ABR 2011: Draftfcb

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Laurence Boschetto
Laurence Boschetto

: Laurence Boschetto, CEO and president

: Interpublic Group of Companies

: 87 wholly owned globally; 14 in US

: Dailey & Associates,
Draftfcb Healthcare, Hacker Group, ID Media

: Global: $550 million; 
US: $325 million

The past 12 months have represented the greatest industry transformation that Draftfcb CEO Laurence Boschetto says he has ever seen. Technology, he explains, is radically changing consumer behavior as society increasingly becomes more open and public. "Any major agency has to be able to deliver real-time marketing communication," he says, detailing the industry's changes. "Our model is distinctive and unique because it's about understanding consumer lives in an integrated world, and understanding that each discipline is interdependent on the other disciplines."


Draftfcb brands itself as a full-service shop with capabilities in data strategy, CRM, digital, experiential and even multicultural marketing. At its core, it prides itself on integrating those services with creative imagery to develop emotional connections with consumers, says Boschetto. "We need to be a great idea company balanced with hard metrics," he says.


Draftfcb had a healthy 2010, winning more than 218 pieces of new business around the world. It was hired as CRM AOR for Electronic Arts and Volkswagen. Digital account wins included Dockers and Taco Bell, and retail account wins included Kikkoman and Sony. 

The highlight of the year, says Boschetto, was the Beiersdorf, makers of Nivea, global portfolio win. "Beiersdorf wanted to consolidate their business with one agency," he explains. "We developed a platform and a single creative idea for their 100th anniversary...the sense of team and operating on a global scale with no silos and no turf wars was a great thing."

The agency suffered a few setbacks as well, including SC Johnson putting its global marketing services work up for review and Kraft pulling roughly 25% of existing Draftfcb creative duties, including work with Jello, Cool Whip and Planters.

"You never like to lose business, especially from a client you revere so much," says Boschetto.


The agency has 9,200 staff around the globe and nearly 3,500 in the US. The company hired more than 450 people within the past 12 months, and one of those was its first global CMO, Debra Coughlin. The agency also promoted Tom O'Keefe to the newly created role of North American executive creative director. It hired Liz Deutch as EVP and global director of customer engagement and Michael Leis as VP and management director for the digital division, among others. 

"We need [staff who] can talk about branding and advertising as fluently as CRM and direct mail," Boschetto says. 


Draftfcb generated more than $550 million globally in 2010, with more than $325 million from the US. The first quarter of 2011 represented the company's 13th consecutive quarter of growth. 

"In 2009, when the market dropped...we had 3% growth," says Boschetto. "In 2010, the market rebounded...and we had more than 10% growth."

The agency strategically focuses on nine markets — Brazil, China, India, Chicago, New York, South Africa, Middle East, Germany and UK — and it says all regions are growing. In 2011, it acquired London-based digital agency Blue Barracuda, which it is merging with its London office.


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