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.

Cohn & Wolfe

Report by Donna Imperato (below)
Chief executive officer

Donna Imperato

Strengthening the agency and setting us up for future growth were Cohn & Wolfe’s key goals for 2009. It was our first full year following the merger with GCI which doubled our business and our talent base. And we succeeded in strengthening our culture and talent, while maintaining a solid client base during the tough economic climate. By keeping clients and staff motivated in 2009, Cohn & Wolfe entered 2010 with a dedicated team and committed clients, both existing and new. It was a great year for new business.

We prevailed in many of the industry’s most coveted competitions, adding three new clients from the Fortune 15 including the top two – Walmart and ExxonMobil – and more than 50 accounts overall. Walmart, in particular, was a game-changing win for our US region in terms of revenue. We also added McKesson, MasterCard, AstraZeneca, Heinz, Eli Lilly, Folgers, Axa Insurance, Panasonic and many more. And we grew organically with existing clients Merck, Colgate-Palmolive, JM Smucker and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Digital was a significant revenue driver in 2009 and will continue to be a major growth area for Cohn & Wolfe. ExxonMobil tapped us for their first ever online monitoring and response effort. Our initial digital program for MasterCard’s B2B work was so successful we were asked to handle the social media roll-out of the classic ‘Priceless’ campaign and other consumer-facing programs. We helped leading pharmaceutical companies, including Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly, Merck and Roche establish their strategic digital frameworks and internal standard operating procedures, and continue to counsel many of our clients on regulatory issues related to the digital landscape. We also conducted more than 40 customized ‘Digital Immersions’ for clients across all sectors, industries and audiences.

Branding continues to be a core strength at Cohn & Wolfe where our craft is public relations but our business is brand marketing. While the tools of PR are changing, the fundamentals of building strong brands are more important than ever. For years Cohn & Wolfe has been one of the few PR agencies with a dedicated Brand Planning and Evaluation team. In 2009, we invested in and expanded that team under the leadership of a newly appointed chief branding officer. The position will oversee brand planning, consumer insights, research and analysis and help our clients across all key practices.

Branding continues to be a core strength at Cohn & Wolfe where our craft is public relations but our business is brand marketing

Cohn & Wolfe also celebrated dozens of awards from around the world for our creativity – and for our employee satisfaction. We were one of only five global agencies to be named Best Agency To Work For in The Holmes Report’s prestigious annual Report Card, a recognition we’ve achieved for five years in a row. Our strong culture has helped us attract great talent, including one of the industry’s top digital experts to head up our digital practice globally.

We also focused heavily on thought leadership to help clients make better business decisions. Our Financial Confidence Survey gauged the impact of the financial crisis on consumer confidence and led to many new business leads. Our annual Green Brands study expanded to seven countries and helped us counsel clients on the role and impact of green initiatives within their overall business strategy.

Cohn & Wolfe is also parent to two specialty agencies, GCI Health and AxiCom. GCI Health has earned a reputation as one of the foremost healthcare communications agencies, adept at the key elements of health communications: crisis management, digital health strategy, high-science communications and ROI-generating product marketing (for full report, see GCI Health). AxiCom, our recently acquired European technology agency, had a very successful 2009 underscored by a high-profile expansion in the US. Enfatico’s public relations division rebranded to become AxiCom US, creating a global communications firm under the AxiCom brand. It continues to serve as the global PR agency of record for Dell, as well as other blue-chip technology and telecommunications companies.

After a full year as the new Cohn & Wolfe, we are poised to capitalize on key opportunities in the digital landscape and leverage our expertise with chief marketing officers who want and understand the value of brand-building public relations. We continue to impress clients and prospects with our creative programming, insights and nimbleness as an organization. Our entrepreneurial culture allows us to transform with the communications environment and meet ever-changing and more demanding client needs. 2010 is going to be a very good year for Cohn & Wolfe.

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