Citizen Relations: Agency Business Report 2014

At the start of 2014, Citizen Relations was renamed from Citizen Paine.

Principal: Daryl McCullough, chairman and CEO
Ownership: Vision7 International (EDC Communications)
Offices: Global: 8*; 3 in the US: New York; Los Angeles; Irvine, CA
Revenue: Global: $28,824,957; US: $15,552,096
Headcount: Global: 135; US: 60
* includes Citizen Optimum (Canada) and Citizen Brando (UK)

At the start of 2014, Citizen Relations was renamed from Citizen Paine. It was part of its long-term transitioning process that in 2011 saw it rebrand from Paine PR in the US, Canadian firm Optimum, and UK-based shops Band & Brown and Brando under the Citizen banner.

Last year proved to be "strong, but not as strong as it could have been," according to chairman and CEO Daryl McCullough.

In 2013, global revenue was flat, while US revenue was down 7%. McCullough attributes the US dip to Intel pulling the launch of its over-the-top box, which the agency was working on as AOR, as well as a slow-down in the public sector work it does in California.

Organic client growth was "very strong," he notes. In December, Procter & Gamble, which has worked with the agency for 15 years on a wide range of accounts, transferred communications duties for its homecare brands Swiffer, Mr. Clean, Dawn, and Cascade in North America to Citizen. 

P&G also named Citizen as one of its top business suppliers in 2013, the second successive year it has won the accolade. In January 2014, travel site Travelocity named Citizen its North America agency partner.     

A big initiative last year was sending its entire staff to Las Vegas for a two-day off-site, with "TED-like" talks based on vision, bravery, heart, and teamwork. 

"We want to continue to differentiate ourselves as a nimble, independent-minded agency for high-performance professionals by giving them the flexibility to do their work anywhere," explains McCullough. 

Drawing on expertise
He says the agency’s success has also placed it into a bigger competitive set. However, he adds the agency’s ownership structure gives it an advantage by enabling Citizen to draw on expertise from its sister firms, such as digital shop Dare in the UK.

Misha Dhanak was promoted to MD of Citizen Relations EMEA, filling a vacancy created in October 2012 when Mandy Sharp left the agency.

Theresa Pantazopoulos was brought on last year as group director in New York. No senior-staff departures were reported.

Looking ahead, the firm is poised to launch a new strategic positioning based around four pillars: creative strategy, research and insights, holistic execution, and analytics and measurement. 

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