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B to D Group

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

B to D Group

2010 was a stronger year for the Branding to Design (B to D) Group overall. Coming off a challenging 2009, most of our companies were able to achieve an increase in revenue, coupled with a significant profit improvement.

More so than ever, our key client relationships continued to play a big role as the growth engine for our group. Top 20 client revenue experienced double-digit growth for the year, and these relationships were drivers for much of our geographic expansion in 2010.

There were a number of highlights to the year. Lambie-Nairn successfully executed its expansion into Latin America, laying the foundation for a B to D Group strategic footprint in South America. FITCH completed the restructuring that began last year and saw dramatic improvement to its bottom line in 2010. Similarly, PeclersParis, who began reporting to B to D in late 2009, achieved a turnaround after several challenging years???. Addison and VBAT both continued to expand their offerings, with Addison establishing themselves in the area??? of digital communications and VBAT further building their international profile.

Our companies once again distinguished themselves???as industry leaders, winning several high profile awards. Notably, The Partners retained its No.1 position in Design Week’s Creative League Table and was also named by Marketing magazine as Branding Agency of the Year in the UK. The Brand Union won a Bronze Lion at Cannes for its work on House of Barbie in Shanghai and was also awarded Economic Times’ Agency of the Year in India. Landor finished the year as a top winner at Diageo’s Brilliance Innovation Awards, and was awarded Best Innovation Agency for its brand identity work on Shanghai White vodka.

As we negotiate 2011 and the challenges and opportunity it brings our companies, our focus will be on continuing to leverage the combined strengths and shared resources of our companies to our great advantage. As a group we are confident that our strong client relationships, award-winning creative work and overall business strategy will contribute to another year of progress.

Please see below for an overview of Addison, FITCH, Lambie-Nairn, PeclersParis, The Brand Union, The Partners and VBAT, together with Landor Associates, which is also a Y&R Brands company.

 

Addison

2010 was a year of continued expansion for Addison. Under the leadership of Tom Robinson, the company continued to deliver a strong performance with a number of significant new business wins for the year across Europe, including BASF, Sulzer and BG Group. The company's reputation for delivering leading edge consultancy and design in corporate communications has seen a growth in revenues outside of its traditional areas of delivery. New and existing clients alike are seeking Addison's skills to help manage and develop their identities, position them in the key area of sustainability, both internally and externally, and deliver these across the growing list of digital platforms.

Addison's position as Europe's leading corporate reporting agency was reinforced through another good performance across the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland, as well as further success in France and Germany. Recognition of the company's leading position in this area included the prestigious Henri Sijthoff prize for its work on TNT's 2009 Annual Report, and for the third time the Accountancy Age Awards FTSE100 Report of the Year for WPP's own Annual Report.

FITCH (summary) 

2010 was a much better year for FITCH. Under the leadership of Lois Jacobs, the company completed the restructuring that began in 2009, enabling it to focus on its core offer of translating brand into consumer experience.

In 2010 the company grew its worldwide revenues and saw a dramatic improvement to its bottom line despite ending its involvement in conference and event production. FITCH’s Middle East offering in Kuwait, Doha and Dubai was combined under one leader, Oliver Auroy, and the US offices were combined under Victoria Leavitt. Growth was seen in almost all 10 offices; of particular note were London and Doha which both experienced strong double-digit growth.
Read full report here.

Lambie-Nairn

Led by CEO Christian Schroeder, Lambie-Nairn had strong growth through 2010 and opened four new offices in Madrid, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Bogota. Much of this growth was driven by the company’s role as Global Brand Guardians for the Telefonica Group, working on the Telefonica, Movistar and O2 brands.

Lambie-Nairn continued to grow in Germany with the rebranding of global aerospace and defence company, EADS, being the highlight of 2010. The company also grew their business in the Middle East with some great successes, notably developing the brand for the winning Qatar 2022 ???bid for the FIFA World Cup.

PeclersParis

2010 was a strong year of growth for PeclersParis, in Europe, China and the US, both in consulting and trend publications. At a time when consumer needs are more difficult to predict than ever, many of the world’s leading brands turned to PeclersParis to help fuel their product development innovation projects with creative and style direction.

Under the leadership of CEO Eric Duchamp, the company continued to build its relationships with key clients including Carrefour, Samsung, and BASF. Always at the forefront of trend research, PeclersParis helped its clients to develop ownable signature styles for their brands, build an emotional link with consumers and drive sales.

The Brand Union (summary)

Led by Simon Bolton, The Brand Union had a good year, gathering pace in business performance throughout the year and showing strong top-line and bottom-line growth. This was in spite of the challenging macroeconomy and most clients continuing to be cautious in their activity planning.

Growth was principally fuelled by the outstanding performance of the company’s enlarged New York team, improvement across its Asia Pacific network and sustained growth from its multinational business.
Read full report here.

The Partners

The Partners once again delivered a strong performance in 2010, accomplishing its fifth consecutive year of revenue, profit and margin growth. Driven by its focus on creative solutions and thought leadership, the company continues to be one of the most creatively recognized agencies in the world. Notably, The Partners retained its No.1 position in Design Week’s Creative League Table based on major design awards won worldwide. It was also named by Marketing magazine in the UK as 2010 Branding Agency of the Year. This is the first time in history both awards were won by the same company in one year.

Under the leadership of CEO Jim Prior, The Partners continued its move onto more of the global stage. It was appointed as Global Brand Guardian for Vodafone in 2010, a significant new business win for the company. The agency has also continued to develop its strong relationships with key clients Deloitte, Aviva, eBay and AstraZeneca. The New York office, which opened in 2008, continues to gather strong momentum with clients such as Chevron, Carnegie Hall and the government of the island of Aruba.

VBAT

For Netherlands-based VBAT, 2010 proved to be a challenging year, characterized by a distinct difference between the first half and second half of the year. Where the first six months proved to be disappointing, still heavily affected by the economic turmoil, the last six months showed a significant recovery.

Despite the economic situation, VBAT’s long-term relationships with key clients such as Campina, Heineken and Intergamma continued to grow in 2010. Its continued focus on its retail expertise was rewarded with added opportunities with existing clients like SNS Reaal and Jumbo Supermarkets, and also attracted the attention of many new clients. The company’s creative effort in 2010 was recognized with a Graphis Gold for SNS Reaal.

VBAT continued to build its international profile with successful launches for Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, Carta Blanca (Mexico), Tri Medvedya and Oxota (Russia). Led by chairman/CEO Eugene Bay, who reassumed leadership of the company in October, VBAT has a positive outlook on the coming year and is determined to deliver significant growth in 2011.

Landor Associates (summary)

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

In particular, the company enjoyed an excellent year with Procter & Gamble, its largest client. Landor not only cemented its role as P&G’s appointed design partner across many of their most iconic brands, but was also invited to partner with P&G in its high-profile sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics. In addition, Landor’s performance ratings were strengthened in every one of its audited geographies, making it a record-breaking year in the long history of this relationship.
Read full report here.