This February, it won an enhanced relationship with Botox Cosmetic. And while that kind of news usually gets delivered in a phone call, Sullivan says “the client asked to speak to the entire agency. She wanted to explain why that decision was made, so people filled an auditorium to hear how important the agency partnership is. It was special.”
That kind of partnership, Sullivan says, symbolizes Pacific’s resilience. It may have been a down year — revenue slid 11.9% from $60.6 million to $53.4 million, while staff size was reduced from 244 to 227 — but he was “as proud of how we did as I have been any other year. We handled a host of challenges and we came out stronger.”
The big hit came with the loss of Allergan’s glaucoma drops and Restasis. Pacific — which is owned by Allergan, the parent of brands including Botox and Restasis — rebounded some by landing new accounts.
“As one relationship was waning, we were able to capitalize on the strength of others. And it all happened at about the same time, so there wasn’t much time to dwell,” Sullivan explains.
Recent brand additions include CoolSculpting, a cryolipolysis procedure; Alloderm and Strattice, both breast-tissue products; and Revolve, a device used in adipose transplantation, especially during reconstructive surgery. All four are Allergan brands.
It was also a busy year for Allergan product launches, including Natrelle Inspira breast implants, rosacea treatment Rhofade, and Juvederm injectable fillers Vollure and Volbella. Collectively, Sullivan believes the launches have bolstered the “overall aesthetic expertise, which I feel is the best in the industry.”
Pacific also shook up its creative department, shifting from a more vertical approach to three separate pods. “As we continue to focus on our creative output, we felt this was important,” Sullivan explains. “It allows for more efficiency and team development. We’re better positioned for growth.”
The agency began rolling out a new program it calls BAI, which stands for brave, authentic, and inspiring, to help create ads with more impact. And it expanded its East Coast operation, relocating from Jersey City to Madison, New Jersey, and, in the process, adding more creative capabilities.
“We’re sort of the inverse of most organizations,” Sullivan says. “The spine of the agency is in California, but we’re growing on the East Coast, too. And it is easier to hire staff there.”