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Report by Bob Jeffrey (below) Worldwide chairman and chief executive officer

Bob Jeffrey

JWT creates ideas that people want to spend time with. And more so than ever, time is the currency defining which brands are successful in today’s complex, multi-channel, always-on world.

In a fragile global economic environment – with 2010 being a year of transition out of recession – our single-minded focus on creating ideas that people want to spend time with drove our growth.

Last year also garnered industry honors. We had our best-ever performance at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival – 42 Lions – with awards earned for many key global clients, reflecting the breadth of creative talent across the network. Among our Lions: work for Kimberly-Clark and HSBC (via London); Nestlé Kit Kat (via New Zealand); Heineken (via Milan); Ford (via Argentina); and a coveted Titanium Lion for Microsoft (via New York).

We also saw stellar results at the Effie Awards for effective marketing – recognition for delivering campaigns that get results. JWT scored a Grand Effie for Nestlé work out of Australia, as well as a slew of Gold Effies: two for Ford out of Team Detroit; two for JWT New York for work on Schick Quattro and HSBC; as well as awards for the U.S. Marines (via Atlanta); Johnson & Johnson Listerine (via Budapest); and Nestlé (via Peru).

In 2010, we added new clients to our roster, representing a broad range of industries including the technology and media sectors – Bloomberg in the US and Comcel in Colombia – and telecommunications, with Airtel in India. We also won dedicated digital accounts for Rimmel Coty and Simponi. Retail reigned strong; we added mammoth retail chain Pernambucanas in Brazil and Levi’s unique second brand dENiZEN in Hong Kong.

We successfully launched Bing, Microsoft’s decision engine, in North America and the UK and further expanded our relationship with Microsoft into Brazil and China, focusing on their Genuine Windows product. We also saw growth on Mazda, by taking on its North America communication business.

 Over the past year we have taken significant steps to ensure that digital is an organic and integral part of what everyone does at JWT 

Kraft, an 87-year-old client, became even bigger with the purchase of Cadbury (a client for 35 years). The combined company includes some of the world’s most famous brands, including Philadelphia, Jacobs and Trident. Meanwhile, we continued to successfully nurture and revitalize enduring relationships with Bayer, Kellogg’s, Rolex, Royal Caribbean and Vodafone.

Increasing fragmentation in the advertising industry is making it more difficult for clients to keep their focus on the long-term, strategic building of their brands. One key to our success is the push by David Eastman, JWT’s worldwide digital director, to put interactivity and multi-channel thinking at the heart of the network. In early 2010, David was appointed CEO of JWT North America, marking the first time a large agency placed a digital native – in David’s case, one with nearly 15 years’ experience at interactive companies – in a key leadership role.

Underlying our strategy to multiply our digital dexterity is the concept of ‘Hire, Acquire, Educate’, and over the past year we have taken significant steps to ensure that digital is an organic and integral part of what everyone does at JWT. The digital talent we have attracted runs from creative technologists and user-experience design experts to branded entertainment and analytics. And these individuals are baking digital in at the idea-conception stage.

We also acquired Digitaria, a 100-person, award-winning digital shop in San Diego, with a strong media/telecommunications client base (including DreamWorks, ESPN, FOX Corp., the National Football League and Qualcomm). Additional acquisitions in Brazil underscore our commitment to high-growth markets and recognize the significant skills that exist there: the full-service digital shop Midia Digital and SEO specialists i-Cherry bolster our digital expertise across the network.

We’re seeing the fruits of our labor with more creative work that captures people’s attention and greatly extends their time spent with our clients’ brands. From expanding use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Zynga to engage consumers with Unilever Lux, to developing innovative new ways to efficiently connect the next two billion mobile users across markets for Nokia, our commitment to create ideas that engage consumers anywhere and everywhere was evident.

Some additional highlights of our work in 2010:

  • Developed a spectacularly innovative multi-channel campaign for Diageo, the ‘Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project’. Incubated and executed in a collaborative global think tank, the campaign joined – and physically swapped – the nightlife experiences of 14 countries in an evening of unique entertainment, propelling our relationship with Diageo into new territory.
  • Rolled out Shell’s new global campaign, ‘Let’s Go’, across channels into a truly multi-discipline communications platform, with extremely positive results across the globe.
  • Launched Energizer Schick’s Hydro Razor in the US in April, with sales results in this competitive category exceeding expectations; the European and Asian launches in Q4 saw similarly impressive results.
  • Extended our ‘Yes, Virginia’ campaign in its second year for Macy’s department store into branded merchandise, DVD sales, window display installations and a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We’re also pioneering digital in the retail environment with an industry first: delivering consumer-oriented video content via mobile phones using QR codes in-store at Macy’s.

In an important move to fully leverage a global footprint, we’re using innovative technology to break down barriers, enabling us to crowdsource talent within our own network of nearly 10,000 employees, and work faster and leaner through virtual environments.

 We’re seeing the fruits of our labor with more creative work that captures people’s attention and greatly extends their time spent with our clients’ brands 

Collaboration and communication are the core objectives of these efforts, making it more efficient, for example, to get an SEO expert from Brazil to work with a digital creative team in Europe, on a blue-chip global client. That is the true power of a global network spanning 200-plus offices in more than 90 countries, among them the emerging BRIC markets and up-and-coming Next 11, where we have had thriving presences for decades.

And to ensure that we never rest on our past performance, we monitor our client relationships via a unique agency appraisal system, ensuring client feedback reaches critical stakeholders to protect and nurture our client base.

Looking ahead to 2011, as consumers spend time with an increasing number of channels and media, JWT will be in all of those areas with outstanding creative, engaging content, pure entertainment, and ideas people want to spend time with.

It will be a year to get things done. I’m not talking about activation – we’ve already achieved that – but rather bringing to life all of our great ideas, plans, discussions and concepts. Now is the time to DO, and as JWT nears its 150th year in the business, I’m thrilled about leading the entire JWT family in these exciting times.