Wavemaker adds to winning run with NHS media account

WPP media agency Wavemaker is on a roll, winning the UK’s NHS (National Health Service) media account hard on the heels on travel booking service Trainline last week. It also won Amazon’s Audible account globally, making it the best performing media agency of the year according to some measures.

NHS head of marketing Phil Bastable says: “Wavemaker provided us with a robust strategy that not only promises to deliver on our objectives but also strongly reflects our values and the founding principles that underpin the NHS. We have full confidence that, with their support, we will see fantastic results over the next four years that, most importantly, allow us to continue delivering the highest possible standard of care to the English public.”

Wavemaker COO Katie Lee says: “It’s an honour to have the opportunity to continue working with one of the UK’s most cherished brands and services. There is no doubt that the NHS makes people proud to be British. As such, campaigns that showcase the varied and fulfilling roles the NHS can offer and ease the pressure off its current, remarkable workers are more important than ever in protecting this world-class service.”

There’s the rub of course. NHS may have been the biggest UK media account through the pandemic but the venerable body is still plagued by staff shortages, which advertising can doubtless help. Ultimately, though, wages have to rise as Brexit has put an end to cheap labour from the EU.

Wavemaker is an amalgam of WPP agencies Maxus and MEC (MEC was once Chris Ingram associates or CIA.) Its USP is, it says, “provocative planning” which “combines machine learning and human intelligence to unlock, maximise and transform growth for the world’s leading brands and businesses.” There you go, seems to be working anyway.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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