Ruder Finn: Agency Business Report 2009

RF's continued focus on its four pillars contributed to its growth and profitability in 2008, says Kathy Bloomgarden, co-CEO.

RF's continued focus on its four pillars contributed to its growth and profitability in 2008, says Kathy Bloomgarden, co-CEO. She adds that RF plans to maintain its internal CSR initiatives, building on the work it is doing with CancerCare, I'm Too Young for This, and a Chinese university.

"We know things can change at any time," says co-CEO Peter Finn. "Companies are still evaluating their financial decisions... We're cautious, but our business is up and we're investing our profits from last year into strengthening the business."

The firm will also focus on adding staff to its pillar areas; increasing its social media presence with client programs; adding 12,000 square feet of office space for the interactive practice employees; and maintaining internal training programs.

Both Finn and Bloomgarden noted that maintaining RF's independent culture, despite economic changes, is vital.

Ruder Finn had 545 employees in 2008, an increase from the 516 reported in 2007.

Senior hires include Trina Chiara, SVP of healthcare; Trista Dawson, Kimberly Goldman, and Amber McCracken, VPs of healthcare; Frank Martin, group head publicist; Tyler Pennock, SVP of interactive; and Amy Terpeluk, VP of global issues.

Departures included SVPs Susan Barr, Robert Kern, Debbie Kanterman, and Brad McCormick.

Bloomgarden notes that adding employees to the interactive team is key as the firm plans to implement social media into all of its clients programs.

Structural changes
No mergers or acquisitions reported.

Regional performance
The agency sees opportunities for growth on the West Coast and in Asia.

Practice areas
Include healthcare, consumer tech, interactive, design, arts and communications counselors, global issues, video broadcasting, ethics consulting, travel and economic development, corporate advisory, corporate communications, multicultural marketing, and Planned Television Arts.

Bloomgarden notes that the firm continues to focus on its four pillar areas – health and wellness, corporate and public trust, life and style, and global connectivity.

Wins included Cotton Council International, Merck, Novartis' vaccine franchise, CRG Partners, PharmaMar, Parc, Golden Living, and IPC Systems.

The agency is no longer working with C&A, Manpower, or Helicos.

Financial performance
RF reported $96,112,000 in global revenue, up 2.75% from 2007. US revenue was $77,275,000 million, up 1.2% from 2007.

Key facts
Principals: Peter Finn and Kathy Bloomgarden, co-CEOs

Ownership: Independent

Offices: 13 wholly owned globally; five in the US

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