Agency rating: 2.5
It was the year of the French obsession for Boston's Arnold Worldwide after Paris-based Havas Advertising bought Arnold along with parent company Snyder Communications.
The early-year deal was welcome for Arnold, which had seen Snyder stock prices languish behind the rest of the industry. As part of the Havas purchase, Arnold became the lead agency and namesake for Havas' smaller network of creative-based shops, now known as Arnold Worldwide Partners. Agency CEO Ed Eskandarian assumed the network lead as chairman-CEO. In turn, Chairman Ron Lawner and President Fran Kelly officially took over running the agency.
Arnold parted ways with Bose Corp., which took its account in-house, Detroit- and Boston-area McDonald's Corp. franchisees, WSJ.com, Myway.com and Toysmart.com. Arnold resigned Sovereign Bank New England because of a conflict with PNC Financial Services. The agency said it brought in $327 million in new business, including work for the department store portion of Target Corp., TMP Worldwide's Monster division, discount airline JetBlue Airways and French telecom equipment marketer Alcatel. The shop said billings increased 18% to $1.3 billion compared with 1999.
Arnold continues to look aggressively to establish a New York presence, perhaps through acquisition. The agency wants to supplement its high-tech roster and obtain more big-ticket package-goods accounts. Further, it aims to attract international clients that can take advantage of its global network.
Last year's rating: 3.5