US CEO Patrick Ford describes 2005 as a year of "transition." The agency is overcoming a number of both unexpected and anticipated management changes, which it admits has affected business.
However, Ford notes, the firm is "energized" by Penn's arrival, as well as the integration of consultancy Penn, Schoen &Berland.
"We really have a combined offering now," Penn says.
Burson's new-business focus has already paid off with its recent Intel win. Ford notes that the firm is focused on building interactive capabilities and culling its resources to react to emerging global crises. The firm's momentum has been driven by global ventures, particularly in Asia.
Its focus on global strategy has led to a new post, chief strategic innovation and integration officer, filled by Ame Wadler.Name of parent division/company (enter both where applicable)
Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Brands, a subsidiary of WPP Group plc.
Name of global CEO and US CEO (or most senior equivalent)
Mark J. Penn, President & CEO, Worldwide
Patrick Ford, US CEO
Name of person, if any, the most senior person named above reports to
Martin Sorrell and Ann Fudge
What is your current headcount, and how has it changed from this time last year?
Headcount was up. Burson-Marsteller is a wholly owned subsidiary of the WPP Group plc, a publicly traded company. As a result of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the WPP group of companies does not release financial data (including headcount) for individual operating units.
What was the percentage of staff turnover?
Did you make any senior hires in 2005 (VP and higher)?
Mark J. Penn, President & CEO Worldwide (announced end 2005; began January 2006)
Reyn Archer, Managing Director, US Healthcare Practice; from Hill & Knowlton
Andrei Bogolubov, Managing Director, Global Financial Communications; from Robinson Lehrer Montgomery
Francisco de Carvalho, Market Leader, B-M Brazil; from GTech
Dave DenHerder, COO, Direct Impact; was Bush-Cheney 2004 regional political director
Simon Elliott, Managing Director, Public Affairs, B-M UK; from Trimedia Public Affairs Ltd.
Hope Ewing, Managing Director, Asia Pacific Healthcare Practice; from Ruder Finn
Chris Foster, Managing Director, US Healthcare Practice; from Carryon Communications
Neil Honor, Managing Director, Communique, B-M UK; from Kaizo Barclay Stratton
Rhoda McDonald, Managing Director, Public Affairs, B-M UK; from Bell Pottinger
Fred Muir, Market Leader, Southern California; previously independent consultant
Chris O'Neill, Chair, US Brand Marketing Practice; from Octagon Worldwide
Linda Pavy, Managing Director, Healthcare, B-M Europe; from Porter Novelli
Luc Perinet-Marquet, Managing Director, Corporate/Financial; previously an independent consultant
Diego Seguro, Market Leader, Argentina; from Suez Group
Maria Sennels, Market Leader, Denmark; from Advice A/S
Clemente Senni, Managing Director, Public Affairs, B-M Italy; from his own company
Al Quintana, Managing Director, US Hispanic Practice; from Telefonica
What senior staff have departed the firm? Please state name and previous title
Allan Biggar, Co-CEO Europe
Thomas Blach, Chair, Europe Public Affairs Practice
Rafael Casas-Don, Market Leader, Mexico
Carlos Lareau, COO, (early 2006)
Mike McKenna, CEO, Marsteller, USA
Richard Mintz, Director Global New Business Development; Chair, Global Public Affairs Practice (early 2006)
Tom Nides, President & CEO Worldwide
Linda Recupero, Chair, US Brand Marketing Practice
Tsuyoshi Takemura, Market Leader, B-M Japan
Christina Tanggaard, Market Leader, Denmark
Craig Veith, CEO, Direct Impact
Inge Wallage, Market Leader, The Netherlands
Other senior management changes
WPP Group Executive Vice President Howard Paster became Chairman, B-M Executive Board
Chile Market Leader Claudia Adriasola was appointed Market Leader, B-M Mexico
Managing Director Deborah Bowker was appointed Chair, US Corporate/Financial Practice
Managing Director Mary Crawford assumed client leadership for Bureau of Engraving & Printing
Managing Director Mirko Creyghton appointed Market Leader, The Netherlands
In early 2006, Pat Ford was tapped to succeed Ken Rietz as US CEO, when Rietz retires at end of Q1 in 2006.
Managing Director Shuri Fukunaga appointed Market Leader, Japan
Chief Research Officer Leslie Gaines-Ross became Chief Knowledge & Research Officer Worldwide
Managing Director Jennifer Graham appointed Chair, Global Technology Practice
Managing Director Keith Harmon was named Market Leader, Northern California
In early 2006, Per Heggenes took on the role of Director, Global Affiliate Relations in addition to his role as CEO, B-M UK
Managing Director Brian Lott assumed client leadership for SAP
Managing Director JeanAnn Morgan became Chair, US Healthcare Practice
In early 2006, Pat Przybyski was tapped to take over as Worldwide CFO when John Maltese retires end Q1
Brazil Market Leader Ramiro Prudencio was appointed Chair, Latin America Public Affairs Practice
Global Technology Practice Chair Heidi Sinclair appointed President & CEO, Continental Europe (and was tapped to lead a consolidated Europe in early 2006)
Norway Market Leader Claus Sonberg was appointed CEO, Nordic Region
Managing Director Cindy Tian appointed Market Leader, China
In early 2006, Ame Wadler became Chief Strategic Innovation & Integration Officer in addition to her role as Chair, Global Healthcare Practice
Managing Director Rune Wergeland was appointed Market Leader, Norway
BKSH Managing Director Dennis Whitfield became Chairman, Direct Impact
Have you made any acquisitions in the past year, or merged with another agency?
We acquired Genesis Public Relations, in India, at the close of 2005.
