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January 10, 2005


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U.S. Agency Of The Year: Related Articles

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Late last April, Pat McGauley, senior director of View more related articles
innovation and high-end brands at Anheuser-Busch,
asked his troops to come up with a list of their most QuickLinks: 1-click access
- Accounting admired brands, so the brewer could contact the ad to topics in this article.
- Advertising & agencies behind their work. Apple's iPod and Nissan
Marketing were big favorites, and TBWA\Chiat\ Day in Playa del People
- Bankruptcy/Debt
Rey, Calif., was invited to present credentials for a Pat McGauley
- Business possible new-product assignment. Never mind that it C.D L.A.
Insurance had little category experience. The agency, known Chiat
- Call Centers mostly for its creative prowess, offered more than Gerry Graf
- Commercial Real perfunctory introduction; it blew the A-B group away Chuck McBride
Estate with ideas for their business. Two days later, McGauley
gave the shop assignments for premium brands
Michelob and Michelob Light, followed by a test-market
TBWA New York Group
launch for Budweiser Select, a project shared with
Omnicom Group sibling DDB.
Omnicom Group
"We liked their 'disruption' process and connections
Nextel Communications
planning," McGauley says. "They've got very sound
processes in place, and we were impressed at how they
took that knowledge into the creative work. They Concepts
immersed themselves in the beer industry and brought creative work
very insightful learning to us, both from an industry and new-business wins
consumer viewpoint." global clients
U.S. Agency
hot spot

Pet food

Ads by Google Cola

Beer industry
Experienced Online Brands
Satisfying clients one at
a time, thats why
clients trust Blitz Media
New Media
Solutions It's not just the creative firepower that's drawing top
Cost - Effective web
design State of the Art marketers to TBWA\C\D L.A. anymore. "We love the
Web Solutions fact that clients come to us for our creative work,
because it's the more difficult reputation to attain, but
they stay with us, and grow with us, because of our
strategic thinking," says Robert LaPlae, president of the
L.A. office.
High Impact Flash
Design Last year provided ample proof of just how far
Interactive CD, Web
Site Design, DVD TBWA\C\D L.A. has come in delivering on the promise
Authoring, E-Card of the merger between TBWA and Chiat/Day,
announced 10 years ago this month. Without losing any
of its groundbreaking creative pedigree, it has become a
champion of the network's disruption strategy and
below-the-line marketing-services partner, Tequila. A
place once known for its churn-and-burn style of client
handling is distinguishing itself now for being
>Brandweek handsomely rewarded with organic growth from satisfied
>Editor & Publisher clients.
>Marketing y Medios In 2004, L.A. was again the powerhouse in TBWA's U.S.
>Technology network, ringing up two-thirds of the nearly $400 million
Marketing in new-business wins. Largely, that was not the result of
>American Artist expensive, high-profile pitches: Instead, the office has
>Photo District News thrived by taking on assignments however small and
>Photoserve building on those relationships. Last year alone, L.A.
>Independent booked almost $175 million through wins such as
Photography Network Pedigree dog food (Masterfoods' largest global brand),
>Clio Awards Pepsi iTunes and Pepsi One. Masterfoods, which gave
L.A. a few brands (including Whiskas) two years ago,
has mushroomed to assignments in 70 countries
globally, with TBWA\C\D commanding 42 percent of its
business. And the client has become a unifying
presence even as it transforms TBWA's global network.

"We'd love more global clients like that," says TBWA

Worldwide vice chairman Tom Carroll, who until
September was running approximately $2 billion of
billings as president of the Americas. He is now charged
more directly with worldwide business development and
client relationships. "They're having an incredibly
positive, intoxicating effect on the network. I love to see
what winning global clients does to our people in Los
Angeles and China and London and São Paulo."

