Report by Stephen Allan (below) Worldwide chairman and chief executive officer
2011 was a year full of positives for MediaCom, helped by a fragmented media landscape that has given consumers even more ways to interact with each other and brands. This rather chaotic world of communications has elevated our role of helping advertisers simplify and consolidate the task of engaging with consumers.
Of course, in response to these changes, we cannot stand still – and we continue to reshape and re-tool our business to ensure that our offer remains competitive and ahead of the game. This was demonstrated by another strong year in new business in which we consolidated and won global assignments from Bayer, NBC Universal (with Maxus), Revlon, Visit Britain and Zoosk.
We also captured some significant regional appointments including: Procter & Gamble in Southeast Asia; Coca-Cola in Singapore/Malaysia; Ferrosan, Nestlé, SAS and Danske Bank in the Nordics; and Bose, Findus and Müller in Europe. We won many significant local assignments including Westpac Group in Australia, Mars/Wrigley and Yum! Brands in Canada, Procter & Gamble in Japan and the Netherlands, Wort & Bild in Germany, DFS in the UK and Allianz in France. These wins, and many others, amounted to over $2 billion of annualised billings, and will further strengthen our position as the world’s third largest media agency (as measured by RECMA).
In recognition of the work we do for our clients, we were named Agency Network of the Year at the M&M Awards – the first time an agency has ever received this award three years in a row. The win capped an excellent 12 months in which we received over 300 recognitions across the network, including Agency of the Year crowns in seven territories: Australia, Canada, Estonia, Japan, Philippines, Poland and Sweden.
These local awards are particularly valuable as they underline our commitment to delivering best practice in every local market, whilst building strong foundations for our overall global performance.
In the US, we faced some tough challenges and responded quickly by asking our global COO Harvey Goldhersz to take on a North American CEO role and to lead a change in this market. The switch led to a strong comeback in the second half of the year, winning six accounts – including Bayer, Brand USA, Crystal Cruises and Universal Music Group. To further strengthen our management team in 2012, we recently appointed Sasha Savic to become our US CEO.
We aim to maintain our progress across the network during the year ahead, and we have already laid foundations for further growth by investing in new offices, talent and new divisions.
In Asia, for example, we strengthened our regional management and, under the leadership of our CEO Alex Crowther, we appointed Divya Gururaj as head of South and Southeast Asia. Toby Jenner became our regional COO in addition to his chairmanship of our Australasian operations.
Elsewhere, we continued our growth strategy in the Middle East and North Africa, led by our newly appointed CEO for the region, Nick Barron. This follows the merger between MediaCom and sister WPP agency Media Insight. The early signs are promising and, in January 2012, we were appointed to handle the Etihad Airways global media business.
In Latin America, we have strengthened our management team by appointing a new Latin America CEO, Fernando Silva, who brings with him a wealth of experience from across the region. He will be supported by Annetta Cembrano who was appointed regional COO in addition to her role as CEO Chile.
We have also completed the global roll-out of our service offering, MediaCom Beyond Advertising (MBA). MBA provides our clients with expertise in social, content, search, events and sponsorship to ensure they benefit from owned and earned media as well as bought messages. And, appropriately in the run-up to the Olympics, we have established a dedicated global sport offering: MediaCom Sport, led by Marcus John, who joined us from IMG.
We continue to advise clients on sustainable marketing practices, helping to communicate the environmental and social benefits of their products and services. Recent work includes Procter & Gamble’s Future Friendly campaign, which was highly commended at the International M&M Awards 2011. Additionally, we provide pro bono work for many worthy causes, such as UNICEF’s Christmas campaign in Austria, and created a Carbon Zero Planning tool to help clients measure and offset their campaigns’ carbon footprints. Internally, we strengthened our green credentials by providing sustainable workplace solutions – including a Green Roof in our New York office – and we are the only media agency named in the top 100 of the UK The Sunday Times Best Green Companies 2011 list.
Finally, I would like to thank our dedicated and talented team of people at MediaCom who all remain committed to achieving our goal of becoming the largest media agency network. I’m optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead and confident that in 2012 we will move even closer to our ultimate goal.