Porter Novelli: Agency Business Report 2010

As did many firms, Porter Novelli began 2009 with cuts and leadership changes.

Principal: Gary Stockman, CEO
Ownership: Omnicom  
Offices: 27 wholly owned globally; 13 in the US
Revenues: Global: between $100 million and $200 million; US: between $100 million and $150 million

As did many firms, Porter Novelli began 2009 with cuts and leadership changes.
 
Since then, the agency appears to have embarked on a hiring and new-business spree – winning such accounts as Wal-Mart, Monster Worldwide, Yahoo, Woolite, T-Mobile, and Pepsi. It has also made a string of senior-level hires.
 
Yet parent company Omnicom suffered a 15% decrease in PR for 2009, and Porter Novelli did experience losses such as PerkinElmer and the Propane Council, an indication that the year was not without challenges. The firm also scaled back in certain markets, such as Sacramento, CA.
 
"Different regions entered the recession at their own time," CEO Gary Stockman points out. "They are coming out of it at their own time, too."
 
CMO Marian Salzman left the firm, to be replaced by Catherine Sullivan as director of communications. Other recent senior-level hires or promotions include Stephanie Koze as EVP and client relationship leader for the firm's Shire Pharmaceuticals portfolio; Barbara DeBuono as chief medical officer; Israel Mirsky as EVP of emerging media and technology; Joseph Landi as EVP and director of New York healthcare; and Peter Pitts, global head of regulatory and health policy. Jennifer Jones, Jodi Fleisig, Judy Willis, and Joel Johnson joined as SVPs.
 
Its growing practice areas are healthcare, digital, brand marketing, and food/nutrition. Tech was slower than other areas in 2009, but its Hewlett-Packard IPG (imaging and printing group) work expanded to Latin America and Asia-Pacific.
 
Tech commitment
"Our practice reflects the tech sector as a whole," says Stockman. "The sector has recently started to pick up, but in 2009 felt soft."
 
While Porter Novelli's presence in the Bay Area has scaled back in recent years, Stockman maintains the agency "is very committed to technology. It's a foundation practice. We're also very committed to the San Francisco/Bay Area market."

Stockman credits new business wins on the firm's investment in insights to give "clients that deep understanding to engage more effectively with stakeholders" and digital offerings, including new social analytics and a brand monitoring platform debuted at this year's SXSW interactive festival.

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