Young & Rubicam Brands


Daniel Morel, Chairman and chief executive officer

Report by Daniel Morel (above)
Chairman and chief executive officer

After 50 years in business, there isn’t a better credo for marketers to embrace today than something said long ago: ‘If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.’ Lester Wunderman not only understood these words, he energized them with action and founded our agency, and an entire industry on the basis of creating communication that sells. This is especially relevant for our clients who, in turbulent times, must continue to invest to keep current customers and retain their competitive edge.

In 2008, we celebrated our first 50 years not by looking back but by looking ahead to a future that has never been more welcoming – or in greater need – of measurable, accountable advertising. We invigorated our brand with a new look that signals that Wunderman (and its 20+ companies) continues to embrace the challenges and opportunities of the ever-connected, mobile consumer – so does our constant effort to expand our presence and data and internet resources.

KnowledgeBase Marketing went global, extending its reach to Latin America, Europe and Asia. We completed four acquisitions: AGENDA (Asia), Actis (Russia), Designkitchen (US) and Kassius (France); they join digital powerhouses Aqua Online, Blast Radius, These Days and ZAAZ to form the backbone of our global digital infrastructure. The strength and power of what we’ve built is best realized in Wunderman’s substantial role in Deliver, WPP’s digital production network that gains efficiency by channeling work to low-cost digital hubs.

While our agency network is big and wide reaching, clients value our ability to operate seamlessly. They respect the science we apply to the customer experience because measuring results online – or in any channel – delivers better business outcomes. They value our record of attracting, training and sustaining the right talent and welcome our newest leaders: Christoph Stadeler as head of our global automotive business and Niland Mortimer, who leads our San Francisco operations.

Key clients like Microsoft, Ford, Citi and Nokia, and new accounts including Southwest Airlines, AT&T and Novartis, have put their faith in our ability to deliver sophisticated campaigns better than our competitors anywhere in the world.

Wunderman was particularly successful in Asia, where we infused the region with data, digital and creative talent that enhanced our ability to serve growing Microsoft and Nokia business in Japan, India, China and Korea. In three years, Latin America has quadrupled in size and transformed into a world-class digital network. Growth stems from expanding relationships with anchor clients including Colgate, Diageo (JW Red Label), Microsoft and Telefonica.

What draws clients in is our unique ability to be both local and global. Campaigns emerge from best practices and efficiencies gained as a global network. We blend our global presence with an acute understanding that all relationships are local.

Aware of the challenging economy, we head to 2009 on track to break the billion-dollar mark. We know how to reach this milestone: balance our power, size, network resources and digital expertise with local insight, execution, innovation and nimble response.