ABR 2011: Arc Worldwide

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William Rosen
William Rosen

: William Rosen, president and chief creative officer,
North America

: Leo Burnett (Publicis Groupe)

: 35 wholly owned globally;
3 in US


ARC has been operating as the marketing services arm of Publicis' storied Leo Burnett agency since the two were brought under the same roof in 2006. They are kept separate enough to avoid conflicts with global clients, such as Coca-Cola and McDonald's. It offers digital, retail/shopper, promotion and direct and database functions; its leading verticals are consumer packaged goods, quick service restaurants and beverages. 

Arc is expanding its e-commerce capabilities for clients, such as Procter & Gamble, which has moved into online sales.

"That practice area where digital and shopping intercept is a growing area for us," says North America president William Rosen.


Arc didn't win or lose any major accounts in 2010, but it spent the year focusing on accounts won in 2009, such as Walgreens, and integrating organic growth from its own accounts.

"It's reaching a point where the business gets challenging, because when you have a McDonald's, you can't touch anyone else in that category," says Rosen.


Headcount grew to 1,760 last year, up from 1,423 in 2009. One notable defection was executive VP/executive creative director Kevin Flatt. The agency has opted not to fill his position.


Rosen says the firm's revenues grew by double-digit percentages, and notes that digital accounts are turning into cross-channel work. He points to Arc's Whirlpool business, a digital account that has evolved into the lead above-the-line and through-the-line agency for the Whirlpool and Maytag brands. "That is a big step forward for Arc," says Rosen.

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