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Young & Rubicam Brands

Report by Peter Stringham (below) Global chief executive officer

Young & Rubicam

Our goal at Young & Rubicam Brands is to be the leader of ‘Innovation in Integration’ – the group whose people are recognized as the most inventive in finding new ways to combine big ideas with truly creative execution across all customer touchpoints.

It is, in fact, what many clients need to build their brands and businesses, whether the focus is on geographic diversity or on the need to unify multiple disciplines into the most effective program of communications.

The Young & Rubicam philosophy has always been ‘Best Alone. Better Together.’ It starts with the recognition that our clients want the best-in-class for each discipline. Young & Rubicam Brands meets that criterion with leading companies across the disciplines. In 2011, there was great progress on many fronts, as you will read in the agency’s individual reports.

Our Global Client Partners, some 25 clients, account for 40% of our total revenue. Sixty percent of them use four or more of our agencies. The focus on creating a structure that emphasizes both adaptability and accountability is clearly a key operational imperative.

Over the past few years, we have launched several initiatives to make sure that we can support our mission with the best talent, the most collaborative structure, the strongest leadership, as well as the newest, sharpest thinking in our business. In 2010, we continued to advance the cause.

We created an Annual Global Client Partner Summit, which puts our global client leadership together to exchange knowledge and best practices. Not unrelated, in 2010 we codified the ‘10 Things That Great Global Client Leaders Do.’ This formal analysis of global leadership will help us at every turn, from nurturing the next generation of global leaders to making operational changes that will support these principles.

In 2011, we made headlines (and bestseller lists) again with John Gerzema’s second book, Spend Shift, an analysis of consumer values changed by the past few years of economic crisis. Young & Rubicam Brands companies accounted for six WPP Atticus Award winners in 2010. And we provided thought leadership on other fronts: with Mark Penn’s column in the Wall Street Journal and Landor’s Allen Adamson’s column in Forbes.com and forums like the highly prestigious TEDx with VML, and with Green Brands, Global Insights, a collaborative perennial program that involves three of our companies and data from around the network.

 Our Raymond Rubicam University [is] an extraordinarily important way of both developing skills and promoting collaboration across our companies 

Our Raymond Rubicam University, which provides our client leaders with cross-disciplinary, cross-geography experience with clients and prospects is proving so successful that we will conduct three more sessions in 2011 and will graduate 90 more students of the program. It’s an extraordinarily important way of both developing skills and promoting collaboration across our companies.

We also made headlines this year with the acquisition of the renowned creative network, TAXI (with offices in Canada, New York and Amsterdam), which adds another exciting resource to create innovative integrated solutions, and offers TAXI’s client roster the wide range of resources and talent across Young & Rubicam Brands.

Early in 2011, David Sable took over the reins at Y&R, becoming the CEO, when Hamish McLennan decided to return to his native Australia for personal reasons. David not only began his career at Y&R in 1976, he has worked for three more Young & Rubicam Brands companies. For the past 10 years, he has served as the vice chairman and chief operating officer of Wunderman. In addition to his two tours of duty at Y&R, he has also worked at Cohn & Wolfe and Burson-Marsteller, where he served as counselor to the CEOs of some of the world’s most prestigious companies. David’s experience as a digital pioneer and entrepreneur has made him a thought leader in the field. His return to Y&R makes an easy transition and he is a perfect choice for the future.

 

Young & Rubicam

David Sable (below) Global chief executive officer

Young & Rubicam

Y&R began seeding a creative transformation in 2008 with the naming of Tony Granger as global chief creative officer. Since his arrival, Tony has created a true global creative community at Y&R, with new focus and new ways of working together that let our clients benefit from the immense talent we have all across our network.

In 2010, Y&R’s creative resurgence gained formidable traction. Around the world, the industry began to recognize the great work coming out of all regions. Y&R was named the No.3 network at Cannes, and our New York agency was No.1 in the US and No.2 worldwide there. The Art Directors Club, the New York Festival, and the London International Awards named Y&R ‘Network of the Year’, and the agency won more awards at D&AD and Epica than any other agency.

