Congratulations to French/West/Vaughan, our partner based in Raleigh NC, who have just become North American Consumer Agency of the Year in the Holmes Report awards. As Paul Holmes says: "Some of the things cutting edge firms of today are doing—the expansion into paid media, for example—French/West/Vaughan was doing 15 years ago, when the then-Richard French & Associates acquired local creative shop French & Vaughan, a deal followed by acquisitions spanning licensing, multimedia content creation, and last year entertainment and Hispanic marketing. The result is the FWV has evolved into a $21 million public relations agency (fees were up 13% last year) that can provide a full-service integrated marketing capability to national clients such as Wrangler (a client since the day the firm opened its doors), ABB, Bassett Furniture, German coffee purveyor Melitta, and Berkshire Hathaway-owned Justin Boots, while providing highly-specialized services, most notably in the sports and western lifestyle categories, to clients including athletes and sporting bodies.
"A terrific example of what this means to clients is the firm’s 2015 work for Wrangler: faced with mainstream media lack of interest in professional rodeo, FWV helped principal sponsor Wrangler create its own media platform, the Wrangler Network, which has attracted 2.5 million unique viewers to the sport, and even attracted ad support. New business, meanwhile, came from Trailways, the national bus transit system; Paralyzed Veterans of America; Concord Hospitality, the nation's largest independent hotel management company; athletic shoe retailer Fleet Feet; and EA Sports; for its Need for Speed and FIFA 16 video games."
Pictured: Rick French
Kudos to our Dallas-based parner LDWWGroup, who were one of five finalists in the Corporate/B2B Agency of the Year category in the Holmes Report awards. Arun Sudhaman said: "Founded in early 2013 by Weber Shandwick and Hill+Knowlton Strategies veterans Ken Luce and Jody Venturoni, LDWWgroup hit the ground running, thanks its founders deep roots and strong relationships in the Texas public relations community. Partner Mike Flanagan—another Weber and H+K alum—leads the firm’s St Petersburg office and its Carnival Corporation business. The firm promises clients—its focus on challenger brands—an integrated approach, greater senior management involvement, and a more responsive working relationship, and is one of the few startups capable of combining marketing and corporate communications with public affairs and senior-level strategic counsel. All of this also includes a decidedly multinational bent — the firm’s work has included assignments in the US, China, the Dominican Republic, Europe and Yemen.
"In just three years, LDWW has grown to almost $6.5 million in fee income, up 40% last year. Interesting work has included some sensitive cross-border crisis counsel, which saw the firm win a Silver Anvil, and Best in Show, for its crisis recovery work on behalf of cruise line Carnival. The firm has also handled issues management for Bell Helicopter, along with the 2015 TransOceanic crisis in Yemen, and picked up SABRE Award nominations for its Carnival work; for its “Boycott Black Thursday” campaign for retailer GameStop; and for its wellness campaign on behalf of Omni Hotels.
"Much of LDWW’s success must come down to a senior team of partners that are based in Dallas, New York, Kansas City and Tampa — in addition to Luce, Venturoni, and Flanagan are Chris Cradduck and Ken Maxwell. Key clients now include Bell Helicopter Select, Big 12 Athletic Conference, Carnival Corp, Earth Day Texas, Fathom, Gamestop, Meadows Mental Health Institute, Omni Hotels, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. And LDWW’s boutique approach ensures that it is genuinely media-neutral, producing content that ranges from TV ads to online and digital platforms"
Pictured: Ken Luce and Jody Venturoni