Young & Rubicam Brands

Landor Associates

Charlie Wrench, Chief executive officer

Report by Charlie Wrench (above)
Chief executive officer

Despite the challenging economic climate, 2008 proved to be another record year for Landor, with new highs reached in both revenue and operating profit.

It was also a good year in terms of strengthening our platform going forward.

First and foremost, we continued to invest in our ‘One Landor’ vision of providing clients with an ever more coherent global offer. Amongst our 'One Landor' highlights, we were delighted to be appointed by Procter & Gamble to three new billion-dollar global brand partnerships, China’s leading electric goods company Haier chose us as their partners in building their brand globally, and Kraft invited us to extend our European partnership into the US and China.

They say that cobblers’ children are often the worst shod but 2008 was definitely a strong year in terms of building our own brand: Landor.com was relaunched as a more proactive marketing site (and immediately won a handful of prestigious web awards); we published two new books and distributed Perspectives, a compendium of the best of our thought leadership pieces; we were highly active on the speaker circuit, receiving record levels of media coverage in the year.

Ultimately, the success of any creative business is a function of its capacity to attract and motivate great talent, making the introduction of Paige DeLacey as our new chief talent officer a key hire in 2008. Other notable leadership changes included the promotion of Cheryl Giovanonni to lead our European region, the introduction of Nick Foley and Felix Stockle as managing directors of our Sydney and Hamburg offices respectively and the promotion of Tammy Anthony to global client leader for P&G.

2008 was a year to celebrate the Tiger and the Dragon as our new offices in Beijing and Mumbai began to establish powerful new client relationships. Clients in Beijing now include ICBC, China’s largest bank; Beijing Capital Land, Beijing’s leading property developer; Wang Fu Jing, China’s largest department store chain and Haier. In an even shorter time, Mumbai has built an equally impressive client list led by Café Coffee Day (think Starbucks), Tata Group and the Taj Hotel chain. Along with our Singapore office, we are well positioned for growth in India and Southeast Asia.

We continued to expand our service offering, with increased revenues derived from our innovation, digital, strategy, brand engagement, financial services and naming practices. We also made great progress in developing our sustainability offer. We gave the keynote speech at the Landor-sponsored Economist Conferences Branding Roundtable in Beijing, taking the opportunity to share our global Green Brands Survey. Our much applauded and award-winning One Degree program was rolled out across News Corporation globally and we worked on sustainability engagements for Nissan, Verizon, Mattel, and the Dow Chemical Company. We also launched Cascade Green, a 100% carbon-offset beer in Australia.

In the future, Landor will continue to be well positioned as leaders in the field of brand-led business transformation and creators of desire the world over.