Of course, improved creative product reflects a broader, deeper strengthening of the greater network. We completed the global team with the addition of Sandy Thompson as global planning director. In North America, under the leadership of Tom Sebok, we won the global Goldman Sachs business; brought in Jane Barratt – with both solid digital and large-agency experience – to lead Y&R New York; revamped creative leadership in Chicago and, early this year, at our unified San Francisco/Irvine operations. A new CMO, Chris Hayes, joined at the end of the year, experienced across digital, social media and integrated assignments.

Our EMEA region still faced difficult economic conditions, but the trend is upwards. In late 2010, we moved Jaime Prieto from Y&R Asia to run the region, and he is focused on driving growth. RKCR/Y&R London is a tower of strength for us – a creative powerhouse and, not surprisingly, a strong new business performer. Last year, the agency was named the No.1 agency in the UK in the recently published 2010 Gunn Report. RKCR/Y&R was also named Creative Agency of the Year at the London International Awards, won 10 Lions at Cannes last year and was the most awarded UK agency at the 2010 D&AD awards, to name just a few honors. Y&R Frankfurt drove the global win of three major brands from Boehringer Ingelheim. Our investments in Eastern Europe and Russia, including the opening of a new office in Azerbaijan in 2010, have given us double-digit growth in key markets there.

Indeed, our focus on fast-growing and emerging markets is helping our clients build their brands around the world. Strong attention to Asia made 2010 transformative. We made significant hires around the region starting with Matthew Godfrey as president, Y&R Asia; Nils Andersson as CCO Y&R China; Charles Sampson as CEO of Y&R China; and Andrew Dowling, CEO of Y&R Jakarta.

With new regional creative leadership installed in 2009 and new country creative leaders placed across much of the region, we have gained traction creatively. Asia had a creative world-first at Cannes, when Y&R Jakarta won Indonesia’s first and only Cannes Gold Lion, making Y&R the top creative agency in the country.

 Our focus on fast-growing and emerging markets is helping our clients build their brands around the world 

The vitality of the Asia network translated into some iconic business wins, including Tiger Beer, where we bested six other agencies; Republic of Singapore Navy, where we won against a 28-year incumbent; Gap China, where we were entrusted with the important launch of their stores; China Southern Airlines, Harbin Beer and Bacardi.

Australia and New Zealand are also reawakening. The agency won four Cannes Lions in 2010, including Australia’s only Design Lion and a Gold Lion in Media. We are the only Australian agency in the Gunn Report Global Top 50. Y&R was the most awarded agency at both Melbourne’s and Brisbane’s Art Directors Club. And in early 2011, Melbourne was named AdNews Australian and Victoria Agency of the Year. Here, too, new business was brisk. Thirty new clients came on board, including Jenny Craig, Danone, PricewaterhouseCoopers and V8 Supercars, to name a few, and the agency retained the prestigious Australian Defence Force in the required agency review.

Y&R also continued to take advantage of growth in Latin America, consolidating our position as the No.1 network in the region in 2010. Our agency in the massive Brazil market sustained its No.1 ranking for the eighth consecutive year. Creatively, Latin America once again delivered exceptional and effective work to clients. Our agencies in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay all won Agency of the Year honors. Panama was the No.1 creative agency in its market for the sixth year in a row. Chile, Peru and Uruguay each earned Creative Director of the Year honors. We brought in new creative leadership in Mexico and Colombia. And now, in the first quarter of 2011, Y&R Latin America has won the pan-regional assignment for FedEx.

Great work strengthened our relationships with key regional accounts and led to numerous new business wins: LAN, Direct TV (Argentina), LG (Argentina and Colombia), ELO Credit Cards, IBGE and Ponto Frio (Brazil), Hotels.com and Sigma Foods (Mexico), OESCHLE (Peru).

In our industry (and beyond), digital has redefined everything we do. Every one of our agencies must be digital – with a digital sensibility, environment, intelligence, culture. With VML as our digital backbone, we are differentiating ourselves both operationally and culturally in a way that no other agency can claim. In early 2011, Matt Anthony – VML CEO and one of its four initial principals – passed the torch to VML President, Jon Cook. In so doing, he renews his commitment to his role as Y&R’s chief global digital officer. This rededication will ensure that our entire network has VML’s unparalleled digital intelligence, creative and technology credentials, resources and tools integrated into each agency. We have established this as a major priority for Y&R going forward.

