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ABR 2009: Draftfcb

“Direct is all about inciting an immediate action – try, engage, return – in a targeted group of people. There’s demand in the marketplace from the marketing community and the C-suite for greater accountability into all disciplines and practices, and direct has always been about accountability, the science of measurability and understanding consumer insights connected with building the brand.”
Laurence Boschetto, CEO/president

Draftfcb is a study in contradictions: It is old, if you consider its start in 1873 as an ad brokerage, but it is new in that Draft and fcb were just combined under parent Interpublic in 2006. It is a traditional advertising agency, strong in brand building, and it is a cutting-edge full-service direct agency, with capabilities in mobile, CRM, search and predictive analytics. Draftfcb prizes creative work, but also sticks to the data-driven basics of direct.

Year merged: Draft and fcb merged in 2006

Holding company: Interpublic Group of Companies

Headquarters: Chicago

How many offices: 100+

Web site: www.draftfcb.com

Major disciplines/capabilities: Traditional advertising, branding, digital, search, mobile, multicultural, direct, CRM, retail and promotions, customer specific marketing, media, strategic planning, experiential marketing, consumer healthcare, professional healthcare (via Draftfcb Healthcare)

Key accounts: State Farm, Gevalia, UHG (UnitedHealthcare Group), Paccar Parts, Centacor

Current agency challenges: “To continue to adapt while counseling clients through the current economic downturn,” says Boschetto. “Delivering more value – and results – to clients while closely monitoring and controlling our own expenses.”

Biggest 2009 industry trends: The agency sees continued interest in using online social networks to communicate offers and to act as response channels, as well as analytics to help marketers understand how to use social networks more effectively and to more accurately track response. It expects further study on the right metrics to use to determine effectiveness of various online media channels, as well as further experimentation with behavioral targeting in the online space. Greater integration of mobile media into direct marketing campaigns is expected, especially as a response channel, and the agency foresees more DRTV action, especially among “brand” advertisers.

Top executives: Laurence Boschetto, CEO/president; Howard Draft, executive chairman; Jonathan Harris, vice chairman and worldwide chief creative officer; Neil Miller, chief financial officer

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