MWW: Agency Business Report 2014

MWW made its first foray outside the US.

CEO Michael Kempner
CEO Michael Kempner

Principal: Michael Kempner, CEO
Ownership: Independent
Offices: US: 8; Global: 1 in London
Revenue: Global: $48,020,000; US: $46,629,000
Headcount: Global: 217; US: 210

In November, MWW made its first foray outside the US. The agency acquired London firm Parys Communications, which employed 10 people, and is now on the hunt for several more acquisitions in Europe, says founder and CEO Michael Kempner. 

In addition to growing the agency’s footprint in Europe, Kempner is also looking at US acquisitions. So far this year, MWW has bought Macias Media Group, a firm with offices in Los Angeles and New York that connects clients with LGBT consumers.

Kempner predicts these strategic acquisitions will help the firm "continue its double-digit growth." Last year, global revenue grew 12%, US revenue 9%, and staff count 5%. US profit margin was 16%.

MWW had one person in Seattle, but  consolidated work out of San Francisco.

New practices
Forty percent of revenue growth was organic. Existing clients include Deloitte, Samsung, Subaru, and McDonald’s. The rest of the increase came from new clients such as Booking.com, Air New Zealand, and New Jersey Economic Development Authority (for the high-profile Stronger than the Storm integrated campaign) – wins that motivated the agency to formalize a travel and tourism practice. MWW also added a brand experiential practice.

Client losses last year included Armitron, Coinstar, Leggett & Platt, and Zippo.

MWW built existing practice areas with key hires – including corporate communications, which had revenue of $14.7 million, a 48% increase from 2012. The firm also plans to recruit a new head of consumer technology, a practice that grew to $10.3 million, a 26% rise. The agency’s largest practice area, consumer lifestyle marketing, was up 7% to $18.9 million.

Molly Mulloy, former Zeno EVP, was named GM of San Francisco and West Coast tech head. Other senior hires in 2013 included Douglas Smith, formerly of the Department of Homeland Security, as EVP and GM in Washington, DC.

Other hires included chief social strategist Mitzi Emrich, previously digital practice lead at FTI Consulting, and executive creative director Carl Sorvino, previously VP, creative director at Edelman.

The firm lost SVP Kas Rigas to MSLGroup last fall and EVP of innovation Ephraim Cohen to FleishmanHillard in February 2014.

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