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Until relatively recently, Lippe Taylor was one of a number of New York consumer boutiques, keeping a low-profile and delivering solid earned media results for clients. But over the past decade, the firm has diversified its client portfolio—the healthcare practice is now a formidable player in its own right—and invested heavily in digital and social media capabilities and data and analytics, establishing itself as one of the market’s most forward-thinking brand builders. The payoff has been big, with the firm growing from an $11 million to $50 million operation over the last five years.
Lippe Taylor is headquartered are in New York City. The firm’s 210 employees live in 21 different states, with centers of excellence in Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Atlanta with an upcoming office in London.
Lippe Taylor saw revenue rise an eye-catching 48% in 2022, making the firm a $50.7 million business versus the $11 million operation it was just five years earlier. Growth was 100% organic, with roughly 81% coming from existing clients including AbbVie, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Nestle Health Sciences, Sanofi, Tarsus Pharmaceuticals, Impel Pharmaceuticals, Citigroup and Galderma. New business also was also heavy on healthcare work, with the agency adding Organon, SK Life Sciences. Albireo Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Scholl’s and Claritin to its roster, as well as Constellation Brands, Serta Simmons and Dos Equis. The firm’s scientific credentialing capability is among its 2022 innovations.
Founder Maureen Lippe and chief executive Paul Dyer have given a lot of thought to the lifecycle of PR firms, the dangers of plateauing, and how to structure a business that empowers people to smash through growth barriers—there has been a new emphasis on giving everyone at LT the confidence and freedom to bring their own entrepreneurial ideas to the firm. It has also created new opportunities for staff with the recent creation of sister agency twelvenote (an expansion and rebrand for the former Shop PR). New additions include chief creative officer Craig Elimeliah, Chief Creative Officer, head of creator marketing Corey Martin, head of strategy and planning Matt Noe and head of pharma center of excellence Aleisia Gibson-Wright. The firm maintains its strong commitment to DEI: BICOP employees make up 39% of staff, a 6% increase from 2021, and the firm continued adhering to its pledge to donate $1 million in pro bono work to Black-owned businesses supporting social justice.
Paul Dyer says that Lippe Taylor wants to be “the first earned marketing AOR,” which translates into becoming a PR firm that leads creative and is capable of delivering the earned, share, owned and paid solutions (LT’s acronym is ESOP, which puts these things in their proper order) clients are looking for. It has been making progress in that direction, developing the requisite advertising capabilities and pioneering digital and data tools, with the firm’s capabilities in influencer marketing and metrics among the standouts and scientific credentialing among the new developments. Highlight work included launching Bylvay’s pediatric kidney disease treatment in five counties and Impel Neuropharma’s migraine treatment Trudhessa, and premiering The Gratitude Project at the Tribeca Film Festival for Bayer’s One a Day vitamins.
— Diana Marszalek
Baltimore's Imre started life nearly three decades ago with Dave Imre setting up shop in his basement and remains guided by its focus on turning consumers into brand believers. Guided by twin values of empathy and optimism, Imre's progress reflects its fiercely independent focus on producing top-tier work for a range of clients across consumer, corporate and healthcare.
In addition to the Baltimore HQ, the Imre has offices in New York and Philadelphia. More than 50 of Imre’s 250 employees, however, span the country as part of the agency’s work from anywhere program.
Imre capped 2022 as a $49 million firm, up from $45 million the year before. Headcount rose to 250 to handle new business from a range of new clients, many of which are in the healthcare industry, with a roster of existing partners including automotive companies and manufacturers.
Imre upped its leadership game last September, when the firm brought on former Ketchum North America president Neera Chaudhary as its new CEO. Supported by founder Dave Imre in the executive chairman’s seat, Chaudhary has systematically begun to “usher in the next era of imre,” which includes a stronger emphasis on healthcare. The firm still operates in the tone Dave Imre set at the outset, establishing empathy and optimism as values that continue to drive the agency’s culture of cohesion and inclusion. A mentor to staff and clients, Imre and his leadership team in 2022 doubled down on efforts like providing organizations pro bono support, charitable giving, volunteered community service time, and initiatives tied to our DE&I-driven business resource groups born out of the agency’s legacy as an LGBTQ-founded agency. Employee-led efforts included securing Imre support for The Attic Youth Center in Philadelphia and encouraging the agency to support local Black-owned businesses.
