Magazine article ADWEEK

Powered by Benett, Arnold Hits Its Stride: Under the Global CEO's Watch, the Agency Has Yielded Some Buzz and Solid Growth, with Much of It Coming from New Accounts

Magazine article ADWEEK

Powered by Benett, Arnold Hits Its Stride: Under the Global CEO's Watch, the Agency Has Yielded Some Buzz and Solid Growth, with Much of It Coming from New Accounts

Article excerpt

Whether opening a new overseas office, meeting with CMOs or pitching an account, Arnold global CEO Andrew Benett shifts gears and multitasks with ease, often at a relentless pace. Even in casual conversation, he's intense, focused. "Every word is purposeful," said Con Williamson, a former colleague and chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi New York.

As Benett himself put it, only half jokingly, "I have ADD, so maybe biometrically, I'm impatient."

Since Benett joined Arnold in January 2009 from Euro RSCG, the Havas agency's revenue has grown 32 percent to an estimated $310 million, with about 80 percent of the growth coming from new accounts, including Dell, CVS, Alberto Culver, Aetna and New Balance. The shop has expanded to four overseas cities (Amsterdam, Sydney, Shanghai and Sao Paulo), and its work for Jack Daniel's, Carnival Cruise Lines and Progressive has generated buzz and industry recognition.

On the second anniversary of taking the reins, Benett clearly has plenty to be proud of and, like any agency, more to prove. The shop has fallen short in some bigger reviews, such as United Continental last year. "They need to win a big one to really break through," an agency search consultant noted.

That said, Arnold has momentum and a currency that it lacked under Benett's predecessor, Fran Kelly. Other consultants credit Benett--a strategic planner who previously held top posts at Euro RSCG and FutureBrand--and the digital and creative talent that his agency has added on his watch. …

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