Young & rubicam was the agency to beat in 1997, and the media anticipated the shop's upcoming initial public offering to build interest in the agency and its integrated marketing philosophy. That produced a new-business roll, including the Census 2000 project from the U.S. Census Bureau, United Airlines' international advertising and Citicorp's agency consolidation -- the latter alone worth more than $850 million. Y&R also consolidated its media operations under the Media Edge banner. But, creatively, it is still taxed by the lack of a creative head in New York, where Worldwide Creative Director Ted Bell is pulling double duty.
In February, Y&R filed to go public in 1998. This raises the question of whether the newly public Y&R's focus on the bottom line will deter it from investing in other areas. Another challenge is bringing Citicorp and Census Bureau accounts on line while absorbing other wins without disturbing existing clients.