PMK-BNC: Agency Business Report 2015

Though percentage growth dropped a bit in 2014 to 13% compared to 18% in 2013 and 31% in 2012, PMK-BNC still had a great year.

Michael Nyman, co-chairman and CEO
Michael Nyman, co-chairman and CEO

Principals: Michael Nyman, co-chairman and CEO; Cindi Berger, co-chairman and CEO; and Chris Robichaud, CEO
Ownership: Interpublic Group (operates outside Constituency Management Group)
Offices: New York, Los Angeles, and London
Revenue: $55 million to $65 million
Headcount: Global: 258; US: 250

Though percentage growth dropped a bit in 2014 to 13% compared to 18% in 2013 and 31% in 2012, PMK-BNC still had a great year. 

According to co-chairman and CEO Michael Nyman, the brand communications division probably experienced the most growth, though he notes there were increases across the board.

"We are organized around our divisions [rather than around each office]," he says, "but the center of our universe is entertainment and brand work."

About 63% of the 2014 revenue gain is attributed to organic growth from existing clients. The remainder was driven by new client relationships, which included AOR assignments from Genworth Financial, David Beckham whisky brand Haig Club (global), Activision, and DeLeón Tequila. A number of new retainer-based relationships began with other clients such as Converse and Condé Nast Entertainment.

Beats by Dre was resigned after Apple acquired the brand, which presented a conflict of interest with Samsung. Work with Starwood’s Preferred Guest loyalty program was completed, and the agency bid adieu to Beiersdorf after its internal marketing team turned over.

One of the biggest highlights of last year was the launch of Vowel, a formal digital and social unit within the agency. Vowel team members are helping expand work with existing clients, such as Samsung, and have landed new clients, such as Aether Cone and Ann Taylor.

Another 2014 highlight was the launch of a "personal brand management" practice within the entertainment division. Nyman explains that research conducted by the agency’s strategic insights and analytics group showed "real people," for example authors, chefs, and lifestyle experts, often have large, passionate fan bases, but no real brand infrastructure. That insight was key to development of the personal brand management practice. 

"In essence, we become the CMO of these individuals," he says. "Compensation is different because in this role we become a percentage participant."

The need to be nimble
Nyman describes the industry today as "a mass aggregation of highly segmented markets" and notes that marketing cycles are contracting.

"Clients need nimble agencies with diverse skill sets," he says. "They need to stretch budgets, and they want to know you can respond when business challenges hit them. In this, the era of transparency, clients can’t just push out branding and be done. There’s a push back or pull from consumers, and you have to decide the right push-to-pull ratio." 

Plans for 2015 include going after business in new categories, such as big pharma.

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