2002 Rating: 2.5 stars
Though creative awards continue to decorate its offices, Arnold Worldwide has been accused of resting on its Volkswagen of America laurels. Meanwhile, its new-business machine continues to falter. The agency, renowned for its concrete-like relationship with clients, has lost big names such as jobs site Monster Worldwide and has seen others go into review-FMR Corp.'s Fidelity Investments, Welch Foods and White Wave's Silk-without winning any blockbuster pitch.
Lauded in the past for its family-like atmosphere and mentality, Boston-based Arnold had more layoffs in 2003, and employee morale faltered. Parent Havas' plans to make Arnold Worldwide a global network dissipated as it instead decided late last year that Arnold should be composed of a handful of regionally focused creative hot shops around the world.
The name linked with Arnold, CEO and one-time owner Ed Eskandarian, is taking a greater role in agency business now that his globetrotting for Havas has waned. Tops on his list is jump-starting Arnold's new-business endeavors.
The agency is trying to right its shop in New York, where Rochelle Klein, vice chairman-chief creative officer, said she was leaving over differences in vision for the shop. Arnold also is setting up a consulting practice for its advertising accounts.
Arnold Worldwide Partners hasn't abandoned its global view, planning to buy agencies in Germany, Mexico and possibly the Netherlands, as well as another shop in the U.K. should WCRS succeed in buying itself back. Trying to bolster its management ranks, Arnold said it would be hiring high-level executives in New York, Boston and St. Louis as it continues efforts to integrate its four offices. It also seeks a technology client.