In the financial year (2021/2022) ending June 2022, Serviceplan Group, Europe’s largest owner-managed agency group, achieved a fee turnover of 623 million euros – representing an increase of 28% from the previous year’s 488 million euros. Therefore, it is by far the best result recorded since the company was founded in 1970.
Florian Haller, CEO Serviceplan Group, comments: “Even in a market that is characterized by uncertainty, volatility, and a shortage of skilled professionals, our ‘House of Communication’ concept has overwhelmingly proved its unique operational and creative potential. As a result, we are able to attract the sector’s most sought-after talent for our team.”
Florian Haller emphasized that this result was only possible because the Group’s ‘House of Communication’ culture has been just as successful in competing for the best talent as it has in keeping and gaining relevant clients. The Serviceplan Group defies the shortage of specialists in the agency sector, and currently employs more than 5,000 colleagues across 16 locations worldwide. These figures are also a good 13 per cent increase compared to the previous financial year.
Florian Haller: “The past financial year has also been the ‘Year of Talent’. From a strong position, we have managed to offer in-house professional development to the senior management, while at the same time injecting some dynamism into key strategic job roles.”
Serviceplan Group has reported notable new additions in nearly every area in the past twelve months: Jerry Buhlman, an agency executive with experience all over the world, is a new member of the Supervisory Board; Christian Schmitz, former management member of Accenture, is in charge of Plan.Net International; Birgit Baier, an executive with international experience, is taking over the management of Plan.Net Berlin; in the Strategy Division, Stefanie Kuhnhen is giving fresh impetus agency-wide; top agency manager, Stefan Schütte, is taking over the management of Saint Elmo’s Group; Karin Maria Schertler, an experienced Serviceplan Manager, is the new Chief People Officer, and within the Mediaplus Group, Andrea Koch has been promoted to the role of Managing Director at Mediaplus Hamburg.
Till Diestel, most recently Creative Director of BBDO, returns as Chief Creative Officer of Serviceplan Germany. Furthermore, in Maximilian Schöngen, the Mediaplus Group has its own global Creative Director for the first time.
Florian Haller comments: “In being able to attract or further develop many talented people for our team with expertise in different disciplines, we have established a decisive success factor for further growth. I look forward to developing the ‘House of Communication’ concept further as a team.”
Grand Prix marks the most successful creative year in Serviceplan’s history
From a creative perspective, the financial year 2021/22 has been the most successful since Serviceplan was founded in 1970. Serviceplan Group was named ‘Independent Network of the Year’ and Serviceplan Germany named ’Craft Agency of the Year’ at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022.
And at New York Festival Serviceplan Germany won a triple whammy of accolades, being named Independent Agency of the Year, Agency of the Year & Regional Agency of the Year for Europe.
The group currently leads both the Horizont and W&V creative rankings in Germany and is celebrating a historic success with a Grand Prix (PENNY, ‘The Wish’), and one Titanium (Dot Inc., Dot Pad), four gold, three silver, and three bronze Lions.
For Alexander Schill, Global CCO of Serviceplan Group, however, one award is particularly indicative of the Group’s strong development:
“Being named Independent Network of the Year in Cannes is of immense significance to us. It is an expression of everything that is important to us and what makes us who we are: independence, internationality, and an uncompromisingly creative approach to every single task. This prize from the most important festival of creativity in the world is the crowning moment for the work of all our colleagues, and will bring us long-term international visibility.”
Additionally, other divisions of the Group have shone in major awards and rankings:
For the third successive year, the Mediaplus Group was named Media Agency of the Year at the W&V German Media Award (‘Deutscher Mediapreis’). With 52 trophies to its name, Mediaplus once more defended the top spot as the most successful agency in the history of German Media Award In the current ‘RECMA Qualipack Report’, with the maximum rating of ‘Dominant’ and ‘A’, Mediaplus not only ranks first among German agencies, but also sits at the top of the international quality rankings for the 75 most important independents.
In the current BVDW Internet Agency Ranking, the Plan.Net Group occupies second place, thanks to a considerable jump in turnover. According to a study by the market research company Lünendonk, the group also ranks among the leading digital experience service providers. In the BVDW sub-ranking ‘Digital Transformation and Strategy’, Plan.Net has likewise moved up three places from the previous year, and now ranks among the top three. Together with the Serviceplan agencies, the Plan.Net Group has once again been selected as the most creative digital agency.
In focus: Customized solutions and integration
Creative & Content, Experience & Commerce, and Media & Data – these modules are designed as an integral part of the Houses of Communication. They are implemented individually and in an agile manner, in accordance with client requirements. During the past financial year, the customised agency concepts of ‘Serviceplan Bubble’ (O2 Telefónica), ‘The Marcom Engine’ (BMW) and ‘Serviceplan Docks’ (Tchibo) have continued to be established and provide remarkable proof of the Serviceplan Group’s innovative strength as an integrated communication services provider.
