Report by Stephen Allan (below) Worldwide chairman and chief executive officer
After the global economic crisis of 2009, 2010 began with some degree of uncertainty. Our clients generally remained cautious about their spending, and client procurement and finance functions placed more emphasis on cost management. What was certain were the continued global shifts in economic, political and social power. These shifts are impacting upon our own business globally and we are adapting swiftly and successfully to manage and to capitalise on this trend.
In terms of new business, we had a particularly satisfying year, with some encouraging client wins and many fantastic client retentions such as Electronic Arts in Europe (where we also added new markets), GlaxoSmithKline and COI in the UK and the renewal of our global contract for VW Group, our largest client. Significant new client wins included Revlon and The Travelers Company in the US, Peek & Cloppenburg in Germany, AB-Inbev and Swatch Group in China, IAG and Yum! Brands in Australia, and Bayer AG and Fast Retailing in Russia. These accounts alone contributed nearly half of over $1 billion of new business that we won during the year.
With regard to client retention, our business record in 2010 was generally good. However, we faced major disappointment at the end of the year with the loss of our GSK assignment in the US. Despite many other achievements and successes throughout the year, it illustrated the fierce competitiveness of our industry at a time when advertisers remain cautious about spending.
Building on our development in 2009, we continued to progress as a network by adding new hires to our talented team at global, regional and local levels. Key appointments have included our CEO of the APAC region, Alex Crowther, and local CEOs Gerardo Mariñas in Spain, Ian Manning in South Africa and Jamie Edwards in Canada, and senior hires to our network team including Dominic Guba as global head of Trading.
Our global best practice goes from strength to strength. The summer saw the launch of GSIP (Gold Standard Implementation Planning) to ensure that we continue to provide the same consistently high service for our clients anywhere in the world – success that has been recognised and reflected by our incredible 237 industry accolades in 2010.
Alongside 104 award wins from 24 different countries, we were delighted to receive two more Global Agency Network of the Year awards. The first came at the Festival of Media Awards in April, followed by a second consecutive year of success at the M&M Awards in London in September.
There have been some notable performances by many of our local operations. In particular, MediaCom Australia enjoyed an amazing ‘turnaround’ year, winning pitch after pitch following significant changes and restructuring under the new leadership of CEO Toby Jenner and COO Marc Pejic. The agency was recently named Agency of the Year, along with our offices in Korea, the Philippines, Scotland and Sweden, which also gained Agency of the Year accolades. While it is nice to put trophies in the cabinet, more importantly it proves that we have delivered strong business results for our clients.
Measuring the agency as a whole, 2010 saw us move up a further two places to No.3 in RECMA’s Overall Activity Billings Report; a clear sign that we are progressing as an agency and are moving closer to our stated ambition of becoming the global No.1. Additionally, we have maintained our position as the No.1 global agency for integrated interaction services.
We have set ourselves high targets for 2011, meaning growth in all areas. In a time of a constantly changing media landscape, we will be challenging ourselves and our clients to be bolder, braver and to do new things, in new ways. This behaviour will be borne out of company strength and is built from within, and as our ‘People First’ mantra suggests, at MediaCom we value personal development very highly. Inside the agency, 2011 will see a continued investment in and focus on the learning and development of our staff – at all levels.
Looking forward, I believe that 2011 will be exceptionally exciting and full of opportunities for us as a business. As last year’s awards successes prove, we are capable of producing world-class work, right across our network. This fills me with enormous optimism about our prospects for the year ahead.