Boston’s Philip Johnson Opens S.F. Outpost

BOSTON-Philip Johnson Associates, a $27 million business-to-business and technology agency in Cambridge, Mass., has opened an office in San Francisco.
The six-person outpost, located at 1681 Folsom Street, is helmed by Erik Petersen, who joined from GSD&M’s now-defunct San Francisco office, where he had served as an account director for about a year.
Petersen, who takes the title of general manager, will report to senior vice president Mike O’Toole, who remains in Cambridge.
Petersen is responsible for new-business development on the West Coast. The agency looks to build beyond the service-office model in short order, said agency founder and chief executive Philip Johnson.
“We’re looking to grow and not just be an extension of the home office,” Petersen said.
The agency’s key client in San Francisco is Perkin-Elmer’s PE Biosystems unit, which chose the agency for its $5 million ad account last July. Billings on the business have nearly tripled in the past year, and PE Biosystems now bills in the $12-15 million range, Johnson said.
The shop has been planning a West Coast launch since winning the account, and expects to announce another sizeable client acquisition before month’s end, Johnson said.
In addition, the office will work on some of the agency’s East Coast accounts, owing to the high volume of tech-savvy agency professionals available in the West, Johnson said.
Philip Johnson has been one of New England’s fastest-growing smaller shops, boosting revenues and billings 67 percent each to $4 million and $27 million respectively in the past year. ƒ