Florian Haller is convinced that customised agency concepts will determine the future relationship between the agency and its clients:
“Our clients have to survive in ever more complex markets. As their agency partner, we must be the ‘facilitator’ and create a tailor-made but scalable customised solution for every client, not only designed for the client’s requirements and targets, but also for the volatility and uncertainty of the markets. In the coming financial year, we will refine our Group’s pioneering range of services.”
Consistent internationalisation in uncertain times
With a fee turnover of 148 million euros and 22 per cent growth, Serviceplan International makes a considerable contribution to the overall success of the Group. In this area, the Mediaplus Group has provided strong impetus for growth. In addition to the new set up of Mediaplus US, the Group have laid the foundations for sustainable growth in Scandinavia with the opening of the new Stockholm office. The launch of Mediaplus Realtime has given a further push in the direction of internationalisation. With this integrated, data-centred consultancy, knowledge, and realisation hub, the agency group brings together all resources worldwide for globally scalable campaign planning and execution in real-time. In addition, with Medianest, Mediaplus has established a nearshore hub, operating out of Warsaw and taking care of cross-market search, performance, and social operations. Even in times of war in Ukraine, the ongoing pandemic situation, and uncertainty in world politics, the desire is to hold fast to the internationalisation strategy in the major core markets in the future.
Serviceplan Group CEO Florian Haller says:
“This is not the end of globalisation; it is merely being modified and driven ever more powerfully by digitalisation. Therefore, we adhere consistently, but flexibly, to our strategy of maintaining our presence in all key markets worldwide. As the agency partner alongside our clients, we see our core tasks for the future as reducing complexity, and setting standards in the metaverse and in real-time. In so doing, we will ensure that our unique Serviceplan culture can be experienced by the next generation of communications talent. We have taken a significant step with our new House of Communications in the Munich Werksviertel. Here we are giving a very clear picture of what the future of integrated agency work looks like.”
Detailed breakdown of fee turnover
|Fee turnover for 21/22 in EUR million||% change from previous year|
|Serviceplan Group||623||+ 28|
|Serviceplan agencies||124||+ 28|
|Plan.Net (including The Marcom Engine)||151||+ 53|
|Mediaplus (including Facit)||179||+ 26|
|Saint Elmo’s||18||+ 38|
|Serviceplan International||148||+ 22|
Media & Data
With a fee turnover of 179 million Euros and an increase of 26 per cent, the Mediaplus Group is growing in tandem with its wide-ranging spheres of responsibility. In order to meet the ever-increasing challenges of the coming years in the areas of internationalisation, data, integration and research, the Mediaplus Group has adopted a new and powerful structure.
The Mediaplus Board, appointed in January, takes care of central strategy and the guiding decisions of the entire agency group. The Board is made up of Esther Busch, Barbara Evans, Oliver Hey, Andrea Malgara, Julian Simons and Dominik Terruhn. The overall head of the Mediaplus Group is CEO Matthias Brüll. There have also been some staffing changes at Mediaplus Hamburg. Here, Andrea Koch took over the helm in April as the new Managing Director. Elke Reibetanz, a Managing Partner at Mediaplus Berlin, was also promoted to the management at House of Communication Berlin.
International expansion is right at the top of the agenda. With its new dual leadership Mediaplus is accelerating in the North American market. Since January, CCO Tamara Alesi and CSO Jasmine Presson from Mediaplus New York have been driving further expansion and development of the agency’s activities in the USA and Canada. A strategic alliance with the US Stagwell Agency Group has given this added impetus. The focal point of their cooperation is reciprocal support in the design, planning, and implementation of media strategies for global accounts. Both independent holdings wish to jointly open up the markets in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region, and to expand their activities.
Likewise, in Scandinavia, the Mediaplus Group has embarked on the next stage of its international expansion with Mediaplus Nordics. The CEO of the newly established Stockholm site is Eva Bodecker Thunborg. As well as Sweden, the new Nordics CEO is responsible for Norway, Denmark, and Finland. Additionally, there is also news from Switzerland: the merger of Mediakanzlei and Mediaplus has launched a creative, data-centred media range using local expertise, under the name of Mediaplus Suisse.
The challenges of integrated, cross-border, seamless campaign supervision are increasing. The Mediaplus Group brings together under one roof more than 300 tools and technologies related to insights, strategy, planning, and implementation. In order for these and the departments and teams involved to dovetail perfectly, the agency group has set up Mediaplus Realtime. In this integrated, data-centred consulting, knowledge, and realisation hub of the Mediaplus Group, the agency brings together all resources worldwide for globally scalable campaign planning and execution in real time. Additionally, through Medianest, Mediaplus has established a nearshore hub that operates out of Warsaw, taking care of cross-market search, performance, and social operations.
