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Arnold

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Arnold Worldwide is the secondary advertising brand within Havas. Despite the "worldwide" tag, it operates mainly in North America, and its international credentials have undergone several revisions since 2000. That year, the agency was given a global network with the bolt-on of several European shops also owned by the parent group. Further outposts in Latin America and Asia were added through acquisition, before another change of plan in 2003 led to Arnold being repositioned as a creative specialist in the US rather than a full global network. The agency's standing was dented somewhat in 2005 by the loss of its flagship Volkswagen account. It re-established itself in the automobile sector in 2007 with the Volvo account, but this too later departed. Performance has remained bumpy ever since.

Clients

Click here for an Arnold client listing from Adbrands Account Assignments

Competitors

See ranking of Leading Agency Brands Worldwide

Brands & Activities

Arnold operates as a separately branded unit within Havas's US division. Something of a questionmark hangs over the standalone brand, given the increased consolidation of Havas-branded offices worldwide. However, the group still operates several separately branded offices in France (such as BETC, Les Gaulois etc) so there is no reason why Arnold's semi-independence should be threatened provided it continues to hold onto important clients such as Progressive and Hershey's and adds new ones.

The agency enjoyed something of a comeback in the second half of the 2000s after a slump early in the decade. A key development was the capture of the Volvo automobile client in 2007, which finally made up for the loss of Volkswagen two years earlier. In 2009, Havas unveiled a new reporting structure under which Arnold, previously a standalone unit within the group, became part of Havas Worldwide, a new entity headed by then-Euro RSCG chief David Jones. Further adjustments to the agency's management team were followed by another worrying slump in 2013 and 2014, during which Arnold lost not only Volvo Cars, but also two other important clients, CVS and anti-smoking body Legacy. There were a few minor wins towards the end of the year; and new Havas group CEO Yannick Bollore highlighted what he said was a turnaround in performance during early 2015.

The Arnold Worldwide brand now operates as a fully integrated agency, under the umbrella of the Havas Village banner, combining traditional creative advertising with other services including promotions, direct and digital marketing. There are two full service agencies: the main agency in Boston, supported by Arnold Worldwide New York (previously known as Arnold McGrath, rebranded in 2003 following the retirement of founder Pat McGrath). A Los Angeles office was closed in 2005 after the loss of VW. Another in St Louis was shut down in 2006, and its Brown-Forman account transferred to Boston.

The group's marketing services units work alongside the main advertising agency under a single centralised management structure and P&L. The most notable unit in recent years has been Arnold Brand Promotions, a sales promotion and field marketing specialist which has grown rapidly since it was established in 1997. It was named promotions Agency of the Year in 2006 by US trade publication Promo. Others include PR unit Arnold Corporate Communications; direct marketing, interactive and design group Arnold One; and multicultural specialist Arnold Cultural Insights. In 2008 the agency agreed a strategic alliance with sports marketing agency TrinityOne. Multicultural shop Totality, established in New York in 2011 from the ashes of Euro RSCG Latino, proved less successful and was shuttered the following year. There is also representation in Canada in Toronto. However, the old Palm Arnold agency, later Palm+Havas, was absorbed into the main Havas Village operation.

Having spent several years during the 2000s winding down what was once a significant international footprint, Arnold changed strategy again in 2010, and has gradually re-established offices in key global markets. The most important of these is in London. A fledgling outpost opened in 2008 but was merged two years later with what had previously been a satellite of Euro RSCG to form Arnold KLP. That unit continued to operate as a through-the-line agency for several years until the end of 2016, when it merged with separate Havas-owned unit AIS. The resulting business was titled Field Day, and it now operates from the same offices as other Havas Village agencies in London.

There are also offices now in Amsterdam, Lisbon, Madrid and Prague. Arnold Milan, in Italy, is one of the oldest of these European units, left over from the previous international network.

In 2011, the agency re-established a presence in Australia, reabsorbing local shop The Furnace. That agency had been created in 2006 from the merger of the old Brandhouse Arnold shop in Australia with The Moult Agency. In 2011, The Furnace relaunched as Arnold Furnace. There is also a presence in Brazil and in China.

For 2016, Advertising Age estimated total revenues for Arnold of $123m, including $97m in the US.

Arnold Worldwide CEO Andrew Benett was promoted to president of the Havas Worldwide network at the beginning of 2013. He was succeeded at Arnold by Robert LePlae. Less than a year later though, shortly after the loss of the Volvo account, LePlae was out. Pam Hamlin, formerly managing partner of the Boston office, was appointed initially as global president, and was later upgraded to global CEO. She left the agency in summer 2018, to be replaced by Kiran Smith. Jim Elliott was poached from Y&R in early 2015 to become global chief creative officer. However he departed the group in early 2017 and was not replaced. Creative output was overseen for a while by a committee of executive creative directors in Boston and New York until the appointment of Icario Doria as chief creative officer. The Arnold team now reports in to Havas Creative USA CEO Paul Marobella.

