Arnold is a secondary advertising brand within Havas. Previously "Arnold Worldwide", it now operates almost exclusively in North America from a single office in Boston. 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. A more sustained turnaround after 2014 was followed by a renewed slump in 2018. The agency's "underperformance" was repeatedly cited during that year by ultimate parent Vivendi as the main contributor to poor numbers from the Havas marketing division. That led to several changes of management. Eventually, former retail marketing executive Kiran Smith was appointed as CEO in summer 2018, reporting to Havas USA chairman Paul Marobella. Smith lasted only 18 months before herself leaving in 2019; Marobella departed in 2020. George Sargent is now CEO of Arnold. Sean McBride replaced Icario Doria in 2019 as chief creative officer. For 2019, Advertising Age estimated total revenues for Arnold of $74m, including $58m in the US. A very substantial part of that total relates to auto insurer Progressive, Arnold's biggest client by far.
Capsule checked 5th March 2021
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Historical profile information for Arnold
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Jan 2018: Ads of the Week: "Piggy". We love the new US campaign for Santander Bank, from Arnold Worldwide, which features some fabulous character design and animation for its central character, a lost piggy bank. It's interesting to contrast the bank's more adventurous marketing in the US and Spain from the rather run-of-the-mill approach it takes in the UK.
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Mar 2017: Havas-owned Arnold announced the departure of chief creative officer Jim Elliott, recruited from Y&R two years ago. He will not be directly replaced, and work will instead be handled by the agency's individual executive directors in Boston and New York.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Sep 2016: Ads of the Week "Our Town". The latest campaign from Arnold Worldwide for Jack Daniel's is great. It has almost nothing to do with whiskey and everything to do with tradition, heritage and community spirit. We're not sure it will get anyone to drink more Jack, but it will almost certainly make you think more positively about this famous American icon. A very nice angle on a familiar brand, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Feb 2016: Ads of the Week "My Dad". Hershey's hasn't previously been known for the excellence of its creative work, but a new(ish) marketing chief and the arrival of some edgier shops onto the roster has clearly inspired longtime partner Arnold Worldwide. To launch a new unified strategy to embrace all the company's Hershey's-branded products, it's delivered this veritable gem, a lovely and heart-warming little film which wholly merits its extended running time. Hershey's, we still hate the taste of your chocolate; but we really love your ad.
Adbrands Weekly Update 7th May 2015: The falling Euro helped Havas achieve record growth for 1Q, with reported revenues soaring by almost 21% to €469m. However, unlike its domestic rival Publicis whose growth was generated almost entirely by acquisition and exchange rates, Havas also delivered a strong underlying performance. At 7.1%, the organic lift was better than any of the other major groups. North America was the star performer at 10.2% and CEO Yannick Bollore took pains to highlight the turnaround at second-string advertising Arnold. "All our North America businesses are doing well," he said, "but Arnold is the strongest shift, from declining to star performer with double-digit growth.
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