The essence: Deutsch in 2004 was solid, though a few cracks emerged. Good relations with Novartis look likely to help the Interpublic Group of Cos. agency achieve overseas expansion. Yet the reviews of two accounts-Revlon (landed in part due to agency CEO Donny Deutsch's ties to Revlon chief Ron Perelman) and Mitsubishi Motors North America-beg the question: Are Mr. Deutsch's non-advertising activities (i.e. his CNBC show "The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch") taking the edge off his agency? Expect longtime partners, including current Chief Operating Officer Linda Sawyer, to take on new titles and responsibilities while Mr. Deutsch spends more time on the air.
Net growth: Big wins include Old Navy, Pier 1 Imports, plus more duties from current accounts (Novartis, Johnson & Johnson). On the downside, in addition to the Revlon loss three prominent clients-DirecTV (creative and media), Cadbury Schweppes (creative) and Mitsubishi (media buying)-shifted accounts without reviews. Questions linger over the stability of another account: Starwood's Sheraton brand.
management: Deutsch formed a full-service in-house studio, Yellow FinPremedia, as well as a product-placement company, Media Bridge Entertainment.
Creative quality and effectiveness: Though rarely breakthrough, Deutsch's creative is solid. TV and print for J&J's Tylenol and Novartis' Zelnorm deliver a succinct message, and a non-traditional grassroots effort for Coors Brewing Co.'s Mexicali is clever. Spots for CiCi's Pizza and Old Navy underwhelm.