Background

In its present form, Arnold is primarily the creation of Ed Eskandarian. During the 1980s, he was chairman & CEO of US agency Humphrey Browning MacDougall. This was acquired by UK shop WCRS in 1988, and Eskandarian spent some time there before leaving in 1990 to acquire Boston-based creative agency Arnold & Co. That business had been founded in 1946 by Arnold Rosoff, who built his agency into one of the city's leading ad agencies, not least by capturing the business of leading local clients such as Boston's McDonald's franchise operation and John Hancock financial services. He eventually retired from the business in the early 1980s, and it drifted for several years before being acquired by Eskandarian. (Rosoff died in 2009 at the age of 93).

Eskandarian continued the process started by Rosoff, building Arnold & Co from a major local agency into a national brand, acquiring a number of other shops including Emerson Lane Fortuna, Lawner Reingold Britton & Partners, and The Cabot Agency. By 1999 billings were just under $1bn. A key development came with the capture of the US Volkswagen account from DDB in 1995, despite the fact that Arnold had no experience in the car market. The agency was subsequently much applauded for its work on the launch of the New Beetle, and it was purchased by expanding marketing services group Snyder Communications in 1998. Shortly afterwards, Arnold acquired a UK outpost, Partners BDDH, for almost $28m in Snyder stock.

The growth of Snyder came to a halt in 2000 when it was acquired by Havas advertising. The French marketing group already operated a small second-string network in Europe under the name Campus. This was originally formed as a loose affiliation between five independently minded European agencies, although it had come to be dominated by British arm WCRS, which contributed around half of the mini-network's billings by 1999. Campus was hampered by two factors. Not only were the agencies within the network only very loosely affiliated, with no significant multi-national accounts, but more importantly there was no representation in the Americas. Havas set out to change this during 1999 and 2000. It acquired a 40% stake in Brazilian agency Age in late 1999, and then merged Campus with Arnold Communications under the new name of Arnold Worldwide Partners.

The selection of Arnold as lead brand firmly shifted the focus of the network into the American market. This positioning was strengthened with the acquisition of a first outpost in Canada, Vickers & Benson. The network was further bolstered in 2001, when Havas transferred New York-based Jordan McGrath Case across from Euro RSCG to Arnold Worldwide. Also that year, Havas rescued traditional ad agency McKinney & Silver from the ruins of failed internet consultancy MarchFirst, and acquired Simmons Durham, a St Louis agency best known for work on Jack Daniel's. Later the group acquired Australian agency Brandhouse Leonardi, and at the end of the year, Jordan McGrath Case was formally folded into the Arnold network, becoming Arnold McGrath.

The group received another boost in November 2001 following the break-up of Havas's Diversified Agencies Group. In the subsequent realignment of marketing services shops, Arnold was the main winner among the three Havas networks, taking over responsibility for highly regarded direct marketing agency Brann Worldwide, as well as a clutch of other shops. However Arnold's run of good fortune was dented in late 2002 when the network lost its toehold in the Procter & Gamble worldwide roster, following the FMCG giant's decision to consolidate its worldwide business with the Publicis Group and Grey Worldwide.

In 2003, Havas signalled that, following a further corporate restructuring, further expansion of the Arnold network was unlikely, and that the brand would serve as an alternative to main agency Euro RSCG only in "significant" markets. Most of the group's marketing services satellites, including Brann, were transferred across to Euro RSCG. UK agency Partners BDDH was merged into Euro RSCG UK, and the group's German arm Rempen & Partner was absorbed into Euro RSCG Germany. The following year, Havas sold its shareholding in London agency WCRS to management, while digital agency Arnold Interactive was sold to Media Square. Representation in Brazil through local agency Age was also terminated in 2004.

As a result of these changes, Arnold became almost entirely reliant on US business, and this suffered a big blow with the loss of its flagship Volkswagen account to creative hothouse Crispin Porter & Bogusky. Arnold was able to make up some of that loss with other accounts such as RadioShack and Hershey, and the rapid growth of the brand promotions unit, but the lack of an automobile account was a lasting sting. That changed with the capture of the global Volvo account, initially in partnership with Nitro. This led to the relaunch of an office in London in 2008, and another change of strategy. Having poached two of Nitro's top managers to run London, the agency began a push in 2010 to rebuild its global profile under newly appointed CEO Andrew Bennett, transferred from Euro RSCG.

Last full revision 19th May 2017

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