Imre produces a range of thought leadership efforts that support its twin values of empathy and optimism. Campaign highlights included using TikTok to drive awareness of a major biotech company, and its International Women’s Day work highlighting female business owners for an automotive brand.
— Diana Marszalek
Launched by former Real Chemistry leader Bob Pearson in 2021, Next Practices Group (NPG) brings together a range of existing firms, including B2B stalwart Bliss Group, tech player NextTech Communications, consulting chop Brain + Trust Partners, social purpose firm Changex and numerous data/digital labs to solve problems and deploy emerging technologies on behalf of clients. In 2022, the firm acquired brand purpose group Matchfire and also launched the Next Content Labs to focus on short-form content solutions and video. The breadth and depth of its offering gives NPG significant capabilities in data science, data security, digital media, public affairs and marketing communications.
There are 180 executives spread across US offices in New York, Holmdel NJ, Austin, Dallas and San Luis Obispo.
In just its second full year, NPG grew fee income by 35% to $34m, thanks to expansion across healthcare, technology, professional and financial services. New business included CareOne, Houston Methodist Hospital, NFP, Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute, Ford Foundation, and NY State School Boards Association, joining an existing client roster that features CVS Health & Aetna, BDO, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, E*Trade, Bill.com, KeyCorp, Nationwide Advisory Solutions, West Monroe, and RapidRatings.
Pearson brings considerable innovation experience from his career at Real Chemistry and GCI Health, along with client side roles at Novartis, Dell and Sanofi. Key new hires included David Gallagher as managing partner and global CEO of purpose, Ken Kerrigan to co-lead professional services at Bliss, Melissa Stone to oversee digital media at Bliss, and Dan Childs, Justin Blum and Christopher Martin in senior roles at Next Solutions Group and Next Content Labs. The firm’s hybrid work structure includes flexible working, strong supervisor mentorship and generous benefits, while NPG is also an active supporter of the Diversity Action Alliance and Lagrant Foundation. Two social impact offerings — Bliss Impact and NPG Purpose — also ensure that NPG’s work is heavily focused on ESG, DEI, financial literacy, education and positive policy change.
Unsurprisingly, there is plenty of thought leadership activity and product innovation, including CTRx Pathways, a pioneering series of new media models designed to accelerate and diversify clinical trial enrollment. Bliss also launched a workplace speciality group to focus on the future of work and employee experience, while NPG’s X Labs innovation incubator includes account-based marketing programs, audience analytics and intelligence, and a specific accelerator focused on LinkedIn thought leadership. Campaign highlights included the use of CTRx Pathways by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to improve enrollment in two Covid-19 clinical trials, landing SABRE nominations in 2022.
— Arun Sudhaman
Padilla has been part of Minneapolis’ robust PR community since 1961, when Don Padilla and Dave Speer launched the firm that, thanks to a mix of creativity and business acumen, has grown into a $50 million operation. Best known for its work in food, health, tech and agriculture, Padilla was acquired in 2018 by Canadian holding company Avenir Global in 2018. Padilla today has several brands under its umbrella in addition to its namesake firm — Shift (which Avenir put under Padilla in 2021), FoodMinds (food & nutrition) and Joe Smith (brand strategy). A founding member of the Worldcom network, Padilla serves clients through 155 offices worldwide.
Padilla is headquartered in Minneapolis and has offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Richmond, Virginia and Washington.
2022 was a banner year for Padilla, which for the first time surpassed $50 million in revenue, an impressive 40% lift over the previous year. Hitting that milestone resulted from the addition of Shift to its family of brands and signing a slew of new clients — EarthOptics, Midwest Dairy, Rentyl Resorts, Richmond Region Tourism, SAVRpak, StopAFIB.org, Veradigm among them. With the addition of Shift, Padilla added roughly 50 people to its headcount, now at 229, to keep pace with that growth. All while continuing to serve existing clients including the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, Medtronic, Winnebago Industries, Mayo Clinic, Citrix Systems and Dole.
