as demonstrated in their Skoda and AXA London campaigns.
Mr Sadoun, Fallon London is an exceptional advertising agency who have proven they capability over the years and the agency is driven by creativity. It is thereby recommended that Fallon London should be kept on as one of Publicis Groupe’s subsidiaries. Overall, they have a reputable track record despite their shortcomings. Furthermore, Fallon London is an exceptional agency that has an array of high profile clients. This agency has clearly demonstrated that they can push boundaries and exceed the client’s expectations, hence they should be retained by the Publicis Groupe.