ABR 2011: Wunderman

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Daniel Morel
Daniel Morel

: Daniel Morel, 
chairman and CEO

: Young & Rubicam Brands (WPP Group)

: 148 wholly owned 
globally; 31 in US

: Blast Radius, 
Designkitchen, KBM Group, Futurecom
, Zaaz, RTCRM
Global revenue
: $900 million-plus

After more than a half-century in business, the agency founded by pioneers Lester and Irving Wunderman, Ed Ricotta and Henry Kline remains an industry heavyweight. Wunderman's offering spans the full range of direct marketing services, including CRM and digital. Aside from its subsidiaries, the agency also has specialty units such as Wunderman Motorsports and Wunderman Healthcare. It is also investing heavily in digital and mobile platforms. Last year, 70% of its global work was rooted in digital, the firm boasts.


Daniel Morel, chairman and CEO of the agency network, says Wunderman has benefitted from the trend away from one-way advertising toward "two-way communication." Yet he sees that trend impacting even the traditional marketing channels for the better. 

"I still have great hopes in TV, and it will change immensely and it will become more interactive and connected to the Web or phone," says Morel. "As you have a lot of interaction, it means it will be embedded into all of the communication that we do."

Morel adds that Wunderman also has an eye on mobile marketing. "If you look at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 68,000 people attended. Only 27,000 attended the most recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas," he says. "That's three times as many people, and it is much more difficult to get there [than Las Vegas]." 


The agency's key clients include Microsoft Corp., Nokia, Ford Motor Co., Burger King, Citigroup and Kraft Foods. It added Autobytel, CVS Caremark, Kodak and Johnson & Johnson's CNS franchise, among others to its client list last year. It expanded work on Microsoft, Nokia and Telefónica. Wunderman lost Toshiba's $25 million consumer electronics account to Goodness Mfg. in November, as well as some of its Dell account earlier this year. 


Wunderman's highest profile personnel loss in the past year was former COO and vice chairman David Sable's move to the global CEO position at its parent company, Young & Rubicam (Y&R). Sable continues to run "Team Microsoft," the cross-agency group that oversees marketing for the Redmond, Wash.-based company across various WPP firms. The agency's top four global leaders, Morel, Sable, EVP of global talent management Bill Manfredi and CFO Peter Law-Gisiko have worked together for more than a decade.


Although Wunderman will not release its exact revenue figures, holding company WPP Group cited the agency for its performance in numerous earnings reports, saying it earned more than $900 million in 2010 revenue. The company grew revenues 11% globally and 10% in the US in 2010. It also reported that Asia and Latin America saw growth of 47% and 30%, respectively. 

The agency also created a number of notable campaigns in the past year, as it continues to distinguish itself as a separate entity from parent company Y&R. After winning Microsoft's consolidated direct marketing account in 2009, it launched the Xbox 360 Kinect gaming system with a sponsorship of Justin Bieber's 2010 world tour. n


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