Zeno Group: Agency Business Report 2014

It was another banner year for Zeno Group.

Principal: Barby Siegel, CEO
Ownership: DJE Holdings
Offices: Global: 16; US: 5 (New York; Chicago; Dallas; Redwood Shores, CA; and Santa Monica, CA)
Revenue: Global: $35.9 million; US: $28.1 million
Headcount: Global: 241; US: 144

It was another banner year for Zeno Group with 86 account wins, about half of which were AOR assignments, and continued global expansion drove 44% of overall revenue growth.

"It was our fourth consecutive year of double-digit revenue growth, and revenue more than doubled compared to 2011," says CEO Barby Siegel. "It was a strategically key year. We’re a fully global firm, not a US-centric firm with global aspirations."

Chicago, New York, and London were the offices that recorded the top growth. The London office serves as Zeno’s EU hub, working with clients such as British Telecom and Merck. New offices opened last year in Malaysia and Vietnam.

In addition to impressive US wins, such as AOR designation for three Anheuser-Busch brands, Zeno also landed AOR assignments in Asia with Lenovo for global social media programs and content, Intel for social media in Southeast Asia, and Motorola for product work.

"Clients are talking about social, digital, and content creation," Siegel says. "One task is helping clients determine who owns what, as the lines continue to blur. We’re doing work with paid, owned, and earned channels that five years ago no one would have thought a PR firm would be doing."

Examples include a social and digital effort for Turtle Wax, a social giveaway for Seattle’s Best Coffee, and a social and digital assignment for Land of Lincoln Health, a 2013 AOR win, and AstraZeneca. 

At the start of 2014, PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats brand shifted its account to Zeno from sister agency Edelman. Zeno also won work with Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol. It lost Lipton to GolinHarris last August.

Senior hires and promotions
There were eight senior-level promotions and 11 senior staffers joined.

Seven VP-or-higher-level executives left including EVP Mark O’Connor, who departed for GolinHarris, and VP Jamie Langdon who joined Walt Disney World. Staff turnover was 28%.

For 2014, Siegel’s focus includes continued globalization of core offerings.

"Acquisitions are part of our long-term plan," she adds. "I’m not looking to just add flags on the map. We care about having a footprint that makes sense for our business and clients. We want to be deep and game changing in all of our markets."

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