2006 Agency Business Report: OutCast Communications

For OutCast, the big story of 2005 was its June acquisition by Next Fifteen Communications, which beat off several competitors eager to snap up the fast-growing tech shop.

For OutCast, the big story of 2005 was its June acquisition by Next Fifteen Communications, which beat off several competitors eager to snap up the fast-growing tech shop.

OutCast says the acquisition, and its new relationship with such sister agencies as Text 100 and Bite Communications, will give it more resources for its clients.

The agency opened an office in New York to serve business from EMC, a data storage company. This new office also allowed the firm to gain work from RSA Security. Marquee wins included two areas of Yahoo: tech, and corporate.

OutCast landed 12 front pages for their clients in 2005, and hopes to improve that number in 2006.

"We make a practice to have all of our employees speak to both journalists and clients," says Margit Wennmachers. "We find it is a better way to serve the needs of our clients."

Name of parent division/company (enter both where applicable)

Next Fifteen Communications PLC

Has your ownership status changed in the past year? If yes, please explain
Yes, OutCast agreed to be acquired by Next Fifteen Communications PLC.

Name of global CEO and US CEO (or most senior equivalent)
Margit Wennmachers/Caryn Marooney (Co-Presidents)

Name of person, if any, the most senior person named above reports to
Tim Dyson

What is your current headcount, and how has it changed from last year? What was the percentage of turnover?
As of February 14, 2005 OutCast Communications employees number 50 people in the US. At this same time last year our US headcount was 31. The turnover percentage was 6.5% for 2005.

Have you made any senior hires this year (VP and higher)?
Senior hires in 2005 included one EVP and one VP.

What senior staff have departed the firm?
One VP moved on in 2005.

Other senior management changes
In 2005 we hired one new Director and a Director of Finance
Two of our Directors were promoted to VP
Two of our Account Supervisors were promoted to Director
One of our Senior Media Strategists was promoted to VP of Media Strategy

Have you made any acquisitions in the past year, or merged with another agency?
Please refer to ownership question above.

How many offices do you have in the US? How many offices do you have globally? What offices are newly opened since last year? What offices have closed since last year? Is there a particular region, US and globally, that is growing right now? Is there a particular region, US and globally, that's shrinking?
OutCast Communications is headquartered in San Francisco, California and has an East Coast office in New York City.

How many practice areas do you have?
OutCast does not organize internally around practice areas. We have a diversified portfolio of clients across multiple technology areas, but do not have discrete practice areas for each of these areas. Nor do we offer organize service offerings (writing, new media, etc.) around discrete practice areas.

That being said, our client mix is approximately as follows:
Technology Services
Consumer Services
Infrastructure Software
B-to-b Software
Security Software

The area of greatest growth in the past 12 months is Consumer Services. The technology area with the least amount of growth is Infrastructure Software.

What key account wins did you have in 2005? What key accounts did you lose in 2005? Did you expand any existing accounts into new domestic or international markets? Did any "dormant" clients start to spend with you again?

Key wins for OutCast in 2005 included: Yahoo!, RSA Security, RSA Consumer, Ingres, Navio, Zimbra, and Zazzle. OutCast lost Good Technology as a client in 2005.

What proportion of your clients are on a retainer? Has this changed over the past year?
Only one of our clients operates on a retainer. We bill our clients for work performed each month.

What was your revenue in 2005?
OutCast Communications 2005 Revenue was $8.1 million

How did your revenues meet expectations you had for the year?
We exceeded our expected revenue goal in 2005.

What was the % change over 2004 US revenue?
The change was greater than 35%.

What was your 2005 global revenue?
Same as above.

What was the % change over 2004 global revenue?
Same as above.

Did you experience top-line or bottom-line growth in the past year?
OutCast experience both top-line and bottom-line growth in the past year.

How did your performance, in terms of revenue and growth, meet expectations you had for the year?
OutCast met expectations for revenue and growth.

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