Principal: Christopher Graves, global CEO
Ownership: WPP Group
Subsidiary agency: Feinstein Kean Healthcare
Offices: 72 majority/wholly owned globally; 9 in the US
Revenue: Global: $200 million to $300 million; US: $100 million to $200 million
Headcount: Global: 1,800-1,950; US: 600-650
Ogilvy posted a 7% increase in global revenue in 2010 and an 11% increase in US revenue, a portion of which was driven by strong expansion in social marketing.
"We had huge social marketing wins in 2010 and that was an area of tremendous growth – it's the DC office's largest practice," says global CEO Christopher Graves. He cites the Agency for Healthcare Re-search and Quality and Health and Human Services as two key clients in that area.
To extend that success globally, Ogilvy is moving staff from DC to Brussels and looking to mirror that model elsewhere.
Behavioral economics is the idea at the core of that practice. "Behavioral economics is about PR," says Graves. "It's getting behavior change through the framing of language and issues." It's a focus he believes will separate Ogilvy from competitors.
Last year, Ogilvy worked with BP on its social media presence, revamping its corporate communications site to be more news oriented and creating its Facebook and Twitter presence. The business was recently extended to include social media work for BP's 2012 London Olympics sponsorship.
In late 2010, Ogilvy began working to improve Mexico's reputation across everything from tourism to foreign investment. The firm countered reports of drug violence by touting tourism that is actually up 5% and positioning Mexico as the forgotten BRIC with an emerging middle class and solid hi-tech aviation manufacturing sector.
Losses included Savvis, a global provider of hosting and IT infrastructure services, and the Association of American Railroads.
Significant digital progress
Ogilvy has made major strides in digital. Its 360 Degree Digital Influence practice grew 200%. Ford's social media business was a key win and staff was added in DC, Hong Kong, Sydney, London, and San Francisco.
"If you grow a nascent area rapidly, you can get choked off, meaning clients start to step up and you can't execute fast enough," says Graves about managing growth in the digital area. "The way to prevent that in the early days was through training and education."
"For social media, we created a globally certified course structure with consistent rating and certification," he adds. "We can track the progress of all 85 of our offices."
Mid-2010 saw the start of a complete rebuild of the New York consumer practice. Samantha Allen, founder of sister agency Pulse Communications in Sydney, was promoted to global consumer marketing MD in July 2010, filling a post left by MD Barby Siegel, now CEO of Zeno Group. Former Ketchum exec Alyssa Garnick was hired as EVP in early 2011. Departures included Eric Slutsky, EVP and New York consumer lead, EVP Bill Reihl, and SVP Denise Vitola.
"Sam is trying to bring a global approach to consumer and looking at what is being done across Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America," says Graves.
Other hires in the consumer marketing group include Parris Bowe as SVP. Her past experience includes Procter & Gamble and Kraft and agencies Lippe Taylor and Edelman. David Hanon, formerly with Waggener Edstrom, was hired as VP.