Cone Communications: Agency Business Report 2014

Cone Communications' Bill Fleishman was promoted to CEO last year when his predecessor Jens Bang was elevated to chairman.

Principal: Bill Fleishman, CEO
Ownership: Omnicom, as part of its Diversified Agency Services division
Offices: Boston, Seattle, and New York
Revenue: Between $25 million and $50 million
Headcount: More than 100

Cone Communications’ Bill Fleishman was promoted to CEO last year when his predecessor Jens Bang was elevated to chairman, a role in which he continues to serve on client accounts, mentor staff, and business development.

Other key moves included the hiring of Rebecca Dickson as VP of brand communications, while Jonathan Yohannan, EVP sustainable business practices, left Cone for Panera Bread.

Last month Allison+Partners appointed Cone’s former VP of human resources Alan Weatherbee as SVP of talent search, a newly created role at the MDC firm.

A significant win for Cone was being named AOR in the US for the Ikea Foundation. The agency is providing ongoing strategic communications and thought leadership counsel, along with media relations. Qdoba Mexican Grill tapped Cone as its strategic PR partner last year to provide ongoing support from the firm on national initiatives such as limited-time offers, partnerships, and media relations for restaurant openings.

Other account wins in 2013 included Keds, Kenneth Cole, The Hartford, Prince Spaghetti, Josh Cellars, and Saffron Road.

"Half of the work we have done during the past year focused on CSR strategy communications," explains Fleishman. "The other half focused on marcomms work for consumer brands." Fleishman did not disclose any financial numbers.

Client losses included Jockey, Education First Foundation, and Nestlé Waters North America to Global Strategy Group. The latter was "because they were reprioritizing their PR needs," notes Fleishman.

Deep insight to shape strategies
The 2013 Cone Communications/Echo Global CSR Study, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, surveyed 10,000 consumers in 10 of the world’s largest markets, revealing, among other things, that the number of socially conscious US consumers has jumped 170% since 1993.

"Our research and deep insight into consumer expectations are central to building cause and CSR campaigns that endure in the marketplace," says Fleishman.

The firm also launched two new tools: influencer identification tool ConeFluence and Materiality360, a one-stop solution for companies looking to identify and analyze value chain and other issues. 

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