EAST AGENCY REPORT CARDS | Adweek EAST AGENCY REPORT CARDS | Adweek
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EAST AGENCY REPORT CARDS

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Avrett, Free & Ginsberg
Financial C+
Billings were up 7% to $370 million, primarily due to additional business from existing clients. Revenues rose 8% to $46 million.
Creative C+
Agency made short strides in its work for several clients, including Ralston Purina. Other campaigns, such as the one for Carter-Wallace"s Nair brand, are tired.
Management C-
Mid-size agency felt the blow of the United Distillers consolidation, which robbed it of Johnnie Walker business. Picked up smaller brands from longtime client Ralston Purina and Schieffelin & Somerset; loss of Dimetapp hurt.
Teacher"s Comments
Agency needs to replenish its client roster and find more imaginative ways to promote mature brands.
C
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Cliff Freeman & Partners
Financial C+
Billings rose 7% to $150 million while revenues increased an estimated 7% to $15 million. New business includes Prodigy, Pep Boys and a project for Coca-Cola.
Creative A-
Television campaigns for Little Caesars, Staples and Prodigy are first rate, while print is uneven.
Management B
After threatening to cut loose, the agency remained under the wing of Saatchi & Saatchi, but lost ceo Chuck Kushell in the process. Freeman was named to Saatchi worldwide creative board.
Teacher"s Comments
Prodigy was a step in the right direction in proving that this agency is not a one-trick retail pony.
B
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Deutsch
Financial C
Billings were up just 2% to $330 million. Revenues also inched up 2% to $35 million. Hardee"s and Filene"s Basement checked out while PromoFlor joined up.
Creative B+
Deutsch produces innovative ads with a bit of attitude, evident in spots for Ikea and Tanqueray.
Management B+
The loss of the Hardee"s account was offset by new business gains. Agency"s expansion westward is already paying off, but the shop fell short in some high-profile reviews, including Epson and Volkswagen.
Teacher"s Comments
Donny Deutsch"s solo performance in 1995 proved 1994 was not an aberration and that the agency does not miss Steve Dworin.
B-GothamFinancial B
Billings increased 6% to $258 million. Revenues rose 8% to $31 million. Most notable win: the estimated $20 million Liz Claiborne apparel and accessories account.
Creative B
Though it uses a traditional supermodel formula, Gotham wins points for keeping Maybelline work fresh. Overall, creative is functional but not standout.
Management B
The IPG agency absorbed LCF&L without any major bruises. Won additional business from Bristol-Myers and Mercedes-Benz Dealership Group and landed its first apparel account, Liz Claiborne.
Teacher"s Comments
Co-chief executive officer Stone Roberts needs to establish a stronger identity for the agency.
B
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Griffin Bacal
Financial D
Billings down 4% to $205 million. Revenues down 6% to $23 million. Drop largely due to loss of Sega Channel and decrease in Hasbro spending.
Creative C
Milton Bradley and Parigi TV work hides behind quick cuts to mask lack of ideas. Sharp electronics shows slight improvement over last year. Overall, print is mundane.
Management C
Expanded its client roster with AXA insurance and Beck"s. Picked up additional Hasbro business, but current Playskool review puts Paul Kurnit"s cornerstone account in jeopardy.
Teacher"s Comments
Despite new business gains and expansion into international markets with parent DDB Needham, agency performance remains suprisingly poor.
C-
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Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor
Financial C+
Billings rose 4% to $445 million, while revenue inched up 2% to $48 million. Three new accounts came in, and there was significant growth from existing clients.
Creative B-
Most of the jingles are gone. Newly empowered creatives, promoted from within, have taken agency to a new level. Brightest spot is work for Hasbro.
Management B
Pat McGrath has taken over the agency reins with style. Weight Watchers Food and First of America Bank accounts have expanded the client roster.
Teacher"s Comments
This year should determine whether Jordan"s makeover is cosmetic or fundamental.
B-
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Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners
Financial B
Billings were up 22% to $195 million. Revenues rose a healthy 27% to $18 million. New business wins include Olympus, K'Nex and Stella Foods.
Creative B
Agency continues to uphold the quality of its creative output, but Snapple work was tired and Olympus campaign, though daring in its use of dark humor, may be too offbeat for the general market.
Management B+
Much credit for holding on to Snapple in the year following its acquisition by Quaker. Results of a new campaign sans Wendy will determine the agency"s future on its signature account.
Teacher"s Comments
Agency needs to continue to foster growth without compromising its creative culture.
B
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Lois/EJL
Financial C-
Revenues were on track to reach $16 million, up 6%. Billings, estimated at $160 million, also up 6%. Per SEC filings, agency is barely profitable.
Creative C
Gratuitous use of celebrities in work for Minolta. No Nonsense and Alberto VO5 spots are straightforward but uneventful.
Management B-
Executives pulled off a feat by paying off debt through public stock offering. But little funds left over to spur growth or attract talent. Must identify new generation of managers beyond George Lois and Ted Veru.
Teacher"s Comments
Impact of recent acquisition of Eisaman Johns & Laws remains to be seen.
C
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Margeotes Fertitta+ Partners
Financial B+
Billings were up an enviable 27% to $193 million. Revenues rose 25% to $25 million. New business wins include Benckiser, Barilla pasta sauces and McGraw-Hill.
Creative B
TV has improved, but the quality across the board could be more consistent. Barilla and Colonial Williamsburg work holds its own; work for Jet-Dry and NFL is less impressive.
Management B
Creative director Graham Turner seems to be making a difference. Addition of Stuart Mattson as head of planning department should also help.
Teacher"s Comments
With strong financials and an improved reel, this agency is starting to stand apart from the New York pack.
B
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Partners & Shevack
Financial B+
An impressive 21% increase in billings to $271 million as Whitehall-Robins, Sega Channel and Gulf Lite & Wizard wins contributed nicely to agency"s coffers. Revenues climbed 17% to $27 million.
Creative B
Agency does best work for H€agen-Dazs. Most campaigns are solid and strategically sound.
Management A
Kudos to the agency for snaring the $60 million Orudis KT account from Whitehall-Robins. New accounts came into the agency, and none departed.
Teacher"s Comments
Agency is proving that mid-size shops can survive and prosper despite the trend toward global account consolidations.
B+
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Publicis/Bloom
Financial D
Billings down 20% to $120 million; revenues sank 29% to $12 million. Though agency added $40 million in new billings and retained all its clients in 1995, shop still smarting from Jergens and Scott Paper defections in 1994.
Creative C
With sexy clients like Perrier and Lanc to the power of 1 ome, creative opportunites abound. Output remains pedestrian; the heat is on new creative director Tony DeGregorio.
Management C+
Bob Kantor at the helm has boosted new business opportunities, but the shop hasn"t been able to convert.
Teacher"s Comments
Agency could better leverage its position as part of the $3.8 billion Publicis international network.
C-
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Warwick Baker & Fiore
Financial C-
Billings were flat at $175 million, as were revenues at $26 million. Flagship Heineken account fled; shop added assignments from Reckitt & Colman and won Tennis Industry Association.
Creative C+
Impact of creative head Kevin O'Neill has yet to be seen. Understudies did well in repositioning Amstel Light; the same energy is needed for other clients.
Management C+
Much is riding on O'Neill, so much so that his name could replace ex-principal Bob Fiore"s on the door. Agency sustained the loss of Heineken and has been attracting new business prospects, but it needs to close more deals.
Teacher"s Comments
Long regarded as a sleepy agency, this shop could get interesting if it continues to shake things up.
C
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