In addition to our digital agenda, our plan for 2011 includes a recommitment to company-wide training, a formal reintegration of channel planning into the agency, the establishment of regional operating boards with accountability to a new global executive committee, as well as a revamped and recharged global new business community. We continue our successful drive for creative excellence around our entire network and are driving a global creative development model that allows us to use our best talent across borders. Y&R is in a great position to build on our heritage and strengths and we look forward to continually refining our model to deliver great work to our clients today and in the future.

VML

Matt Anthony (below right) Global chairman and
Jon Cook (below left) Chief executive officer and president

Young & Rubicam

VML soared to new heights in 2010 on virtually every metric. It was a record-setting year in terms of new business wins, growth of long-standing client partnerships, value and diversity of engagements, head count, new office openings, WPP partnership strength, creative recognition and reputation, and overall business growth.

VML’s long-time positioning of delivering creative solutions at the intersection of marketing and technology drove our business momentum again in 2010. Our output has never been more balanced – across industries, geography, scale of engagement and business-to-business versus business-to-consumer work.

 VML delivered digital and television content that attracted and engaged consumers on an unprecedented level 

We’ve initiated new client partnerships with many respected brands, including Kellogg, Kashi, Emerson Electric, Sallie Mae, T-Mobile, Abbott, Nature Made, House of Marley, San Diego Zoo, Texas Children’s Hospital and Quiznos. For these and other client partners, VML is providing the widest range of work imaginable.

VML’s burgeoning partnership with Gatorade has been transformational, pushing the boundaries of digital creativity and customer engagement. VML activated Gatorade’s Mission Control, a social media monitoring and campaign analytics hub. We led digital strategy and production for the launch of the G Series and G Series Pro product lines, utilizing the Super Bowl and marquee sporting events, leading the client to declare 2010 the most successful year in the brand’s digital history.

As a leader in branded content and broadcast production, VML delivered digital and television content that attracted and engaged consumers on an unprecedented level for client partners such Dell, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Southwest Airlines and Tom’s of Maine.

VML’s expanded global presence led to one of the most exciting client engagements in recent years – developing a comprehensive new online experience for the Premier League, one of the world’s most popular sports organizations.

With nearly 800 employees on four continents, VML launched operations in Italy, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Australia and New Zealand. New offices are planned for Asia and South America in the coming year.

Creative output for long-time client partners has never been stronger, including award-winning work and prominent campaigns for Colgate-Palmolive, Microsoft, SAP, Waste Management, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Xerox, Ford, Simon Property Group, DMC/Copia eReader and Western Union.

VML continues to be in the vanguard of industry thought leadership – notably through a relationship with TED, the organization that provides TEDTalks through its popular TED.com website. As an official license holder for TEDx, VML delivers free, thought-provoking programming year-round through live events and simulcast broadcasts.

VML continues to ride the momentum of our most successful year in business. The bar is set high, and that’s right where we want it. Thanks to the dedication, hard work and creativity of each and every VMLer, the agency is poised to make 2011 the most exhilarating year in the agency’s history.

Wunderman

Report by Daniel Morel (below) Chairman and chief executive officer

Young & Rubicam

Never before has Wunderman’s mantra – ‘All Relationships Are Local’ – been more relevant than in today’s world of digital connection. Our strong performance over the past 12 months is evidence of that.

As testament to our power as a global network, Advertising Age ranked Wunderman the world’s largest marketing services agency. Our presence grew to 142 offices in 59 countries, enabling us to execute everywhere and lending further credibility to this mantra.

Advertising Age also ranked Wunderman No.2 on its 2010 A-List of ‘Stand-Out’ agencies, citing new business from AARP, CVS Caremark, Tommy Hilfiger, Best Buy, Lilly, Cisco and Kodak, ever-growing relationships with existing accounts (Microsoft, Nokia, Burger King, Sears and Citibank) and digital prowess as reasons for our strong showing. Senior creative talent was also recognized in Australia by Campaign Asia (Best Digital Creative), in the UK by Campaign (Top 10 Creative Director list) and in Austria by Horizont, which ranked Wunderman in its top 10 Advertising Agency list. And we were ranked No.1 in the 2010 RECMA Digital Agency Rankings, based on the size of digital resources.

