French | West | Vaughan: Agency Business Report 2011

Headcount is 75, up four from 2009 with no turnover in 2010. Natalie Best was named EVP/principal and director of client services and Julie Langford became VP and head of the firm's Dallas office that opened last June.

Principal: Rick French, chairman and CEO
Ownership: Independent
Offices: 4: Raleigh, NC (HQ), New York, Tampa, FL, and Dallas

Staff
Headcount is 75, up four from 2009 with no turnover in 2010. Natalie Best was named EVP/principal and director of client services and Julie Langford became VP and head of the firm's Dallas office that opened last June.
 
Chairman and CEO Rick French is looking at a joint venture to open a Los Angeles office in late spring or early summer targeting the entertainment industry.
 
Practice areas
The majority of the business falls into consumer products, healthcare, and b-to-b work with financial services. Sports and entertainment round out the top five.
 
Accounts
Wins in 2010 included Swiss energy company ABB, South Africa-based diamond manufacturer Gemesis, Melitta, and football player Michael Vick.
 
Financial performance
US revenue for 2010 was $13.6 million, up 11% from 2009. Profit margin was 12%.
 
Analysis
Important campaigns included Wrangler Next Blue, a crowdsourcing project that created a global competition to design the next pair of jeans, and reputation recovery work for football star Michael Vick, who served time for running a dogfighting ring.
 
French | West | Vaughan also undertook the relaunch of the Gemesis brand, including a new e-commerce site and a new advertising and marketing strategy.
 
Everyone at the agency is intently focused on becoming a digital expert.
"There isn't a client we talk to that doesn't want that as arguably the biggest part of the conversation," notes French. "What will differentiate one agency from another is a real understanding of how to use online to communicate directly with your constituency."

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