In 2021, Padilla expanded the role of agency leader Jeff Wilson to include overseeing workplace culture and DEI. In the time since, Padilla has built out an internal program that includes educational opportunities, achievement awards, staff recognition and one-offs, liking patronizing local LGBTQ+ businesses during Pride Month. From 2020 to 2022, Padilla grew its BIPOC employee base from under 10% to 16%. Efforts to further its diversification goals include partnering with other local agencies in offering an externship program for BIPOC students; trainings on pertinent topics like unconscious bias and allyship; and offering employees a day off to perform community service related to DEI. Padilla continues to operate under the watch of Matt Kucharski, a 34-year Padilla vet who’s been in the president’s seat for the last five years.
Padilla, along with Shift, focused on its work with C-suite leaders last year, conducting an expansive survey revealing necessary changes in executive comms and formalized best practices for executive media training. Gleaning insights from research and experience, Padilla shared its take on maximizing social impact work with the larger comms industry through conference presentations. The year’s hallmark work included infusing a a campaign for Citrix’s B2B technology with rap; showcasing the US Highbush Blueberry Council’s mission through a. No Kid Hungry partnership; and driving awareness of, and interest in, the umbrella Winnebago brand with investors.
— Diana Marszalek
It has been a while, some 20 years in fact, since Taylor wowed the business world with its transformation from a sports/lifestyle shop to a consultancy focused on strategic counsel for category leading brands. That pivot helped power Taylor’s progress over the past decade, but it is no surprise that long term CEO Tony Signore has overseen another significant strategic shift since a 2019 client audit paved the way for Taylor to ramp up investment in its creative offering. The new plan has included a $3.8m program to recruit industry-leading creative talent from advertising and digital agencies, along with a new positioning as ‘Shapers of Possibility’, reflecting Taylor’s ability to create platforms, experiences and moments that unlock meaningful engagements for brands that are committed to ‘walking the walk’.
Taylor’s 100+ headcount is largely based at its New York office.
Taylor’s focus on creative underpinned 18% fee income growth in 2022 to $26.5m, which included a 56% increase in creative revenue to almost $14m. Specifically, the transformation resulted in Taylor leading brand building campaigns for AIG, Citizen Watch Group, Diageo and the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, while there was also new business from Red Bull, World Athletics, Cincoro, MaximBet (Caesars) and Weedmaps, as well as emerging boutique alcohol brands within the Diageo portfolio. Taylor’s existing client roster features decades-long partnerships with with category-leading brands like Diageo (Guinness, Smirnoff, Crown Royal, Captain Morgan), Capital One, and P&G (Tide, Gillette, Secret). Other clients include Citizen Watch Group, Prudential, Samsung, PDC Beauty Brands (Dr Teal’s, Cantu) and Panini (Fanatics).
Signore has been in charge for almost two-thirds of his three-decade plus run with the firm, supported by a leadership team that includes managing partner Maeve Hagen, chief strategy officer Christina Merritt, ECD Brad Mancuso, integration EVP Garlanda Freeze and group CDs Nicky Lorenzo and Juan Pablo Dominguez — the last four of whom joined from the advertising world. Taylor long-standing partnership with HBCUs was established in 2005, and includes annual internships, reflecting a focus on DE&I that includes publicly available workforce data, in contrast to many other agencies. 56% of the firm, and 48% of leadership, are people of color — including 100% of junior levels, a remarkable statistic that underlines Taylor’s commitment in this area. The firm’s employee resource groups help lead its approach towards an inclusive workplace, supported by partnerships with the UNCF, HBCU Alliance and other nonprofits in the DE&I space. Taylor’s workplace policy includes 100% remote work, wellness reimbursements and an industry-leading PTO program.
For Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Pride Month, AAPI Heritage Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month, Taylor conducts panel discussions during all-agency town halls, supported by multigenerational panels of executives who share their thoughts publicly. Campaign highlights include three SABRE nominations, for Naturemade and Crown Royal, along with an Innovation SABRE award for Guinness’ St Patrick’s Day campaign in 2022. In addition, Taylor’s brand building work includes allyship work for AIG’s sponsorship of the 2022 Women’s Open; elevating Red Bull’s stories to attract new consumers; developing a video series and Gen Z creator collective for World Athletics.
— Arun Sudhaman
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