2010 revenues and profits were strong, surpassing nearly every pre-economic crisis financial milestone. Asia and Latin America, in particular, were hotbeds of activity. Partner companies like AGENDA, Blast Radius, Designkitchen and ZAAZ also excelled, validating our purposeful expansion and successful incorporation of their skills and resources.

Asia is noteworthy because it is a microcosm of the Wunderman value proposition. Its strong foundation is rooted in four key accounts (Microsoft, Nokia, Ford and Colgate), which increasingly draw on the digital and analytics power of the network from KBM Group and ZAAZ. With the power of the network behind it, AGENDA won Disneyland, Gap and Pepsi in local Asian markets. Wunderman World Health, a new global service group, captured early traction in Japan, South Korea and China, that led to significant new business from Baxter, Pfizer, Guthy Renker and Sanofi-aventis. We also expanded by acquisition (Comwerks Interactive) and partnership with JWT in India.

A global view of talent gives us a nimbleness to serve clients’ global and local demands. Furthermore, with 80% of our top leaders in place more than five years, we can better track, manage and move talent – especially our most promising mid-level managers. In 2010, 100+ people advanced their careers and our business through international assignments. In addition, our new Wunderman Zed Academy taps the world’s best design and digital marketing schools for the next generation of digital talent.

Analytics remains at our core, especially as our ‘All Relationships Are Local’mantra gains relevancy. KBM Group, with a presence in 21 countries, significantly expanded. Global clients like Microsoft and Nokia are leveraging its innovative Tagging Services Center, which creates and tracks tags across bought, owned and earned media. Acquisitions further broadened its service offering:
I-Behavior’s predictive analytics and SKU-level purchase transaction data optimize performance across all channels; and Marketing Direct Inc. deepens existing healthcare expertise. The results were recognized – KBM Group was ranked a leader in The Forrester Wave: U.S. Database Marketing Service Providers, Q1 2011 with the highest scores in both corporate and global strategy.

We wish David Sable, our former COO, every success in his new role at Y&R, and look forward to working together with our sibling Y&R agency on opportunities to create new value for clients.

Our founder and industry legend, Lester Wunderman, is still active in the company and comes to the office every day.

Burson-Marsteller

Report by Mark Penn (below) Worldwide chief executive officer

Young & Rubicam

For Burson-Marsteller, 2010 was a year of growth and achievement. Coming off only modest setbacks of the 2009 financial crisis, the gains of 2010 catapulted us past the previous record year of 2008. Over the last four years, through organic growth and improved resource management, we have more than doubled our bottom line.

We believe our continued growth is the result of our DIGS strategy, which is focused on continually driving the firm in four key areas: Digital, Integrated, Global and Strategic. These initiatives, which all start with the idea that communications programs should be ‘evidence-based’, helped us deliver what PR industry watcher The Holmes Report called our “best year for at least a decade.” Others in the industry took note as well, including PRWeek in the UK, who named B-M the International Consultancy of the Year.

During 2010, we aggressively pursued new top talent. Notable additions include Bob Pickard, APAC CEO (formerly Edelman); Helene Ellison, global Healthcare Practice chair (formerly HealthStar); Jay Leveton, global EVP (transferred from Penn Schoen Berland); Jim Goldman, US Technology Practice chair (formerly CNBC Silicon Valley bureau chief); Margaret Key, Korea market leader (formally Edelman); Chris Deri, China market leader (formerly Edelman); Erica Swerdlow, Midwest market leader (formerly Porter Novelli); Steve Bowen, APAC Consumer and Marketing lead (formerly Edelman); Christine Jones, APAC Healthcare lead (formerly Roche); Peter Johnston, Global CIO (formerly Ogilvy); and Matt Carter, UK CEO (formerly Tony Blair’s General Secretary of the British Labour Party).

