Global growing pains

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It was a year of firsts for Fallon Worldwide. In its first full year under the Publicis Groupe banner, Fallon opened new creative centers in Sao Paulo, Singapore and Hong Kong, a critical step in becoming a global agency.

The promise of the new offices helped Fallon, which already had the domestic United Airlines work, add the plum $100 million global airline work and $15 million Timberland global agency assignment. But it still fell short in converting the $400 million AT&T Wireless bid and the $250 million Gateway account.

At home, the Minneapolis-based network was beset by disaster, from the sputtering economy to the Sept. 11 terror attacks that all but destroyed the shop's Manhattan outpost. Fallon moved in with sibling shop Publicis, but its presence in New York is still shaky.

In the employee ranks, New York Executive Creative Director Jamie Barrett left the agency to return to the West Coast, and the agency had its first-ever layoffs, a total of 107 staffers, or about 15% of U.S. head count. Still, Fallon continued to set the creative bar with its short film-style campaign for BMW of North America.


The BMW of North America nexus might be enough to make the industry forget Fallon's early false starts with yearling client United and its subsequent gaffe with a spot touting that people were flying again after Sept. 11 by listing names of agency employees.

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