The essence: Besting its heady 2003 performance-when it won North American ad responsibilities for the coveted Coca-Cola Classic brand-was a tall order heightened midway through the year by the June departure of Berlin champion Steve Heyer as president-chief operating officer of Coca-Cola Co. Berlin held steady with Coke , while simultaneously solidifying its position within parent WPP Group and the Red Cell network as the creator of big ideas for big brands.
Net growth: Berlin was a key player on successful WPP pitches for financial giant HSBC (billings estimated at $600 million-plus), as well for Samsung Electronics. The agency landed clients (Newell Rubbermaid, Safeway supermarkets) in new categories and took on more duties for both Coke Classic and new beverage C2. Coke shifted its Dasani water account to start-up agency Anamoly.
management: With Ewen Cameron at the New York helm as CEO, Andy Berlin added the title of chairman-CEO of Red Cell network in 2004 following the exit of Lee Daley, former Red Cell co-CEO.
Creative quality and effectiveness: Berlin flexed its strength in youth-focused ads for Coke and Boost Mobile in both traditional creative and branded entertainment. Frank Gehry-designed bottles won PR and market differentiation for Wyborowa vodka. In contrast, ads for Pfizer's Zyrtec were slow to make the point. Solid work with Coke's "Real" campaign raised brand awareness in North America.