Cohn & Wolfe: Agency Business Report 2008

Though CEO Donna Imperato thinks client budgets were "a bit smaller," she's pleased with 2007, as C&W picked up "great brands" and more global work.

Outlook
Though CEO Donna Imperato thinks client budgets were "a bit smaller," she's pleased with 2007, as C&W picked up "great brands" and more global work.

A China acquisition will occur this year, followed by additional Asian acquisitions and a pan-European agency acquisition.

Imperato sees continued growth in sustainability. C&W Consultancy, which drives a lot of sustainability business and provides C-suite counseling across practices, was launched last year. Staffers are getting extensive digital training, and clients are also being educated.

C&W oversees GCI, and Imperato says synergies between the two will increase.

Staff
Headcount held steady at 450, with 23% turnover. Senior hires included Lisa Ducore, SVP, LA; Annabel Fiddian-Green, director, London healthcare practice; and Elaine Carroll, Geneva tech practice head.

Promotions included Annie Longsworth, president, San Francisco; and Geoff
Beattie, C&W Global Board. Sherri Jaffe, EVP, MD Chicago, departed.

Regional performance
All regions grew. Sustainability and digital media drove new and organic business.

Practice areas
Consumer, healthcare, tech, corporate, and sustainability. Tech and consumer grew the most, with digital media helping to expand both.

Accounts
C&W won more than 20 new accounts, including Autonomy; Bed, Bath & Beyond; The Body Shop; Adidas (Milan); Discovery Networks (UK); Royal Caribbean (Germany); and Speedo (Global). Organic growth included Hilton Hotels (sustainability) and Panasonic. C&W re-signed the O2 business in London.

Financial performance
With global revenue between $50 million and $100 million, C&W saw top- and bottom-line growth. Growth was evident, though slowed compared with the four previous years in the high double digits.

Key facts
Principal: Donna Imperato, CEO
Ownership: WPP Group
Offices: Five in North America -New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Toronto; 11 international - Mexico, Denmark, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Stockholm, and Shanghai

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