thenetworknews. December 2021

Well, it’s December already and, lets be honest, it has been quite a year… again!

As many of us start to think about the holidays (be that on the beach or around the fire) or perhaps just reflect on the last 12 months, we at thenetworkone would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support this year.

We wish you all a healthy, happy and successful 2022!


news from the network



It took nearly 2 years to happen but, on 30th November, we were delighted to welcome (in person), so many friends to the Royal College of Physicians in London for The Indie Forum & Awards Presentation.

With hardly a screen to be seen, the event saw a return to chatting over coffee with colleagues from across the industry.

The Indie Forum also had inspirational presentations from eminent industry leaders, including Craig Inglis, Gabriela Lungu, Claire Mason, Ian Forrester, Francesca Robe and Paul Winterflood.

If you couldn’t make it, click here for a full write-up of the event.

We were delighted to be joined by so many of our friends, both in-person and virtually, via live stream. The recording is now available to stream, for anyone who wasn’t able to join us.

Finally, we would like to thank our wonderful sponsors for their support of this event:


After months of entries, judging and preparation, we were finally able to crown the winners of The Indie Awards at our November event.

On behalf of our esteemed panel of judges, we’re delighted to announce the Gold winners of the six categories:

  • Creative Audiovisual: ‘Dad Time Stories’, BBD Perfect Storm / Dove Men+Care (Unilever)
  • Creative – Print & Design: ‘Notes IPA’ Zulu Alpha Kilo / SingleCut Beersmiths
  • Corporate PR: ‘Catch The Scam’ Zulu Alpha Kilo/ HomeEquity Bank
  • Lifestyle PR: ‘Tough Turban’ Zulu Alpha Kilo / Pfaff Harley-Davidson
  • Media: ‘IMC’s Cry Babies’ Generation Media / IMC Toys
  • Public Good: ’14 is not OK’ Optimist Group / Estonian Sexual Health Association – Eesti Seksuaaltervise Liit

The top prize of the night, the ‘Best-In-Show’, went to Optimist Group for their campaign, ’14 is not OK‘. The effective piece of work was created for the Estonian Sexual Health Association – Eesti Seksuaaltervise Liit, highlighting an Estonian law that was putting children at risk, which was subsequently changed.

We were glad to see judges on all sides choosing Optimist Group, a small agency from Estonia, as the top prize-winner of the evening, proving that you don’t need to be big to win at The Indie Awards.

Bronze and Silver prizes were also awarded by the judges. To view all of the winning work, visit The Indie Awards website.  Or, you can watch the full Awards ceremony via this recording.

For the full story, read our media release here.

Moore Kingston Smith’s Annual Survey

Leading agency accountancy firm, Moore Kingston Smith (MKS), recently published its Annual Survey of the UK’s agency sector. For the most part based on published accounts, the survey provides a fascinating overview of the UK creative industry over the last full financial year (2019/20).

As one might expect, the decades long downwards trend in agency revenue growth took a plunge in 2020 with, direct and sales promotion agencies reporting an average 14.9% drop in revenue growth, followed closely by media at 14.4%. However, PR agencies fared much better, with an average decrease of just 1.5%.

With regard to profit margins, the survey highlighted that the independent agency sector (especially media, PR and digital agencies), performed much better that the holding companies, mostly due to their ability to cut costs quickly and restructure their operations as a reaction to the pandemic.

However, staff are a major cost for any agency and, the continuing ‘war for talent’ is pushing staffing cost up to above 60% on average of total costs (which will put pressure on margins), and this is likely to continue into 2022.

This all said, the survey concluded that many agencies are optimistic about the future and believe they will be seeing a return to reasonable margins by the end of 2022.

The ICCO Global Awards 2021

Thenetworkone was proud to sponsor The ICCO Global Awards in London last month.

The virtual event saw 25 prizes awarded to communications agencies around the world, including independent agencies like Kurio and Value360 India.

Thenetworkone’s Julian Boulding presented the ‘Independent Consultancy of the Year Award’ to UK communications consultancy, BECG.

We’d like to wish hearty congratulations to BECG and all other winners at the ICCO Awards! Take a look at the winners here.

(Julian Boulding live at The ICCO Global Summit)


news from our members & friends

Flow achieves B-BBEE Level 1 rating 

Congratulations to Flow Communications in South Africa upon achieving broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) rating for the next year!