Our digital approach this year was strengthened by the integration of digital experts from Proof, our digital media group, into every step of the B-M process, ensuring cutting-edge online ideas are a part of every pitch and campaign. The firm has over 120 digital experts worldwide and we have expanded our social media monitoring and advising capabilities. More and more clients are realizing that social media is not just about fun, games and consumer products but can be critical in the big issue battles that shape our day.

We also extended our reach into the C-suite by expanding our Global Strategy Team, which brings together B-M’s most senior communications strategists to offer an unparalleled breadth of experience and insight to our clients’ most demanding needs. Consisting of leaders like chief strategy officer Don Baer and global vice chair Karen Hughes, both with extensive bi-partisan White House experience, the team has helped win and service new Fortune 100 clients around the world.

We also witnessed a strong resurgence in demand for our grassroots capabilities led by our Direct Impact unit, which posted one of its best performances in several years. During 2010, we expanded our relationship with long-time client The Coca-Cola Company and grew our US-based work for Ford Motor Company to other markets globally.

As the global market for PR communications grows, we continue to expand our footprint so that every client’s global PR needs are met. We completed the acquisition begun five years ago of Burson-Genesis India and they are becoming an integral part of the Burson family.

We continue to build and expand our client relationships through achieving top-quality results for our clients. In Latin America, we doubled our Sony Electronics business. In EMEA, we expanded Lufthansa to 28 markets. In the UK, we made history for the Royal British Legion’s Remembrance Sunday by getting the first non-musical video into the music video charts.

Our sector-based practices also showed strong upswing, from our bedrock crisis work to our Healthcare Practice that grew 25% in 2010. This year we introduced several new specialty practices to address emerging trends – we are focusing on Energy, Change Communications, Food & Nutrition and Global Government work.

Our goal for 2011 is to build upon the momentum we have established to deliver another year of B-M success.

Landor Associates

Report by Charlie Wrench (below) Chief executive officer

Young & Rubicam

Landor pushed past the worst of the recession in 2010, strengthening its global performance across the breadth of our corporate and consumer branding practices.

As ever, our global key client relationships form the bedrock of our business. In this regard, I can report that Landor enjoyed an excellent year with Procter & Gamble, our largest client, not only cementing our role as its appointed design partner across many of their most iconic brands, but also being invited to partner with P&G in its high-profile sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics. In addition, our agency performance ratings were strengthened in every one of our audited geographies, making it a record-breaking year in the long history of this relationship.

Our partnership with Diageo has strengthened as well, as we worked with the client on a diverse range of new innovation and design projects. And Kraft, with whom we’ve long enjoyed a solid relationship in Europe, has now become an important client across North America, China and Australia too.

We were also pleased to welcome many new clients to Landor in 2010. General Electric, General Mills, Henkel, Marks & Spencer and SEAT have provided new challenges and sparked fresh thinking in our teams.

As the breadth of our client base grew this year, so too did our offerings in the areas of digital branding, innovation and brand purpose. Across the Landor network, we are flexing and growing to respond to the needs of 21st century brands.

Our peer-leading performances in WPP’s Atticus Awards and WPPed Cream Awards were, once again, points of pride for our network, attesting to our leadership within our category. We were also honored to win prestigious internal awards from both P&G and Diageo, as well as earning recognition from some of our industry’s leading independent juries, including D&AD, Pentawards and Graphis.

I feel Landor has weathered the storm of the last two years relatively well, and I am confident that we are well positioned to see investment, growth, and renewed momentum as the markets pick up.

Sudler & Hennessey

Report by Jed Beitler (below) Chairman and worldwide chief executive officer

Young & Rubicam

2010 was another strong year for the Sudler global network. We finished the year on a very positive note, winning seven out of our last eight pitches of the year, including four major global assignments from both US- and European-based multinationals. Our worldwide network proved itself with global wins in primary care, specialty care, orphan drugs and oncology in both established as well as emerging markets.

The Sudler global network is divided into three key regions: The Americas, headed up by co-CEOs Louisa Holland and Rob Rogers, and the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Asia Pacific regions, both headed up by CEO Max Jackson. Ellen Goldman is the global CFO/COO.

