Arnold Worldwide

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2004 Rating: 3 stars

The essence: Long hailed a s something of a creative force, Havas' Arnold Worldwide in 2004 jump-started a new-business machine that had been sputtering. The agency netted Internet telephone company Vonage and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. accounts, assignments from Pfizer and Tyson Foods, and held onto Fidelity Investments. However, some observers have wondered just how safe the Volkswagen of America business is; the media account went into review this year and sales for the auto marketer are down.

NET growth: Arnold's victory in the Vonage pitch was the capper on a strong year for new business that saw more than $200 million in new billings and strong growth from existing clients like Citizens Bank, Royal Caribbean International and Fidelity Investments. The agency lost business from Coors Brewing Co. and the Washington Post Co.

management: Just as the New York office of Arnold had been struggling to find its feet under it, President Mary Baglivo left for Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi. Otherwise, senior leadership at the agency has been stable.

Creative quality and effectiveness: Despite some criticism of its Volkswagen work recently, Arnold has held onto its creative reputation. The Fidelity work is a rare standout in financial services and the "Shard o' Glass" campaign for the American Legacy Foundation was lacerating anti-smoking work. The Vonage account should offer Arnold a chance to shine. Arnold ads also drove business for smaller clients like Royal Caribbean and Amtrak.

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