2002 Rating: 3 stars
Independent Wieden & Kennedy is, as one executive puts it, "the last bastion of everything right about this industry."
Wieden-headquartered in Portland, Ore., with branches in Amsterdam, London, New York and Tokyo-saw its billings jump 11.4% over 2002, to $873.6 million, despite the economic downturn, according to agency data. Key wins included Miller Brewing Co. corporate branding assignments as well its Foster's account, Millennium Imports' Belvedere and Chopin vodka, and America Online's corporate branding assignment. For AOL, Wieden will produce its first Super Bowl spot since `97. The New York office won Sega Corp.'s ESPN series of videogames, among others.
Still, Wieden struck out in a number of pitches, including Doctor's Associates' Subway Restaurants and Coca-Cola Co. assignments for Sprite and Dannon water. The creative home runs continued in 2003, including Honda's acclaimed "Cog" spot, which ran in Europe, and the continuation of Wieden's long-running Nike showcase with the "Streaker" spot.
Wieden must decide whether it needs to add account planning to tip the balance in its favor during new-business jousts, particularly those aiming at securing a major piece of business to better balance the status of Nike.