Report by Charles Courtier (below)Chief executive officer

Report by Charles Courtier

MEC delivered double-digit growth again in 2011. We added more than $1 billion in new billings for the second year running. Much of this growth was characterised by a successful run in new business in local markets.

Key wins included: Marriott International globally; BUPA, Everything Everywhere and the Department of Health in the UK; Loteria y Apuestas in Spain; Hollard Insurance Group in South Africa; SIBA in Sweden; Henkel in Poland; Ahold in the Netherlands; and Allianz in Australia. 

We also have key clients fuelling our growth – IKEA, KFC, Chanel and Colgate all had significant growth in 2011. Our focus on the work manifested itself in an excellent run of awards success. We won over 90 external awards around the network, double our previous record. These included Agency of the Year in Poland, UK, Portugal and Czech Republic, as well as a stunning six Effies in Poland.

MEC in EMEA and Latin America are, according to RECMA, those regions’ fastest-growing agencies. Special kudos goes to MEC Latin America for again being our fastest-growing region, for the third year running. 

We made a number of important management changes this year. A new management team is in place in North America, with Marla Kaplowitz at the helm. MEC North Europe chairman Tom George joined our global executive committee. We strengthened our strategic resources in Asia Pacific as well as installing a new management team in China. We also made positive leadership changes in Spain, Russia, Italy and the UK.

Our fastest-growing resources are in data and digital, particularly social and mobile, and we continue to invest heavily in these areas

In June we gathered together as a management team, 250 of our top people, for our Global Conference in San Francisco. We engaged with the Silicon Valley companies that are doing so much to change the world of communications. In fact, we were the largest group that Google had ever hosted at their Mountain View headquarters. We got inspired and challenged ourselves to accelerate change. 

Keeping pace with this communications landscape continues to occupy most of our waking hours. Our ability to provide strategic leadership to our clients in this environment is paramount.

Our fastest-growing resources are in data and digital, particularly social and mobile, and we continue to invest heavily in these areas.

Despite the difficult economic conditions in Western Europe and the US, 2011 was a successful year for MEC. Ultimately that’s because of the efforts of all of our people, all around the world and the support of our clients and partners.

Our efforts include taking our corporate social responsibility seriously. This year over 20 countries created and managed CR programs for clients such as H&M, Colgate, China Light and Power, Citi, IKEA and The Salvation Army.

Looking at 2012, we’re off to a flying start, winning Scotts Miracle-Gro in the US and Lavazza across Europe. And with the Olympics we also predict a big year for MEC Access, our sport and entertainment division. 

So despite economic fragility we are cautiously confident about 2012. It happens to be MEC’s 10th anniversary too, so we intend to make it a year to remember and one to celebrate.

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