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Fallon

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Agency rating: 2

As Fallon closed out its inaugural year as part of Publicis Groupe, Worldwide Chairman Pat Fallon has been able to retain the agency brand name, culture and control over operations as he develops his vision to become another global network of the holding company.

Under Publicis, Fallon was able to launch Fallon Brand Consulting and push its integrated services.

The creative high point of the year came from its Minneapolis headquarters with the breakout "Cat Herders" Super Bowl commercial for Electronic Data Systems. In addition, the agency produced strong TV for new client PBS. On the flipside, its EDS follow-up was not nearly as captivating as the first, and the Minneapolis office still has to introduce new branding work for its March win of Long John Silver's.

The Minneapolis office won the estimated $150 million Citibank account in August, while ABC Sports went to the New York office. The combined wins helped to spur Fallon's $162 million in net new business. The agency lost Time Inc.'s Fortune and meat products processor IBP.

After winning Citigroup, the agency said it went on a "new-business hiatus." It was reported later Fallon had been quietly defending its portion of United business against Y&R Advertising, New York.

To fill out creative leadership, the shop lured Wieden & Kennedy creative director Bob Moore to Minneapolis to take the No. 2 spot behind President and Executive Creative Director David Lubars. It added Kobe Suvongse as creative director of subsidiary Duffy Design, New York. They help to offset the losses of New York-based Neil Powell, president-executive creative director of Duffy, and Assistant Creative Director Mike Lescarbeau at Fallon in Minneapolis. Mr. Lescarbeau is known for his work on the Buddy Lee campaign.

LOOKING AHEAD

Last week's global United Airlines account win helps legitimize Publicis' goal of growing Fallon into another global network, while solidifying the agency's solid U.S. reputation. It also validates the agency's decision to be acquired by Publicis to speed its international expansion.

Last year's rating: 2

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