IF it was not for the achievements made by John Driscoll (right) last year Marketforce could have faced some significant hurdles this year, according to Campaign Brief Awards judge Martin Trevaskis.
Mr Trevaskis said Mr Driscoll came to the fore last year, stepping out of the shadow of [Marketforce chairman] Howard Read to successfully negotiate big deals.
“Marketforce was in a fairly precarious situation in 2003 and I think that it is largely through John’s commitment, dedication and, most of all, hard work that they have come out of it in pretty good shape,” he said.
“There were two significant achievements. One was being reinstated as the government media agency. The other was Mike Edmonds’ decision to resign.
“That could have been a PR nightmare because they made such a big deal about attracting him over. Then, after two years, he leaves. But John turned it into a PR coup by attracting Andrew Tinning here. Andrew is the best credentialled creative to work in Perth.
“If they’d lost the government contract [worth $134 million over four years] and couldn’t attract a strong high profile creative director to join them the agency would be a different agency today.”
Mr Driscoll cited winning the master media contract, luring Andrew Tinning from Saatchi and Saatchi in New Zealand, the management buyout of George Patterson Bates’ stake in Marketforce and investment by Clemenger Communications as highlights for 2003.
“What a big year it was,” Mr Driscoll said.
Marketforce’s billings grew again last year and, according to Mr Driscoll, hit upwards of $140 million. The agency’s revenue for 2003 was $14.7 million.