These resources are decisive, for example facilitating the supervision of BMW Group’s digital mandate in Europe, won by Mediaplus to cover 23 countries.
And by implementing the international De’Longhi campaign across 30 countries, Mediaplus has created another major global footprint. The international account of the Italian automatic coffee machine supplier has been with Mediaplus since early 2020.
In addition to the Asia-Pacific Region, Mediaplus also won the pitch for North America last year. Other major international client accounts include; Lenovo, Eckes-Granini, Dr. Hauschka, Triumph/Sloggi, Hansgrohe, Crypto.com and Lynx.
Similarly, there has been movement on the national market. In autumn 2021 Mediaplus secured one of the most sought-after accounts in the market: the media account of the German Federal Government.
Further new business came from Motatos, Caparol, DKMS, and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Major accounts were successfully defended including; Carglass, Deichmann, and Rügenwalder Mühle.
These successes were also reflected in the rankings, with Mediaplus achieving ‘Dominant’ and ‘A’, the highest ratings, which means Mediaplus ranks top of the RECMA Qualipack Report Germany. The “Qualipack Report” assesses agencies not only according to the amount of billings managed, but above all according to qualitative aspects such as pitch activities, qualification of the employees as well as the positioning and resources of the agency and the type of clients. With a score of 28, having increased once more by 2 points from the previous year, Mediaplus leads the quality rankings of all media agencies, occupying first place in the international quality rankings of 75 independents investigated by RECMA.
For the third successive year, Mediaplus has also been named, ‘Media Agency of the Year’ for the German Media Award (Deutscher Mediapreis). According to the jury, the company’s economic strategy coupled with criteria such as innovative strength, employer branding, staff development and further qualitative development, were taken into account. With 52 trophies and four additional prizes this year alone for the best media idea, Mediaplus once more defends the top position as the most successful agency in the history of the German Media Award.
Furthermore, the company was showered with medals at the Festival of Media Global, winning two gold, two silver, and one bronze award.
Moreover, two gold medals and three silver medals were awarded to Mediaplus by the “Internationalist Awards for Innovation in Media”. The 2022 awards season was crowned by a bronze Lion for Media at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, jointly secured by Mediaplus and Serviceplan.
Media and creation are inextricably linked at the House of Communication: this was emphasised by Mediaplus with the appointment of Maximilian Schöngen as Global Creative Lead. The task of the new Global Creative Lead within Mediaplus will be to supervise global pitches and campaigns in creative and strategic ways, and to elevate the media to a new level of innovation.
Experience and Commerce
As one of the leading digital service providers in the experience and commerce sectors, the Plan.Net Group is ending the financial year successfully, with a fee volume of more than 151 million Euros. This considerable jump in turnover pushes the group into second place in the current BVDW Internet Agency Ranking.
Plan.Net Group has recorded strong growth in turnover, especially in the areas of commerce, transformation consultancy, and strategy. With its e-commerce subsidiary – hmmh – the Plan.Net Group is offering exactly the right range of services to benefit from the growth in the e-commerce market affected by the pandemic. The Plan.Net Group has brought together the whole commerce range, from Amazon marketing to social selling, under one roof in its ‘House of Commerce’.
Additionally, with The Marcom Engine for BMW, competences in transformation consultancy and strategy have been further expanded. Furthermore, these competences have been extended and strengthened by shareholdings in the consultancy firms, Future Marketing and thaltegos.
This has enabled the Plan.Net Group to climb three places to 3rd position in the BVDW sub-ranking for Digital Transformation and Strategy, up from its ranking last year. Moreover, according to the market research company, Lünendonk, this broadly compiled portfolio positions the group among the leading service providers in digital experience services. The real time orchestration of customer journeys is central to the range. The aim is to make the entire customer experience coherent and relevant across all touch points.
Aside from the above, together with the Serviceplan agencies, the Plan.Net Group has once more been selected as the most creative digital agency in the current BVDW creativity ranking.
Plan.Net Group is looking back on a successful financial year in terms of winning new clients. Account wins during the last fiscal year include: DFB GmbH & Co. KG and Holy Fashion Group (both hmmh); Varta (Plan.Net NEO); Wagener Verpackung GmbH (Plan.Net Cologne, Plan.Net Performance, and hmmh); as well as the Otto Group (Future Marketing).
Milestones have similarly been reached in internationalisation, not least through the creation and expansion of capacities as part of The Marcom Engine for BMW. In parallel, nearshore and offshore activities have been considerably expanded. Since October 2021, as Head of Plan.Net International, Christian Schmitz has been in charge of the Plan.Net Group’s internationalisation strategy.