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

Report by Bob Jeffrey

As JWT approaches its 150th anniversary in 2014, we continue to redefine what it means to be a global network in the 21st century. Our pioneering spirit, fortified by the breadth and depth of talent and knowledge across our global network, has helped us maintain many enduring relationships: Unilever (108 years), Kraft (88 years), Kimberly-Clark (83 years), Kellogg’s (80 years), Ford (66 years), Rolex (65 years), J&J (50 years), Shell (49 years) and Bayer (14 years). It also has translated into winning creative and substantial business in new categories across the globe, including mobile/telecoms (Nokia and Vodafone) and financial services and technology (HSBC and Bloomberg, and Microsoft in Brazil and China). 

And the pioneering continues. In 2011, under the guidance of Fernando Vega-Olmos, chairman of JWT’s Worldwide Creative Council, we won 49 Cannes Lions and earned a spot as one of the top five agencies in the Festival. We also made history by bringing home the first-ever Grand Prix award for Mainland China for our work on Samsonite after a similar feat at JWT India for the Times of India three years ago. Our performance significantly contributed to WPP’s ranking as the top holding company of the year at Cannes. This momentum continues to fuel our desire to look towards the future and innovate as the industry evolves. 

Two forces are shaping our culture – technology and geography. Our strategy for 2012 and beyond, developed with our worldwide planning director Guy Murphy, is a belief that, correctly executed, blending technological innovation with international imagination will give us a competitive advantage. In other words, the route to great work – and therefore growth – for our biggest clients is embracing a philosophy we call ‘worldmade’. In short, at JWT, we make things inspired by the world.

Worldmade permeates everything we do, and is the foundation and inspiration for the creation of dotJWT. dotJWT is the operating system that unites all of our digital expertise, both in our specialist agencies and within JWT, and connects them internationally to solve client problems. dotJWT encompasses nearly 2,000 specialists, nine+ agency brands, 20+ locations and more than 100 clients. 

dotJWT is the operating system that unites all of our digital expertise, both in our specialist agencies and within JWT, and connects them internationally to solve client problems

We’ve already seen success with dotJWT across a number of our key global brands including Unilever’s Lux, J&J’s Zyrtec, Energizer/Schick and HSBC. We are Google’s biggest customer in Brazil, an Adobe development partner in Singapore, New York and San Diego, and help manage HSBC’s online presence across the globe. 

Non-traditional marketing is the fastest-growing segment of our industry, and now accounts for a growing percentage of our revenues. Our work on ‘activating’ global campaigns such as Nokia’s Lumia launch is further testament to the power of our global network.

We’ve further fortified our non-traditional capabilities by increasing investment in shopper marketing. In 2011, we acquired Lunchbox, a premier player in this space. Lunchbox has led innovation in sales and marketing platforms for retailers by connecting brands to millions of hard-to-reach customers. This is just one example of JWT’s latest best-in-breed acquisitions as the agency continues to add capabilities that will bolster our offerings in growing markets and sectors. 

Below is an update from the senior executives of our regions. 


Michael Maedel, president, JWT Asia Pacific

Although Asia was buffeted by the European debt crisis and US economic slowdown of 2011, the region’s economies remained relatively strong. Our revenues in this region continued to grow, reflecting the growth of our clients’ interest and investment in BRIC and the Next 11 markets. Internet and mobile phone penetration rates are soaring, even in the region’s least-developed markets. To leverage this trend, JWT has expanded the footprint of XM Asia Pacific in key Southeast Asian markets, and in October 2011 agreed to acquire A4A, one of China’s most dynamic digital marketing agencies. XM will continue to strengthen its regional presence through additional acquisitions. 

India remains one of our strongest markets through our diversified offerings of mainstream, digital, design and activation capabilities. Talent development is at the forefront of our strategy. Recent hires include creative heavyweight Bobby Pawar as chief creative officer and managing partner for India, Bindu Sethi as chief strategy officer and Max Hegerman as head of digital, adding fresh momentum to the advertising agency’s formidable presence in the market. Client relationships continue to be strong, especially our penetration in every category with India’s market leaders – the most admired multinational companies and India’s finest in a bluest-of-blue chip line up.

India remains one of our strongest markets through our diversified offerings of mainstream, digital, design and activation capabilities

JWT notched up a number of key ‘firsts’ for China’s ad industry in 2011, helping raise the bar in one of the world’s most important and competitive advertising markets. JWT Shanghai won the prestigious Grand Prix Lion at Cannes for its ‘Heaven and Hell’ print ad campaign for Samsonite – the first-ever Grand Prix awarded for Mainland China. The team also won China’s first-ever Grand LIA, for the same campaign, at the London International Awards. That ad took home numerous other awards in 2011: The Gunn Report named ‘Heaven and Hell’ the most-awarded print ad in the world in 2011.

Lo Sheung Yan, JWT’s North East Asia executive creative director, was also selected by the Cannes Lions committee to lead the Outdoor ad jury in 2012 – becoming the first jury chair from China in the history of Cannes.

