Porter Novelli: Agency Business Report 2009

Additions to the staff and innovative programs helped the agency through 2008, which CEO Gary Stockman described as "almost two different years."

Outlook
Additions to the staff and innovative programs helped the agency through 2008, which CEO Gary Stockman described as "almost two different years."

"We achieved some notable things in 2008 and have done some things that I think have set us up for 2009," he notes, specifically mentioning the expansion of the agency's senior team.

PN is facing challenges in 2009. During the first quarter, the agency has dealt with layoffs across the country, as well as some lost business. But Stockman is still optimistic about the future.

"There is a question of whether this year represents a crisis or opportunity," he says. "We definitely see it as an opportunity. We've continued to make investments in critical areas and we continue to focus sharply on what delivers value to clients today."

Staff
No headcount was reported by the firm, but Porter Novelli did make several senior hires in 2008. Among those was Marian Salzman as CMO. Anthony Viceroy also joined the agency in the new position of president of global business operations and CFO.

Other senior-level hires include Lisa Dieter, SVP of the healthcare practice; Brad McCormick, EVP and director of digital for US; and Betsy Merryman, EVP of the life sciences practice.

Regional performance
Stockman says the agency was "fairly balanced" with its growth in 2008, but it did see growth in Asia, particularly in China.

Practice areas
The agency has 17 practice areas, including consumer marketing, crisis and issues management, corporate affairs, entertainment, social media, and technology.

In 2008, PN added the following practice areas: generational marketing, marketing in recessionary times, millennial empowerment, and trends. The consumer practice area demonstrated the most growth in 2008.

Accounts
The agency filled 2008 with several key account wins, including the US Centers for Disease Control National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Navy Federal Credit Union, FDIC, Johnson & Johnson Corporate Communications, and Blockbuster.

In addition, several PN clients also expanded their work with the agency, including Reckitt Benckiser, which hired the firm to spearhead efforts for its Air Wick and Mucinex brands.

Financial performance

The agency reported revenue in the US between $100 million and $200 million for 2008. These figures met expectations, according to Stockman.

Key facts
Principal: Gary Stockman, CEO

Ownership: Omnicom

Offices: 13 wholly owned in US; 18 globally; Partially owned: 60 globally

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