The Voluntarily United Group of Creative Agencies (United Group)
Report by Ewen Cameron (right)
Chief executive officer, and
Chief operating officer
007 was a year of substantial progress for the United Group, building on the strategic and undeniably tough restructuring of the network in 2006. New business, profitability and creative recognition all made significant gains. Sra Rushmore United, our agency in Spain, continued to build international business from The Coca-Cola Company with assignments from Coca-Cola Classic, Sprite, Powerade, Minute Maid and Aquarius. On top of this they won prestigious assignments from Telefonica and Spain's Mahou beer.
In New York, Berlin Cameron United built on the success of its work for Heineken Premium Light with the launch of Heineken's DraftKeg product. New business continued briskly with strong acquisition from Comcast, and the Wyndham Hotel brands, Howard Johnson, Super 8 and Econolodge. In the second half of 2007, as part of Team Ford, Berlin Cameron was the creative force behind Ford's new car launches, and was involved in one of the most successful Ford launches in some time with the Ford Edge.
Elsewhere, Cole & Weber United in the US built on its success for Capella University, with a prestigious new assignment for Jones Soda. La Negra in Argentina continued to see more new assignments from The Coca-Cola Company. And 1861 United in Italy grew revenues from their blue-chip clients such as Vodafone and Sky Broadcasting.
In terms of United's work, recognition at the major festivals such as Cannes and the US shows was strong; one highlight being the Berlitz campaign from our agency, BTS United in Oslo.
One of the most positive aspects of the year for United was the migration of our work across the globe, not only the spread of Coke work but also brands such as Audi out of Norway, Hennessy and Belvedere Vodka out of New York. This followed a year when the International Olympic Committee hired the United network to handle its 2008 Beijing Olympics integrated assignment globally. So it is with confidence that we believe 2008 will see United continue its growth to the position we aspire to, as the primary source of world-beating creative for a new generation of global brands.
Finally, I joined the United management team, adding network CEO responsibilities to my Berlin Cameron duties, succeeding Andy Berlin who moved to the position of chairman of the network. Laurence Mellman continues running operations as chief operating officer.