Allison+Partners: Agency Business Report 2014

Allison+Partners' US revenue increased 21.8% year over year.

Principals: Scott Allison, CEO (pictured); Jonathan Heit, president and senior partner
Ownership: MDC Partners owns 51%; agency partners own 49%
Offices: Global: 15; US: 11
Revenue: Global: $28,848,000; US: $28,093,000
Headcount: Global: 165; US: 160

Allison+Partners' US revenue increased 21.8% year over year. Approximately 25% of the growth was organic, gained through increasing revenue from existing clients, with 75% derived from new business wins.

"The growth was primarily based on some big wins with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Merck,’’ says CEO Scott Allison. "We saw good growth in some clients, such as Samsung."

In 2013, the firm incorporated a new logo and brand identity, developed a new creative services group, brought its production team in house, and its Phoenix office opened up a content search division.

"We also launched our global China practice, enabling us to take on key global accounts, including LinkedIn and Motorola Mobility," Allison notes, adding that other wins included multimillion-dollar engagements with Intel Media and Toyota. "Minimal" account losses included the National Restaurant Association, DreamWorks Animation, Dropbox, Edmodo, and TiVo.

The firm’s global headcount increased by 40 in 2013, with key senior hires including Lisa Rosenberg, chief creative officer; Jeremy Rosenberg, SVP, head of digital; and Corey Scott, SVP, head of design.

Dawn Wilcox, MD of social impact, departed the firm for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Greg Dunn and Mary Shaughnessy, MDs of Chicago, also left. Overall, there was 18% turnover at Allison, mainly in San Francisco.

San Francisco challenges
"San Francisco is such a hot market and we want to bolster our office there," says Allison. "So many people are being recruited from startups and existing companies."

To contend with this challenge, the firm hired Alan Weatherbee as SVP, talent search, earlier this year.

The agency opened an office in Silicon Valley due to increased client demand.

Earlier this year, the firm acquired China’s Century PR. The transaction is part of the agency’s expansion throughout Asia, with further offices in China and Southeast Asia planned through 2015.

For 2014, the firm is targeting global re-venue growth of 15%. It opened an office in Paris in January and its London outpost saw 200% growth in 2013. The firm also opened offices in Shanghai and Singapore in January and is looking to open two more locations in Europe this year.

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