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Penny Machines

oil on canvas
22 x 20 in

Penny Machines
oil on canvas
23¾ x 29¾ in

Stack of Books
oil on canvas
30 x 24 in

Seven Suckers
oil on canvas
19 x 23 in

Twin Jackpots
oil on canvas
30 x 46 in

oil on canvas
20 x 26 in

Cake Slices
oil on canvas
20 x 16 in


Report by Charles Courtier (below)
Chief executive officer

Charles Courtier

Our business, our clients’ business and the industry were under tremendous pressure in 2009. Much of that pressure was shouldered by our people across MEC and we had to go the extra mile in so many ways. We have pitched, defended, re-structured, re-planned, re-negotiated and carried a massive extra workload…in many cases, just to stand still. It was tough.

For most of us it is not a year we would want to repeat. And we don’t plan to. But I am very proud of how our people dealt with the difficulties of 2009. I thank them wholeheartedly for all their efforts, the extra work, the difficult decisions, their patience and perseverance. Whilst I don’t think that 2010 is going to be easy, I am certain that it will be a much better year than 2009. Understanding there is a long way to go, I believe the worst is over.

Despite all the challenges we faced, MEC had cause to celebrate major successes around the network.

Overall we added approximately $1 billion in new billings in 2009. The roll-call of wins is long but to name a few: we won Mercedes Benz in Germany; Lloyds Banking Group in the UK; Toyota in Argentina; Activision Blizzard; Singapore Tourism and Singapore Airlines globally; Telkomsel in Indonesia; retained IKEA in a number of markets, including Sweden and China; and we retained Danone in the UK and Turkey and won it in Russia and Mexico.

We made good progress in delivering an integrated product, with specialists working together to deliver seamless and compelling campaigns for our clients. And this was reflected locally with some stunning industry accolades in the UK (which made a clean sweep of all the Agency of the Year titles), in Poland (named Digital Agency of the Year among others) and we were named Agency of the Year in Italy and Hungary. We also racked up some great awards for our work, demonstrating how we add real value to our clients’ business. ‘Let’s Grow’ for Morrisons from MEC London was our stand-out work of 2009, winning a Cannes Lion and the IPA Effectiveness Grand Prix.

So how do we approach 2010?

With a renewed focus on growth. In this marketplace, sourcing growth is paramount. This is not just about new business but ensuring that we develop the fastest-growing markets and help our clients drive their business back to growth.

We are defining our future ambition for a new decade and ensuring we have the right organizational structure to deliver it. We must be digitally-led, commercially fit, client-centric and deliver an integrated product as ‘One MEC’.

This is why we expanded our global management roles by naming Mel Varley as our chief strategy officer, Caroline Foster Kenny our chief client officer and Alastair Aird added the role of chairman EMEA to his COO duties.

The acceleration of our digital and data capabilities is clearly crucial to our future. We have developed significantly here, but the need to invest and prioritize our front-end capabilities – especially search/SEO, social media and performance – continues unabated.

Keeping up with this pace of change means our business has an insatiable appetite for new skills and talent. We need a talent strategy that matches this ambition; one that develops and trains new digital, analytics and insight skills for the organization.

We’ve come through a very turbulent year in good shape for the future. Already the early signs show a much improved outlook across all parts of our business. We start 2010 in confident mood.

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