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GCI Group

Report by Jeff Hunt

Chief executive officer

GCI Group, Grey Group's public relations network, had its strongest performance in five years, with solid growth in both revenue and profits. We completed the revitalization of our London and Atlanta offices, with each recording double-digit growth in revenue and profits. Momentum continued in New York, California, Canada, Mexico, France and Sweden. Our healthcare practice remains a market leader in North America by achieving scale in offices outside of New York. New teams were introduced in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta. We plan to replicate the success of this approach in Europe in 2008.

Creative ideation and digital media have had a revolutionary impact on our business and our clients. Our Global Imagination Board, now in its second year, developed a proprietary tool that systematically elevated and redefined creative ideation. Our digital media practice grew from three to 25 professionals in 15 markets worldwide and has developed the digital media skills of our consultants. The team has worked with clients like Dell to introduce innovative platforms, including Dell's highly publicized IdeaStorm, for which we recently won PRWeek's Innovation of the Year award.

Our work across a wide spectrum of Dell's digital media led Business Week to declare that Dell went from “worst to best' in the span of our two-year digital relationship. The practice also collaborated with healthcare on new “digital health' offerings that are dramatically impacting communications in that highly-regulated industry.

New business momentum remained strong throughout the network, with key wins coming from Merck's Gardasil, Teva Speciality Pharmaceuticals, Playtex Baby Care and Durex, among others.

Our newly-launched sports practice won new assignments from the PGA Tour, The National Hockey League, The National Rodeo League and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Our corporate social responsibility practice landed key relationships with Seventh Generation and Whole Foods.

Organic growth was robust with clients such as P&G, the Darden Restaurant Group, Genentech and Boehringer Ingelheim. We helped Dell manage the largest recall in the history of the electronics industry, earning us our industry's most prestigious honor, the Silver Anvil Award. The group also helped Dell create an exciting global movement called “Re-Generation.'

We played an important role in supporting the successful cross-Group pitch for Dell's highly-contested global marketing communications business, and we will be a part of the team that is forming the new, fully integrated agency to serve Dell globally.

To reflect our global commitment to media neutrality and idea-driven work, we re-branded the company with the mantra “Change Rules.' This positioning reflects the dynamic changes in the marketplace and our determination to change how we and our clients do business. Our newly launched website, developed internally, was touted by PRWeek as the top “agency site that awed in 2007.' We also were named one of The Holmes Report's Best Agencies to Work For.

In 2008, we will build on these successes and invest in new resources in the areas of creativity and ideation, digital media, measurement and employee development. We'll also expand our relationships with our partners such as Grey, Cohn & Wolfe, Visible Technologies and Schematic, along with others in the WPP family.