Visiting Mother On Turkey Day

The biggest family holiday of the year in the U.S. seems the ideal time to look at Mother, the British agency with a family vibe.
According to, the agency’s ability to retain staff is the key to their continued success.

Happy employees make for loyal, profitable customers, studies show. Yet few businesses apply this simple concept well.
Then there’s Mother, a small London-based advertising agency known for its plentiful perquisites, strong corporate identity and offbeat ads.
The firm says fewer than 10% of its 165 employees leave annually — the rate for its United Kingdom rivals is 19%, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising estimates.
The agency rarely loses important accounts either. Clients that have stayed for most of its 10-year existence include Unilever PLC, Coca-Cola Co. and Orange, the mobile-phone unit of France Telecom SA. They like an ad shop “with a highly motivated, happy work force…because we get better work out of it,” says Pippa Dunn, brand marketing director for U.K. Orange.

To reinforce Mother’s quirky image, employee business cards lack titles, but include a picture of the employee’s mother.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.