Masterfoods is also helping to bring together

TBWA\C\D's U.S. offices. In San Francisco, North
America creative director Chuck McBride has worked on
some Masterfoods brands. And last year, New York
landed $100 million in billings from the Mars marketer on
brands like Skittles, Starburst, AquaDrops and Cookies,
which helped elevate its contribution to the network's
creative profile.

Last year, the agency saw U.S. revenue rise 15 percent,

to close to $250 million, while billings climbed nearly 29
percent, to $1.8 billion. It played a major role in bold
client initiatives like San Francisco's launch of
"Impossible is nothing" for Adidas and New York's
continuing Nextel rebranding. L.A. helped propel the
digital-music revolution and creation of the iTunes Music
Store for Apple, an account run by James Vincent, as
well as the groundbreaking "Fun anyone?" pitch for Sony
PlayStation. In a flat year in the auto industry, Nissan,
the longtime client in L.A., expanded its successful
"Shift" campaign to Japan and saw a combined 24
percent U.S. sales surge for Nissan and Infinti.

San Francisco hit its stride with Adidas, producing

poignant work with Laila Ali, and with gritty humor for
Fox Sports Network. L.A. continued to break through
with new musically charged silhouettes for Apple's iPod
and product-driven work for PlayStation that didn't
dominate the brand's core entertainment identity. New
York pulled its weight with Nextel's funky office dance-
party routine and with Skittles' nerdy "Eric," who walks
around the office, munching away under a blasting
rainbow of the colored candies.

TBWA\C\D's solid new-business performance (including

no account losses), coupled with the outstanding work
from all of its U.S. offices, earns it recognition as
Adweek's U.S. Agency of the Year for 2004.

"It's the first year all three offices have done well, and
we're very pleased," TBWA Worldwide CEO Jean-Marie
Dru says. "Los Angeles has always been very strong.
But in the last three years, we've doubled our revenue in
New York—where it's important to be strong, and where
we're now making profits, which wasn't the case two to
three years ago. In L.A. and S.F. we've had great
people, and now with Brett and Gerry"—new TBWA
New York Group president Brett Gosper and New York
executive creative director Gerry Graf—"we've got 10
world-class people and more than our share of great

Adds Lee Clow, worldwide chairman and chief creative

officer of TBWA: "We're much more of a network
defined by a group of very talented people. It's not like
we roll out offices with the same colored carpet."

Getting the talent right in New York has been no small

challenge, and the office seems to be stabilizing after
three years of revolving-door management. Gosper
came to the job in September after a short stint as
general manager of McCann Erickson in New York, but
he is better known as a co-founder of Euro RSCG Wnek
Gosper in London. He is already providing clarity in
leadership after a year when office president Shona
Seifert found herself fighting a federal indictment
stemming from her oversight of ONDCP while at Ogilvy
& Mather. (She is now on a leave of absence.)

While the addition of $150 million in Nextel billings in

May 2003 provided an emotional boost, New York still
has had a lackluster new-business record in reviews.
"Our priority is to increase new-business momentum,"
Gosper says. "There's a lot of talent here, and in the
areas of planning and creative, the processes are very
strong. The agency's brand image with clients and
prospects is very strong."

Much of that still comes from the halo of L.A., but New
York last year proved its worth to Nextel, with its "Done"
strategy. And despite its issues, New York didn't lose
any business.

"We are a challenger brand in a category of megaliths,"

says Nextel svp of marketing Mark Schweitzer. "We
admired the work the agency did on Apple and Nissan
when they were challengers. They built consistent
campaigns and consistent identies. We were looking for
a recurring idea that stood out from the category, and
they're giving it to us." (Last month Sprint announced it
is acquiring Nextel. "It's too soon to know how the
marketing will play out," Schweitzer says.)

McBride says Nextel is "giving Gerry and his team a

chance to show what they can do, and I think they've
developed a nice rhythm. New York has been a missing
link for us—we've never had a robust showing—and
now that's changing, which we need to be a network."