How many offices do you have globally?
In 2005, Burson-Marsteller's network included 93 offices (50 wholly owned and 43 affiliates).
North & South Asia
What offices opened in 2005 or early 2006?
Burson-Marsteller established a new affiliation in Finland with Pohjoisranta Reputation Management Consultancy, with offices in Helsinki and Oulu (February 8, 2006). As noted above previously, Burson-Marsteller acquired Genesis Public Relations, which was formerly an affiliate, with offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai (December 12, 2005).
What offices closed in 2005 or early 2006?
Detroit (June 15, 2005)
Helsinki (January 3, 2006) - per above when we terminated the relationship with CW Works Oy and started a new affiliation with Pohjoisranta.
Is there a particular region, US and globally, that is growing right now?
Asia/Pacific and Latin America both saw impressive growth (double digits) in 2005. Our fastest growing region was Asia Pacific, with the China Market growing by 41.5 percent.
How many practice areas do you have?
Burson-Marsteller has a practice structure in the US, in addition to our four global practices, and reports by market in the other regions. In 2005, our global practices were Corporate/Financial, Healthcare, Public Affairs and Technology. Our US practices include: Corporate/Financial, Brand Marketing, Healthcare, Media, Marsteller (Advertising/Creative/Production/Interactive) and the Insights & Ideas Group. We also have specialty practice groups such as Direct Impact (grassroots), BKSH (lobbying), USHispanic Marketing, Crisis Management, Change Communications and Corporate Responsibility among others.
Of those, which ones are part of the core strategy of the agency?
All of our Practices are part of our core strategy, with special emphasis on Technology, Corporate/Financial, Healthcare, Public Affairs and Media.
What practice areas showed the most growth?
In the US, Marsteller Interactive, Corporate/Financial, Media, BKS&H and Healthcare benefited from increased demand from new and existing clients in their respective disciplines. Marsteller benefited from strong growth in their Interactive division; Healthcare from increased activity on large national and global accounts; Corporate's growth came from a variety of fronts including Organizational Change work, Corporate Reputation, and Corporate Social Responsibility projects; Media experienced increased demand for high end media relations; BKS&H also benefited from increased demand in the lobbying sector.
Which practice areas showed the least growth?
We experienced low or no growth in the Brand Marketing, Direct Impact, Public Affairs and Technology Practice areas. The Brand Marketing Practice was restructured in 2005 and lost some year over year momentum as a result of leadership changes which have now been completed; Direct Impact experienced a downturn in new business due to management turnover; Public Affairs' top line was affected by contractual program budget constraints in the Federal sector and Technology was flat due to a tight labor market in the sector and an emphasis on new business resulting in the recent Intel win.
What is the distribution of accounts across practice areas?
We encourage our Practice areas to work closely together in building and sharing business. It is the core of our KCR (Key Client Relationship) program. Currently, at least 35% of our business crosses most of our Practices. Our Corporate (CEO reputation work/organizational change, etc.), Public Affairs, Healthcare (consisting of global brands) and Media Relations practices represent the lion's share of our cross practice business in the US, followed by our Technology Practice (where we serve significant global clients, among others), Marketing, Advertising, Lobbying (BKS&H) and grassroots (Direct Impact) Practices.
What key account wins did you have in 2005?
Burson-Marsteller added hundreds of clients and new projects in the last year. Here are some key highlights:
DC PREPAREDNESS CONTRACTING OFFICE
US PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE
CITADEL INVESTMENT GROUP, LLC
THE DIRECT MARKETING ASSOCIATION
THE TIMKEN COMPANY
PPG INDUSTRIES, INC
CATHOLIC HEALTHCARE PARTNERS
FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION
DALLAS WATER UTILITIES
TRANSCANADA PIPELINES LIMITED
OFFICE OF SECRETARY OF STATE - TEXAS HAVA
AMERICAN COLLEGE OF RADIOLOGY
BERINGER BLASS WINE ESTATES
PERLES DE TAHITI, G.I.E
THE HELM AGENCY
AKIN, GUMP, STRAUSS, HAUER & FELD, LLP
MD HELICOPTERS, INC
KIDNEY CARE PARTNERS
What key accounts did you lose in 2005?
Client Retention: We have not lost a major client to our competition or to the marketplace this year. Our focus continues to be on our clients: winning, retaining and growing the business by providing gold standard performance.
Did you expand any existing accounts into new domestic or international markets?
HP: our relationship expanded into EMEA at the close of 2005.
Accenture: Further expanded LatinAmerican footprint into Argentina; Asia-Pacific footprint into Australia and officially into India with Genesis becoming part of Burson-Marsteller, and in Europe we re-established work in France, extending our relationship across almost all of the Continent.
Numico: Agreed on a global AOR relationship with high activity in Italy, France, Germany, Brazil, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing: expanded into Uruguay for the first time, adding it to the roster of more than 20 countries served, as Latin America became a focal point for the public education program for new currency designs.
AstraZeneca: continued to expand in the Latam region with work in cardiology and oncology.
Did any dormant clients start to spend with you again?
What proportion of your clients are on a retainer?
We estimate approximately 12%. - John Maltese, Burson-Marsteller, CFO
Has this changed over the past year?
We experienced a small increase in retainer based projects.
What was your 2005 US revenue?
Burson-Marsteller is a wholly owned subsidiary of the WPP Group plc, a publicly traded company. As a result of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the WPP group of companies does not release financial data for individual operating units.
Did you experience top-line or bottom-line growth in the past year?
We did not meet our expectations.
How did your performance, in terms of revenue and growth, meet expectations you had for the year?
While we did not meet our expectations, on a global basis we performed well.