The Sudler global network continued to solidify its core offices throughout the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions with new leadership in Canada, India, Mexico and Australia and new medical education and digital offerings in the UK, Italy, Mexico, China and India. In addition, we expanded our delivery in many of the growth markets of the ‘pharmerging’ world, including our increased promotional/educational activities in Russia, Brazil, South Africa, Korea and the MENA (Middle East/North Africa) region.

Three initiatives during 2010 highlighted the ever-changing nature of our industry and the need for our agency network to grow, adapt and evolve:

  • The first was supporting the rapidly-evolving generics businesses where many of our clients are currently active. Having developed a global network that includes many of these new emerging markets, Sudler was in the right place at the right time to assist our multinational clients as they began to engage with additional audiences in a new branded environment.
  • The second opportunity was to expand on our strength in medical education writing in India and develop that office as an offshore hub for top quality medical writing to support many of our European and Asia Pacific offices.
  • The final initiative, which continues in 2011, was to expand our internal digital capabilities under the banner of Sudler Digital, as well as to extend our digital offerings to our clients. That has been a two-fold process, involving both new hires and new expanded internal capabilities as well as continuing our partnerships with other Y&R and WPP digital companies. In Europe, we have hired new digital strategists and analytics specialists. In the US, we have revamped Sudler Digital, bringing in new strategic, creative and account talents as well as beginning the process of inculcating our digital teams within our existing client groups. In so doing, we are removing the barriers between our online and offline deliveries for our clients and helping to provide a more seamless offering of media-agnostic solutions.

The Bravo Group

Report by Eddie Gonzalez (below) Chairman and chief executive officer

Young & Rubicam

2010 was a ‘fantastico’ year for Bravo, under the day-to-day leadership of Eric Hoyt, and continued to establish the agency as a premier player in the multicultural sector in the US.

New business success was the leading storyline for the year. In the highly-competitive new business arena Bravo proved to be superlative: winning Hispanic agency-of-record status on Pfizer (all pharmaceutical brands), CVS Pharmacies and Wendy’s restaurants.

Bravo’s promise to clients, to help them leverage and profit from the US Hispanic market, is being delivered. The agency’s ability to craft insightful strategic solutions, to create compelling ideas and to precisely deliver integrated programs is proving to be very effective.

Equally compelling was Bravo’s continued success and growth with key clients. Our relationships with AT&T, Chevron, Nabisco, Pfizer/Wyeth and Wrigley continue to be deep, solid, profitable and full of further potential. By creating a culture of client centricity and bold performance, Bravo is able to align itself to our clients’ priorities and successfully deliver solutions that build their brands and their bottom line.

In 2010 Bravo also re-launched its commitment to superior insights and business discipline. Key talent was added in the strategic planning area, and the agency made a significant investment in the Hispanic Brand Asset Valuator, the most comprehensive brand study in the US based on Hispanic consumers and attitudes about brands. This investment has paid off handsomely with better counsel to clients and strategically-attuned creative campaigns.

Cohn & Wolfe (summary)

Report by Donna Imperato Chief executive officer

2010 was a transformative year for Cohn & Wolfe, marked by game-changing wins, a new global leadership team and a re-energized brand. C&W continued its focus on defining and strengthening the agency, and in turn laid a strong foundation for long-term growth.

Read full report here.

Robinson Lerer & Montgomery

Report by Linda Gosden Robinson Chairman

Robinson Lerer & Montgomery, a New York-based strategic communications firm, provides counsel and tactical services to senior management and directors of companies in virtually every industry. Its wide range of practice areas includes crisis management, regulatory and governance issues, litigation, M&A, bankruptcies, CEO transitions and long-term corporate positioning. Through the outstanding client work by of all our colleagues at RLM, the firm again delivered excellent financial results in 2010.

Among its major successes last year, RLM executed a comprehensive corporate reputation campaign for a prominent global manufacturer. The firm also continued to support several leading global financial institutions in their recovery from the financial crisis and worked with leading healthcare companies on a variety of internal and external communications campaigns. Other high-visibility assignments included CEO transitions in the technology, pharmaceutical and financial services industries.