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PR Agency Head of the Year

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Tim Sutton, Weber Shandwick

In 2014, Tim Sutton led Weber Shandwick to new heights with 26 per cent growth, exceeding all primary regional competitors; raising the competitive bar of the agency’s best of class digital strategy and production capabilities; and maintaining outstanding client and talent retention. Weber Shandwick was the recipient of more industry accolades in the 12-month period than in any year in its history. Uniquely for an Asia Pacific PR firm leader, Sutton is also chairman of IPG’s marketing services businesses in the region (CMG), reflecting his successful promotion of the central role of PR in the marketing mix. In 2014, net revenue (all organic growth) grew by 26 per cent, (compared to 20 per cent in 2013). Stand out markets for growth included: Thailand (37 per cent), China (33 per cent), Korea (27 per cent), India (26 per cent) and Malaysia (21 per cent). The agency’s digital practice doubled its revenue with appointment to new, complex, integrated, strategic digital assignments; and accessing new CMO budgets which had previously been ‘out of bounds’ to PR firms. The top 40 client roster saw YOY growth of 33 per cent with nearly half of that client base loyal to the agency for more than 10 years. In 2014, 153 clients were represented in two or more markets, a growth of 14 per cent on the previous year. The proportion of Asian domiciled clients continued to climb (to 30 per cent). Sutton extended his leadership of significant new business engagements, playing an active role in campaign strategy and evaluation and investing in additional resource capability. In 2014, the agency saw a significant jump in its client win rates, securing 70 per cent of the RFPs in which it participated. His relentless focus on instilling an open and collaborative cultural approach to campaign development and problem solving – across practices, markets and agencies – was a major factor in Weber Shandwick, securing 55 industry awards in 2014. Moreover, his investment in home-grown thought leadership initiatives saw Weber Shandwick launch three trend-focused industry thought leadership platforms.