Graf, on the job since January 2004, has unquestioned

creative credentials and has brought a quirky new voice
and humor to the New York office. He's already
demonstrated that the office can produce the kind of
attention-grabbing work worthy of its sisters. Defined in
the past by its print and outdoor for Absolut, it now
boasts talked-about spots like Skittles and Nextel on its
reel. Graf now has to prove himself as a manager.

"In my previous jobs, I'd spent my time writing," he says.

"Now, almost all of my time is spent helping people sell
good work, and I take pride in that. There's been lots of
turnover here over the years, but I think the reason the
work has been getting better is because that's settling

Says Clow: "We have to get beyond the West Coast as

the network's hot spot. Gerry's got it rolling with some
very funny, very fresh stuff. One thing that I like about
us is we have no set style. I love the variety. We can be
humorous, soulful, irreverent."

Still, there's no getting beyond the fact that L.A. was

again the hot spot in 2004. It has proved to be a potent
new-business force: Among other account wins last
year were Sara Lee's Ball Park and Jimmy Dean brands;
Infiniti business in Korea; MapQuest; and girls' fashion
retailer Limited Too. But with its embrace of disruption,
introduced throughout the network five years ago, L.A.
is also the realization of the kind of ambitions that Dru
and Clow hold for the entire TBWA network.

"One of the real milestones at TBWA\C\D has been the

hookup as co-chairmen of Jean-Marie, with his very
global perspective, and Lee, with his California
perspective and his global standards, and their mission
of globalization," says Rob Schwartz, executive creative
director in L.A. and global creative chief on Nissan.
"When those two got together and looked at the arsenal
of tools we had, they said, 'Anyone can do a good ad.
We can do much more.' It's 'One team. One dream.'
That's why people here in L.A. are cheering on New

Disruption, conceived by Dru, with its break-the-mold

process of exploring marketing opportunities, has always
been second nature to Clow, even before it had a name.
It's a defining force among the company's far-flung
offices, as well as a unifying strategic tool among
network clients, drawing in the kind of global companies
attracted to its approach. "The agency's disruption
process has been particularly effective in helping to
develop our strategy on all the brands that TBWA
handles, and the resulting work speaks for itself," says
Bob Gamgort, president of Masterfoods North America.

Other clients view the agency as a broader business

partner because of that expansive view toward problem
solving. "We use them as more than a marketing
partner. We use them as consultants," says Jed
Connelly, svp of sales and marketing at Nissan North
America. "There are a lot of very smart people there
who are good collaborators."

TBWA\C\D has conducted 'disruption days' for client

organizations like Masterfoods, having done more than
500 by now. But it's not a way of thinking linked to any
single category of marketer.

"Disruption is a state of mind. It's about walking into the

office every day and understanding any client's
ambitions," explains Carisa Bianchi, chief strategy
officer in L.A. "Jean-Marie's done a great job grounding
it, but it is also very flexible. Every office can take the
framework and philosophy and tailor it to suit the client.
What's the client's business issue? How do we deploy
this philosophy against the media toolbox? It allows us
to see if an idea has legs. If it's an idea that operates
only in TV, it's not a big enough idea."

That approach was realized last year through the

agency's media-neutral channel-planning efforts like
Nissan's "station domination," where TBWA\C\D found
innovative ways to use outdoor in Manhattan, taking
over Grand Central Station at one point. "It was a great
example of a disruptive idea communicated in disruptive
media," says Schwartz.

While Dru and Clow praise their U.S. managers for

delivering the goods in 2004, it's the partnership at the
helm of the network that gets credit from Omnicom for
guiding that performance and revving up for 2005.
"TBWA\C\D's performance has been outstanding," says
Omnicom CEO John Wren. "They're really coming
together as a team, and the brand is becoming very
cohesive under the leadership of Dru and Clow. This
year demonstrated just how cohesive, with the new-
business wins, and they did it without missing a step
and continued to produce great creative work."
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Copyright 2004 Adweek

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