2005 Agency Business Report: <strong>Hill & Knowlton</strong>

Owned by WPP Group

Owned by WPP Group

Paul Taaffe, CEO

Number of offices: Nineteen in the US, 72 worldwide

Staff numbers and turnover: Not supplied

Senior hires: Several, including Tom Reno, EVP, general manager, New York; Doug Dome, president, Dome HK; Judi Frost Mackey, SVP, director corporate/financial, New York; Cynthia O'Connell, SVP, director, public affairs, Washington, DC

Senior departures: Several at SVP level and above, including Beverly McDonald, GM, Blanc & Otus Atlanta; Peter Baron, GM, B&O Atlanta; David Langston, SVP, US director, internal communications; Renee Yosco, SVP, director, marketing communications, New York; John Eckel, SVP, director, US sports marketing; Barbara Coons, SVP, director, research.

How many offices do you have? Nineteen in the US; 72 globally.

New offices: Tallahassee, Florida and Qatar.

Offices closed: Prague.

What region is growing? Are any shrinking? All operations in China and Latin America, and Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Tampa, and Washington, DC are showing strongest growth. All other markets in the US and abroad are holding stable.

Mergers and acquisitions: Hill & Knowlton acquired Dome Communications in Chicago to create Dome HK, as well as Sparks & Noble in Calgary and ABC Public Relations A/S in Denmark.

Number of practice areas: Five major practices - corporate communications, marketing communications, netcoms, public affairs, technology, health & pharma.

What areas were strong? The corporate, public affairs and technology practices were strong, and H&K saw growth in its marketing communications and health & pharma practices.

Key account wins: ATA Airlines; Allied Domecq (several brands); Computer Associates; Guilford Pharmaceuticals; Openwave; UK Trade & Investment; Yahoo; Wal-Mart

Key account losses: H&K stopped working with Johnson & Johnson Dapoxetine as the client shifted the focus and direction of its program.

Proportion of clients on a retainer: In the US, H&K holds AOR relationships with 20% of its clients.

Did revenues meet expectations? Revenues came in on par with expectations.

Outlook: The firm's US operation continued to show signs of strain, while overseas it remains a powerhouse. There was an improvement in New York, under the leadership of Tom Reno. "New York is on a great trajectory for the first time in four to five years and is growing again," says CEO Paul Taaffe. MaryLee Sachs, named US chairman earlier this year with the US practice heads reporting to her, has been rolling out a brand freshening initiative internally. The loss of corporate leader Harlan Teller will head to a growing corporate bench in New York.

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