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.”