Section image

Penny Machines

Cherries
oil on canvas
22 x 20 in
1981

Penny Machines
oil on canvas
23¾ x 29¾ in
1961

Stack of Books
oil on canvas
30 x 24 in
n.d.

Seven Suckers
oil on canvas
19 x 23 in
1970

Twin Jackpots
oil on canvas
30 x 46 in
1962

Ties
oil on canvas
20 x 26 in
1980

Cake Slices
oil on canvas
20 x 16 in
n.d.

B to D Group

Report by Craig Branigan (below)
Chairman and chief executive officer

Craig Branigan

B to D Group

2009 was a year of mixed fortunes for the Branding to Design (B to D) Group. Due to the severe economic downturn, client retrenchment and delays in new business led to limited growth across most of our companies, with the exception of The Partners and Addison which showed an increase in revenue. In addition, the networks’ global footprint made them vulnerable to market volatility in developing markets in the Middle East and Asia. Nevertheless, Landor and Lambie-Nairn held their strong margins.

This year, more than ever, leveraging the combined strength of the group reaped rewards, through gains in operational efficiencies, shared resources in talent and technology and access to insights on effective management during a downturn.

We welcomed two new leaders to our group: Lois Jacobs, CEO of Fitch and Robert de Groot, CEO of VBAT. Both CEOs come with invaluable experience and leadership skills, and have added significantly to the management capability of the B to D Group. PeclersParis (formerly part of the Fitch group) started reporting to B to D in late 2009.

Despite the difficult year, our companies distinguished themselves as industry leaders, winning several high-profile awards. We improved our performance at Cannes, winning five Design Lion awards in the nascent design category. The Brand Union won Marketing magazine’s Design Agency of the Year, The Partners was awarded the No.1 position in Design Week’s Creative Survey, and Fitch won three American Graphic Design awards.

Addison

In a market where some of its immediate competitors folded or downsized considerably last year, Addison continued to deliver a strong performance. The company reaffirmed its position as the premier corporate communications agency in Europe, with more FTSE 100 and Euro100 clients than any other competitor. New European clients include Gemalto and TNT in the Netherlands, Givaudan in Switzerland and UPM in Finland. Addison also continued to build its robust digital offer, with IR Magazine rating WPP’s online Annual Report No.1. Addison was also awarded nine international LACP awards and helped WPP win the prestigious Building Public Trust Award for its corporate reporting.

The Brand Union

As expected, and in common with our industry, 2009 proved to be a challenging year for The Brand Union. The company wrestled with two specific issues: a reduction in corporate- and M&A-led assignments off the back of the travails of the global financial market and the erosion of client activity in the emerging markets – both of which provided major impetus for the company’s growth trajectory during the previous three years.

However, The Brand Union responded positively to these challenges, successfully stabilising our business and adapting its offer and services to the new trading environment. As a result, the agency had a stronger second half in 2009 and outperformed many of its competitors.

See full report

Fitch

In common with many of its retail clients, 2009 was a challenging year for Fitch. While the company experienced growth in Asia, other parts of its network were more affected by the economic downturn.

Fitch’s ability to translate brands into experiences enabled it to win fresh assignments for many new clients. The company welcomed Barclaycard, McLaren, Hyundai, Arcelik Beko, VM Ware, Sberbank and Morrisons to Fitch in 2009.

See full report

Lambie-Nairn

Lambie-Nairn delivered a strong operating profit margin. The company continued to build key client relationships with the BBC, O2 and Sainsbury’s. 2009 was a year of exciting geographic expansion based on client needs. Lambie-Nairn’s office in Munich continued to grow, adding EADs, Airtours and Scleich; it maintained its dominance of the Middle Eastern media market with MBC, Abu Dhabi Media Company and Baynounah among their clients.

The company’s most significant win was the appointment to develop and undertake the global brand guardianship for the Telefónica Group. This high-profile program will involve the creation of new hubs in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Spain. This project lays the foundation for a strategic footprint for Lambie-Nairn and the B to D Group in South America. Led by CEO Christian Schroeder, Lambie-Nairn is poised to deliver ongoing growth, propelling it to become more of an international player.

Landor Associates

Landor’s performance in 2009 differed dramatically, depending from where you viewed it. In the US, Landor’s all-important financial engine, margins were quite exceptional. But it was patchy in Europe where the recession bit.

Landor was Marketing magazine’s Branding Agency of the Year in Greater China, but the company suffered in the Middle East where the market for its services was undermined by events in Dubai. Business with most of its long-term clients performed very well indeed but the number of new business opportunities around most of the world dropped dramatically.

The net result of all this is that, while revenue and operating profit were down on the previous year, the company nevertheless weathered this recession better than most.

See the full report

The Partners

The Partners grew from strength to strength, delivering excellent growth in revenue. The agency’s focus on big ideas and creative excellence helped it to grow key client relationships with Aviva, Deloitte, Imperial Tobacco, Network Rail and Novo Nordisk.

Led by CEO Jim Prior, The Partners continues to be one of the most creatively recognized agencies in the world. Under the creative stewardship of Greg Quinton, they were awarded first position in Design Week’s Creative Survey; it won two Design Lions at Cannes and several other awards from Graphis, Clio, New York Art Directors Club and Mobius, among others. Pursuing the strategy of ‘One agency, two doors’, The Partners exported its superior creative reputation to successfully build its office in New York.

VBAT

Under the leadership of chairman Eugene Bay and new CEO, Robert de Groot, VBAT continued to drive a strong and steady business built upon its long-term relationships with Campina, Heineken, Intergamma, NS (Dutch railway), and SNS REAAL. VBAT focused on building its retail expertise, leading to new opportunities with Jumbo supermarkets.

Business innovations included the development of a new low-cost production offer, GroundFloor. VBAT was recognized with a silver Penta award for Jillz, a Heineken-owned cider brand. The company continued to build its international profile, with successful launches for Banco de Chile, Cristal Beer (Chile), and Maes Beer (Belgium).

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