WeissComm Group: Agency Business Report 2009

The WeissComm Group continued on its growth plan in 2008, opening offices in London and Washington and exceeding revenue goals by 15%. It also opened Invigorate Communications.

Outlook
The WeissComm Group continued on its growth plan in 2008, opening offices in London and Washington and exceeding revenue goals by 15%. It also opened Invigorate Communications.

Plans for 2009 are similar, says CEO and chairman Jim Weiss, although the firm wants to retain its flexibility and independence because those traits are what is helping WeissComm in the current economy.

"Because our business isn't necessarily wrapped up in one type of work, we're able to adjust and be flexible in the face of some of the external economic challenges that are out there," he notes.

Weiss adds that 2009 plans include hiring 10 people in the year's first half, continuing to expand its presence abroad, and bolstering the firm's digital and online capabilities.

"We want to grow in Europe, and across Europe," he adds. "Having a presence there has already been helpful."

Staff
Although the firm let some employees go due to a companywide realignment in Q4, headcount increased to 86 in 2008, compared to 68 in 2007.

Senior-level hires include Tony Esposito, CFO; Paul Laland, MD of corporate communications and IR; Nigel Breakwell, MD of the London office; Laurie Mobley, director of the Washington office; Tali Kaplan, director of Invigorate Communications; and Sue Rockoff, global director, HR.
Tom Jones, MD of Invigorate Communications, and Amy Martini, director of corporate communications and IR, departed the firm after the Q4 staff realignment.

Carolyn Wang was promoted to director of corporate communications and IR.

Structural changes
The company established the WeissComm Group, which includes WeissComm Partners and Invigorate Communications – a Summit, NJ-based consumer health firm that launched in April 2008.

It also opened the Washington and London offices of WeissComm Partners in April and May 2008, respectively.

Regional performance
The firm experienced growth in all regions, says Weiss.

Practice areas
Practice areas for WeissComm include biotech, pharma, device and diagnostics, health services, and health IT. Invigorate focuses on consumer health brands.

Accounts
New clients include AGA Medical, Amgen, Bayer Healthcare, Boston Scientific, CEP America, Elan, Fisher BioPharma, Galderma, GlaxoSmithKline, Hana Biosciences, Soma Beverage Company, NPS Pharmaceuticals, and Tercica. The agency is no longer working with McKesson Specialty.

Financial performance
The firm reported $18,981,000 in fee revenue for its work in the US and globally, a 46% increase from the previous year.

Key facts
Principal: Jim Weiss, CEO

Ownership: Independent

Offices: Five US wholly owned, one globally wholly owned, plus six global alliances

*Correction: This profile originally listed Laurie Mobley as MD of the Washington office. Mobley is director of the Washington office.

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