Berlin Cameron Defiant In Loss

In a month, one-time hot shop Berlin Cameron United lost two of its top accounts. But chairman Andy Berlin last week said the 8-year-old agency is “still profitable” and “we’re not going away.”

WPP Group acquired the New York agency for an estimated $40 million in 2001, when revenue was estimated at $20 million, sources said. By the end of 2003, the shop claimed $750 million in billings. Following the Samsung and Coke losses this month, its remaining accounts—Pfizer’s Zyrtec, Boost Mobile, White Wave Silk soymilk, Nestlé’s Tidy Cats, Newell Rubbermaid, New York Life, The Wall Street Journal and Pernod Ricard—spent $105 in 2004 and $80 million through August this year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Sources said Samsung and Coke revenue added up to almost $25 million.

CEO and chief creative Ewen Cameron, who worked most closely with those clients, said the agency was disappointed by the losses but remains optimistic. “We have strong clients, strong work, and we’re profitable,” he said.

He would not comment on possible layoffs, saying this month’s earlier, Coke-related cuts (an estimated 40 staffers, or more than 40 percent) factored in a Samsung loss because the shop anticipated a possible split. The agency now has about 55 staffers.

“The agency has been an outstanding partner,” said Boost Mobile vp of marketing Darryl Cobbin. “Not only am I not worried about their future, I’m excited about becoming an even more important client for them as we grow.”

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell was unavailable for comment.

Andy Berlin would not disclose revenue but denied the hit was devastating. “This is a profitable agency without Samsung and Coca-Cola,” he said. “Not as profitable but still profitable. We’re not going away.”