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REPORT CARDS

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Numbers A-

Billings up 18% to $8.5 billion; revenue up 15% to $370 million. Won General Motors buying (added $675 million, billings split with sibling MediaVest), Gillette ($300 million, split planning with MediaVest), Washington Mutual ($150 million), Luxottica ($90 million), Bally Total Fitness ($80 million), Wellpoint ($50 million). Lost U.S. Army ($200 million).

Planning A-

One of the first agencies to reorganize the planning and buying process for new and emerging media with the formation of its Video Investment Group last August. Hired Tracey Scheppach to run unit as vp, video innovation director in August. First job for Scheppach: devise best planning and buying strategies for media such as VOD, wireless and broadband video.

Buying A

Agency is credited with a big assist to sibling agency Planworks (both report to Starcom MediaVest Group CEO Renetta McCann) in its winning pitch for General Motors' $3.2 billion buying account in May. Pioneer deal for a TV buy (with Court TV) that included guaranteed levels of audience "engagement" based on several measurements, including so-called "length of tune" metric (how long viewers stay with a channel without switching) and monthly cumulative time spent with a network. Other agencies followed suit, and more deals are expected to include engagement guarantees in this year's upfront market.

Management A-

Agency made several high-level promotions from within, a reflection of its strong performance, including its fourth straight year of double-digit revenue growth. COO John Muszynski was elevated to CEO in February, replacing McCann, who rose to CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group Americas. In October, she was promoted again to worldwide CEO, replacing Jack Klues, who was upped to CEO, Publicis Groupe Media, overseeing all the Publicis media agencies, including SMG and ZenithOptimedia.

Comments

The Publicis-owned shop's planning prowess and buying innovations continue to attract the biggest U.S. marketers. It gained Gillette last year and a huge add-on from existing client GM—a stumbling behemoth who's relied on SMG for years and still thinks it's the media agency network to execute its consumer outreach strategy in an increasingly complex media world.