Flow is 28% black owned and 67% women-owned. About 70% of Flow’s staff are women, while the company’s management team is 80% female. The agency’s rating is as per the Marketing, Advertising and Communications Sector Code, and remains valid until December 2022.

Bheki Shongwe, chairman of Flow Communications, says: “We have always been committed to transformation and diversity and we are thrilled to have achieved this accolade. We are committed to growing jobs in a country that desperately needs them. Flow embraces both the principles and practice of socio-economic transformation, and we are fully committed to the spirit of diversity that our rating as a Level 1 B-BBEE contributor represents.”

Click here to read on.

Leagas Delaney win Grand Effie 2021

Congratulations to independent agency, Leagas Delaney Hamburg, upon winning the Grand Effie 2021 for their work with Gustavo Gusto!

“Gustavo Gusto not only broke new ground with the creation of a new market segment…but also with communication. Instead of large campaigns, the company and the Leagas Delaney agency used a lot of pinpricks: The packaging became a striking advertising space, limited editions were created in cooperation with a cooking show and an influencer, and pizzas were offered in hardware stores for the first time.”

Click here to learn more.

A Tribute to Jimmy Lam

We were terribly saddened to hear about the passing of Jimmy Lam, President of Asia Pacific ADFEST.

In a touching tribute, Jimmy Lam was described as: “a pillar of strength [who] worked tirelessly to make ADFEST a reality; he was the groundforce that shaped it into the success it is today and the advertising industry in Asia Pacific is richer for his effort.”

Click here to continue reading the tribute to the late Jimmy Lam.

The Drum & PromoVeritas launch ‘Most Effective Promotion’ award

Independent promotions agency, PromoVeritas, has partnered with The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022 to launch the ‘Most Effective Promotion of the Year’.

This award celebrates the best and most effective promotional activation – from prize draws to instant win campaigns.

This brand-new category launches as PromoVeritas celebrates its 20th year of running promotions on-pack, online, on social and more.

Click here to learn more about this brand new award, and here to enter.

Mower expands account management team with four new hires

Reflecting the high demand for support across a diverse client roster and a commitment to continuous growth, Mower, one of the US’s top independent marketing, advertising and public relations agencies, has expanded its account management department with the addition of four new account team members:

  • Evelyn D. Warren
  • Victoria Jayes
  • Ravi Kiran Rao
  • Lydia R. Rugaber

These new employees are part of a cohesive team managing Mower’s client accounts across the country, working in coordination with colleagues in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, and Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, and Syracuse, N.Y.

In other exciting news, Mower has recently won the Grand Prix for B2B Marketing from The Drum Awards! 

The top honour in the international contest was presented for Mower’s omni-channel work, Caring Gene®: Caring is Your Calling, developed on behalf of Iroquois Healthcare Association, which also took the award in the Best Response to Change contest.

Another Mower campaign, Bring Your Work to Kids, won in the Best B2B Agency Promotion category.

Read on, and learn more about Mower, via their website.

BSUR’s Regainability Initiative

Creative consultancy and TNO member, BSUR, has recently unveiled a unique program for businesses that are committed to sustainability.

Joost Perik, Co-Founder of BSUR, explains:

Climate change is beyond any doubt the most important issue facing humankind. We don’t need a slowdown of our planet’s destruction, we need acceleration of its healing. For this, BSUR introduced the term Regainability in order to continually focus on regaining our planet’s health.”

To this end, BSUR have launched Regainability – a new frame for businesses to consider their impact on climate change. By thinking about sustainability differently through Regainability, companies can activate real environmental impact, and future-proof their business.

Learn more about Regainability here.

The Importance of Building Online Communities 

Independent digital agency, Percepto, have published a new thinkpiece on the importance of building online communities – especially now.

In addition, the article discusses the factors that should be considered both when creating your own community and when establishing your presence in existing communities.

Read on here.


The Best Christmas Adverts for 2021

FILE PHOTO: A still image shows a frame from a video commercial for the Norwegian postal service “When Harry Met Santa”, which features a gay Santa Claus. Tim Lorenzen/Handout via REUTERS

The festive season is finally here! For many of us, this kicks off with the annual Christmas adverts.

The Drum has compiled a list of the best Christmas adverts for 2021. Their round up includes UK classics, like John Lewis’ ‘Unexpected Guest’, as well as ads from around the world, such as the touching Norwegian ad, ‘When Harry met Santa’.

Click here to watch them all!