2006 Agency Business Report: Manning Selvage & Lee

Having settled into the CEO role, Mark Hass says that MS&L will focus on building its regions in 2006.

Having settled into the CEO role, Mark Hass says that MS&L will focus on building its regions in 2006.

While the agency already has a strong offering in China, it will look at additional acquisitions in that country, as well as in India. The agency will also take over the Japan operations of Publicis Dialog.

"Asia is very important to me this year," Hass says. "We hope by the end of the year we're going to have a much stronger Asia-Pacific [owned] network."

Additionally, Hass hopes that Capital MS&L in Europe will be a significant financial offering, and also looks to strengthen the agency's operations in Latin America. Tech has not grown strongly enough for Hass' tastes, and he concedes that he will likely have to grow through acquisition.

Strong leadership from Publicis Groupe, and an additional layer of oversight in the shape of Capozzi and PRCC, is providing promising opportunity for this kind of investment. Hass is hopeful about the agency's overall performance in the coming year, forecasting a 10% increase over 2005 revenues.

"I'm optimistic that it's going to be better than last year and it might be even better than I planned," he says.

CEO:

Mark Hass

Ownership:
Publicis Groupe (as part of PRCC)

Subsidiary agencies:
Capital MS&L, The JKL Group Offices: 9 wholly owned US; 28 total around the globe

Staff

The most significant staff change was Mark Hass assuming the role of CEO after Lou Capozzi moved up to take on newly created PR umbrella group PRCC. Significant hires included Raul Garza, previously of Hill & Knowlton, who joined the LA office as SVP of special markets. Senior departures included Stephanie Marchesi, former SVP of business development, Larry Haas, SVP and director of corporate affairs, and Jill Farwell, COO of North America.

Regional performance
The Toronto and Boston offices had the highest North American revenue growth rates for 2005, with 22% and 29% respectively. Asia posted a 40% increase over 2004. MS&L opened offices in Singapore and Montreal in 2005, and in Sweden and Oslo in early 2006. The Berlin office closed in December 2005.

Practice areas
MS&L has four main practices: consumer, healthcare, corporate, and technology. In 2005, Hass MS&L, located in Detroit and Ann Arbor, launched the Blog Works to counsel clients about the blogosphere.

Practice performance

Consumer and healthcare, which are the agency's biggest practice areas, showed the most growth. Technology showed the least growth.

Accounts
Key wins for 2005 include The Coca-Cola Company, National Geographic, American Cereal Council, the Lyme Disease Association, Reynolds Consumer Products, Cartier, and Nicotinell.

Financial performance
MS&L says it experienced a 5.2% increase in US revenue growth from 2004.

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