North America

David Eastman, chief executive officer, JWT North America

North America has enjoyed considerable success in expanding our relationship with Nestlé by winning the Lean Cuisine business. Additionally, the Corporation for Travel Promotion – now Brand USA – named JWT agency of record to lead America’s first global campaign to create a marketing and promotion program to compete for international visitors and the job creation and economic growth they bring.

We have seen continued success with Macy’s ongoing ‘Believe’ platform and the continuation of Diageo’s powerful ‘Nightlife Exchange’ efforts for the Smirnoff brand. 

In addition, North America has significantly bolstered management by hiring two of our industry’s most innovative, forward-thinking leaders. Jeff Benjamin, chief creative officer, JWT North America, is the most-awarded digital creative in the industry. Mike Geiger, chief integration officer, JWT North America, is famous for delivering cutting-edge technological innovation on a massive scale. Additionally, Perry Fair takes the helm as chief creative officer, JWT Atlanta, to steer our U.S. Marines account, one of JWT’s longest-standing relationships (65 years). 

South America

Stefano Zunino, chief executive officer, JWT Group Brazil
James Evans, chief executive officer, JWT Latin America & Caribbean

JWT Brazil was the third most-awarded Brazilian agency at Cannes and is considered one of the top creative operations in our network. Approximately 35% of our business in this region is digital and growing. In 2011 we were awarded a prestigious global assignment from Johnson & Johnson for their 2014 FIFA World Cup sponsorship.

Additionally, JWT Brazil launched Agência CASA, the result of a successful merger of two agencies – Digital Media and RMG Connect. Agência CASA is currently the country’s largest buyer of digital media in internet search engines.

JWT Latin America had a great year in 2011, bringing in 12 Cannes Lions in different categories across Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Colombia and Puerto Rico. Two of our creative leaders, Manuel Techera and Jaime Rosado, have been selected as leading creative talent, according to leading publication Adlatina.

Team Ford Latam has had an impressive start developing global ideas for two key nameplates as well as a regional idea to deploy the new Ford brand promise. This is a great example of WPP companies working together to add value to the Ford brand in the region.

Our strategy to become stronger with local clients is producing good results, winning business from leading brands such as Telmex and CPTM in Mexico, and AT&T and Banco Popular in Puerto Rico.

UK and continental Europe

Toby Hoare, chairman and chief executive officer, JWT UK & Europe

The European market remains challenging. However there are positive signs of growth in some markets, notably Russia, which has experienced growth with multinationals, including Bayer HealthCare, Johnson & Johnson and Nokia. Turkey had significant success with its appointment to the Turkcell business. There were other encouraging wins in Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. JWT London has been appointed by the Ministry of Defence to oversee the entire integrated advertising business for the British Army’s recruitment account. 

The majority of our offices are focused on organic growth driven by digital investment. This has already paid off with significant digital projects from our multinational clients. JWT’s shopper offering has also been rolled out to key European markets, and we have identified this as an area of potential growth. There has also been considerable progress building dotJWT.

The London office has focused on growing revenue from existing clients. At the start of this year a new management structure, a three-way partnership, was put in place. The three executive partners have ambitious plans for new business, and we expect to see positive signs of growth from London in 2012.

Middle East and Africa

Roy Haddad, chief executive officer, JWT Middle East/Africa

The African Development Bank estimates that the African middle class, those earning between $4 and $20 a day, will increase to 1.1 billion by 2060 – the year when JWT will be 196 years old. This middle class will account for 42% of the continent’s population. The International Monetary Fund has forecast economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa at 5.25% this year and 5.75% next year, beating the global average of 4% each year.

But Africa still presents challenges. About 61% of the continent’s population still lives on less than $2 a day. Notwithstanding the fact that many consumers live far from urban areas and roads are often sketchy – at best – and the supply network often falls short.

JWT has been a pioneer in Africa since 1927... We are today aggressively pursuing this great opportunity through an innovative approach that will see us operating through five hubs that will offer marketing solutions to multinational and local clients alike

JWT has been a pioneer in Africa since 1927, having opened an office in Alexandria, Egypt, that year and another in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 1928. We are today aggressively pursuing this great opportunity through an innovative approach that will see us operating through five hubs that will offer marketing solutions to multinational and local clients alike. Already we are present in more than 12 African countries, regrouped under these five hubs.

Our ‘Back to the Future’ pioneering spirit will allow us to access the consumer through a combination of traditional communication activities while using new technologies such as mobile geo-location in addition to field sampling. With its near 150-year history, no agency is better poised to use this ‘old and new’ approach to deliver results to our clients across the continent.


JWT is soon to be 150 years old, and we are very proud to have such a long, rich and exciting history. But it is not passive appreciation; we are aggressively working to expand our services, geographies and capabilities. In today’s ‘two-speed world’ – where some countries continue to grow at breakneck speed and other, more mature markets have levelled off – ‘worldmade’, dotJWT and our continued focus on non-traditional capabilities are allowing us to optimize opportunities and grow. We are confident that we are positioned to meet the challenges of 2012 with continued growth, innovation and success on behalf of our clients.

Back to top