Text100: Agency Business Report 2014

For Text100, 2013 was the first year the agency experienced double-digit growth in North America since the financial crisis.

Principals: Aedhmar Hynes, CEO; Rowan Benecke, regional director, North America (pictured)
Ownership: Next Fifteen Communications Group
Offices: Global: 24 wholly owned; US: 4
Revenue: Global: $50,418,281; US: $20,705,632
Headcount: Global: 492; US: 129

For Text100, 2013 was the first year the Next Fifteen agency experienced double-digit growth in North America since the financial crisis, with revenue up 11.6%.

Revenue was boosted by two major business wins: semiconductor company Broadcom and mobile giant BlackBerry. New business accounted for about 65% of growth, while 35% was organic, with greater demand from existing clients for integrated services.

Globally, revenue was up 1.8%, with India, China, and Hong Kong showing particularly strong increases. Growth lag-ged in Japan, Singapore, and Australia, with Text transitioning its Tokyo office to a licensed partner early this year.

Unique partnership
The BlackBerry win caught the industry’s attention, as the agency teamed with APCO Worldwide to gain the work.

"It has been a fantastic experiment," says Rowan Benecke, regional director for North America, who adds that APCO’s expertise in government relations and crisis communications has complemented his agency’s efforts. 

BlackBerry’s turbulent year is well documented, but Benecke says Text is "cautiously optimistic" about the client, which he says is now in a strong position following a management change at the end of 2013.

Recent key business wins include Time Warner Cable Business Class, Dropbox in North America, for which Text was named AOR, and a global brief for payments business Stripe. Losses include Nokia and Kroll Ontrack in North America and the UK.

All four US offices have experienced strong growth throughout the year, with San Francisco’s performance having a "big impact" as Silicon Valley companies set their sights on global expansion.

While media relations remains at the core of most of Text’s accounts, it is seeing greater demand for community management, content development, and data analytics. Moreover, the agency plans to expand its data and analytics offering in 2014, having hired Philip Kam in December as VP to build the practice. David Bailey, an SVP in San Francisco, left the firm last October to become an EVP at Airfoil.

Text is predicting another year of growth in North America. However, potential challenges will be the slowdown of business for multinationals in emerging markets and currency fluctuations.

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