We believe the marketplace demands new kinds of marketing companies that are built upon strong creativity, great analytics and a complete understanding of the digital world.
Created by pollster, strategist and marketer Mark Penn, The Stagwell Group fulfills that need. Founded on superior talent, built on teamwork and focused on delivering the best results, we are united in the desire to collaborate, innovate, and grow to deliver exceptional work for our clients.
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The Stagwell Group is named one of AdAge’s top 25 largest global agencies
Forward3D and PMX Agency unite to form ForwardPMX, a global performance marketing agency
Stagwell secured $260 million investment from AlpInvest Partners
Mark Penn publishes Microtrends Squared: The New Small Forces Driving Today’s Big Disruptions
Penn leaves Microsoft and announces the formation of The Stagwell Group, an alternative to the traditional holding company model
Penn was named Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer by CEO Satya Nadella
Penn was named Executive Vice President for Advertising and Strategy at Microsoft. In that role he pioneered Microsoft’s “Honestly” campaign and the award-winning Super Bowl 2014 ad “Empowering Us All”
Penn was named Corporate Vice President for Strategic and Special Projects at Microsoft Corporation. Shortly after, he began a public relations campaign against Google, just in time for the holiday shopping season. The commercial criticized Google for biasing its shopping search results with paid advertisements- “Don’t get Scroogled”, the commercial warned.
Penn served as Chief Strategist to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President, focusing on substance over style in her messaging to voters. He argued Hillary would be a strong, tough leader that could get things done for the American people. He was credited with developing the famed “3AM” television ad that ran during the primary campaign.
Penn publishes Microtrends, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller examining how small groups of people can trigger big changes in society. Specifically, Penn showed how a mere one percent of the American public, or 3 million people, can create a “microtrend” capable of launching a major business or even a new cultural movement, changing commercial, political and social landscapes.
Penn was named Worldwide CEO of Burson Marsteller, a global PR and PA firm with a global footprint of nearly 80 markets. Under his leadership, Penn tripled profits while also winning the coveted Holmes Report North American Agency of the Year award in 2011. Both PSB and Burson combined accounted for nearly $100M in EBITDA under his management.
Penn advised British Prime Minister Tony Blair and conducted polling during his successful campaign for an unprecedented third term, after President Clinton recommended Penn’s services to Blair when they met at Ronald Reagan’s funeral in 2004. Penn formulated the concept behind Blair’s campaign slogan, “Forward Not Back”, and refined it by conducting phone interviews with British swing voters.
Penn and his partners sold PSB to WPP. The firm would ultimately grow to over 80 million dollars in revenue under his leadership.
Then-First Lady Hillary Clinton asked Penn to advise her run for the U.S. Senate in New York. Clinton followed Penn’s “Upstate Strategy” advice, winning the election. Penn served again as Clinton’s pollster in her successful 2006 Senate re-election campaign.
When allegations of President Clinton’s affair first surfaced, Penn conducted polls to help the administration craft its response. Penn subsequently led the research effort monitoring Clinton’s level of public support throughout the impeachment process.
During President Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign, Penn used tactics developed for AT&T to test presidential campaign ads and created the “NeuroPersonality Poll”, a survey that blended standard political and demographic questions with lifestyle, attitudinal, and psychographic questions. Neuro Poll helped identify a new swing voter: the “soccer mom”
Penn conducted numerous polls to understand what the political ramifications would be if the federal government were to shut down over federal spending negotiations.
Penn and Schoen were hired by the Clinton Administration to help them recover from Democrat’s dramatic midterm election losses. Polls indicated that Clinton would benefit from moving to the center, emphasizing law enforcement, balanced budgets and other issues.
Penn served as pollster to President Clinton for six years, becoming one of his most prominent and influential advisers. In 2000, The Washington Post noted that no pollster had ever become “so thoroughly integrated into the policy making operation” of a presidential administration.
Penn Schoen expanded to serve corporate consulting clients including Texaco, which was experiencing image problems due to bankruptcy and AT&T, which was fighting MCI for long-distance carrier market share. Other clients included Ford Motor Company, Merck, Verizon, BP and McDonald’s. Penn also served as a strategic advisor to Bill Gates and Microsoft during the mid-1990s
Penn took the lessons of American politics to Latin America, where he helped elect more than a half dozen heads of state, including Venezuela’s Luis Herrera Campins, Columbia’s Virgilio Barco and Belisario Betancur, and the Dominican Republic’s Leonel Fernández.
During Koch’s campaign against Mario Cuomo, Penn sought a way to conduct polls more quickly than the mainframe and punch card system. He purchased a “microcomputer” kit and created a program to tabulate polls in a fraction of the time, allowing him to conduct polls on a daily basis, a tactical advantage that contributed to Koch’s eventual victory over Cuomo.
While Penn was a first-year law student at Columbia University, he and Schoen ran polls for Congressman Ed Koch’s first successful run for Mayor of New York City.
Penn founded Penn and Schoen, now a global market research firm, with his Harvard roommate, Doug Schoen, at the offices of the Harvard Crimson.
Penn conducted his first poll at age 13, as a middle school student, determining that the faculty at his school was more liberal than the country at large on the issue of civil rights.