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All about Arc, Cheil, Initials, RPM, Ogilvy Action and WDMP – Win an Agency’ Competition

by Will Corry on December 3, 2012 in Events, Events & Awards, Lead story, London & South East, News you can use, Retail, Retail News, Small Business, Startups

The Cambridge Raincoat Company, stylish and innovative raincoats designed for cycling, taken on by Laurence Russ of Arc

Nine start-up businesses out of thirteen won the services of a marketing agency for a year at the ‘Win a Marketing Agency’ competition, held at the end of last week by the Marketing Agencies Association (MAA) in partnership with Start Up Britain as part of Marketing 4 StartUp Britain.

Agency heads of Initials, Cheil, Saatchi and Saatchi X, Pulse, WDMP, RPM, Ogilvy Action, Arc and HH&S all took on a start-up, which have been in business less than two years, to help them gain the awareness and marketing support to push their brands into the mainstream.

The entrants – who succeeded in being shortlisted from 113 entries – had just 4 minutes to impress the judges before answering questions and receiving votes.   Three of the brands proved very popular, with multiple agencies voting for them, at which stage the tables turned and the agencies gave a 60 second pitch on why they were best suited to help the entrepreneur.

Jamie Matthews, CEO of Initials said, “It’s really refreshing and exciting to see the great ideas coming from these entrepreneurs and the progress they have made with their businesses.  The caliber of entrants was excellent and it’s obvious they are all going to go places. The growth in our economy is going to lie with SME’s just like this and we’re delighted to see how marketing is playing a role in driving young businesses forward and making them the brands of tomorrow”.

5 Point Plus, an innovative safety seatbelt that hopes to stop the common problem of children escaping from their car seats and being injured, attracted the attention of a handful of agencies before selecting Initials. The brand, launched in 2011, is already stocked by Boots, Halfords, John Lewis and shops throughout Europe but is seeking an agency to raise awareness of the product.

“5pointplus has huge potential and having worked with many mother and baby brands as well as understanding the retail environment that the founder is operating in, we feel Initials is ideally matched to help him” said Matthews.

Richard Knight, Founder of 5 Point Plus said, “I’m delighted to be working with Initials, a top London agency. Together I am confident that we can make a real difference to child safety and raise the profile of the multi award winning 5 point plus child car seat anti escape system. Toddlers removing their arms from their car seat harness renders the child car seat useless and increases the probability of having an accident due to driver distraction”.

Vanitea and the Cambridge Raincoat Company also proved popular, attracting more than one vote.  The full list of agency and start-up matches is:

-          5 Point Plus, an innovative safety car seatbelt for children, taken on by Jamie Mathews, CEO of Initials

-          Able Journey’s, a travel company for the disabled, taken on by Rachelle Headland, managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi X

-          Vanitea – a product design innovation offering high quality and fresh teas from China and Japan, looking to roll out a unique tea bar concept, taken on by Peter Martin, director of shopper marketing and retail at Cheil Worldwide

-          Please Cycle – combining cycling, digital technology and gamification to help organizations encourage and reward employee cycling, taken on by Gavin Wheeler, CEO of WDMP

-          The Cambridge Raincoat Company, stylish and innovative raincoats designed for cycling, taken on by Laurence Russ of Arc

-          LimeCo –sustainable alternative to cement for construction, taken on by Mike Halstead, managing director of HH&S

-          Bertie and Jack – contemporary artwork using unique cutout process, taken on by Paul Turner, executive creative director at Pulse

-          Mary Elizabeth Cosmetics – skin care products using natural plant oils, created by an aromatherapies after her brush with skin cancer, taken on by Hugh Robertson, managing director of RPM.

-          Falvrbox, a tasting box allowing people to discover new products made by the best independent food and drink producers around, taken on by Richard Woodward, managing director of Ogilvy Action.

Gavin Wheeler, CEO at WDMP, said: “We had targeted PleaseCycle as a business we wanted to work with. Their proposition combines digital innovation, gamification, consumer engagement with one of our agency passions – cycling. They, like us, work across B2B and B2C. The synergies across our businesses are huge. We look forward to working with them to drive their business to the next level.”

Kitty Smyth, founder of Vanitea said, “Apart from being absolutely thrilled to have been partnered with Cheil, I really enjoyed listening to the presentations and learning about other startups and agencies. Winning the services of marketing experts will really help Vanitea beat a path through the competition in the months ahead”.

Formal introductions between the winning start ups and their partner marketing agency were made after the event.     The competition was launched earlier in the year as part of Marketing 4 StartUp Britain week, created in partnership with StartUp Britain, with the aim of demonstrating how marketing can help grow young businesses.

Last year’s winner Safetray and runner up Rocktails, spoke at a Marketing 4 StartUp Britain event about how working with Iris and Pulse respectively had accelerated their businesses.

Scott Knox, managing director of the MAA said, “Marketing has so much to offer the evolution of the British economy.  Last year two start-ups benefitted greatly from access to leading marketing agencies and this year nine companies are going to get the help they need to be the brands of tomorrow.”

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