STOP PRESS: Here's Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce's Client Portfolio Broken Down By Media Billings

The first year for the fledgling Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce agency was rough.

After losing Lucky Strike, Jai Alai, and Glo-Coat, and resigning the North American Aviation and Clearasil accounts, the young agency finished 1965 with a much smaller staff and only 60 per cent of the billings it had when the doors opened.

Skip directly to the Sterling Cooper billings analysis>
The birth of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (SCDP) occurred amidst a buyout of Sterling Cooper by McCann in 1964 and was nothing if not dramatic.

“Last year, our agency was being swallowed whole,” Don Draper told the Wall Street Journal. “I could die of boredom or holster up my guns. So I walked into Lane Pryce’s office and I said, ‘Fire us.’ Within a year, we’d taken over two floors of the Time-Life Building.”

The agency opened shop with seven accounts from predecessor agency Sterling Cooper – Lucky Strike, North American Aviation, Secor Laxatives, Jai Alai, Samsonite, Clearasil, and Playtex – and around $34 million in billings.

Sterling Cooper alum, Ken Cosgrove, bumped that number up to around the $40 million mark when he moved to SCDP from McCann.

But the numbers took a hit when Roger Sterling’s longtime account, Lucky Strike, dumped him to join the rest of British American Tobacco at BBDO and took its $24 million in billings with it.

In the wake of that account’s departure, Glo-Coat also fled, and the account team of Campbell, Cosgrove, and Sterling had a hard time finding any brand who would sign on with the fledgling agency to make up the difference. 

The only brand brave enough to step up to the plate is Topaz Panti-Hose, which offered go-getter Peggy Olsen a small print-campaign.

But with several prospective clients in the wings and the creative prowess of Don Draper, we have faith that 1966 will be a better year for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

*Billings numbers were either confirmed by partners of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce on Season 4 of Mad Men or estimated by the writer based on other accounts at SCDP and the kind of work produced.

Ponds Cold Cream - $2 million

Creative Freddy Rumsen brought the account to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce after sponsoring a Ponds executive at Alcoholics Anonymous.

Account Owner: Roger Sterling

Vick Chemical - $6 million

After Ponds cited a conflict of interest, SCDP resigned Clearasil. In the process, the agency snagged the larger account of Clearasil's parent company, Vick Chemical, from Tom Vogel (Pete Campbell's father-in-law).

Account Owner: Pete Campbell

Secor Laxatives - $1 million

Secor Laxatives was one of the first clients on the roster of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, after having been a client at Sterling Cooper since 1947. It is currently planning to make its first foray into TV.

Account Owner: Pete Campbell

Samsonite - $2 million

Samsonite also moved from Sterling Cooper to SCDP. Draper's latest print ad casts one of its suitcases as Cassius Clay.

Account Owner: Pete Campbell

Playtex (Bras and Gloves) - $2 million

At Sterling Cooper, Don Draper worked on a Playtex campaign for its bras. Although Playtex didn't buy the campaign, the account followed Don and Peggy (a women's products superstar) to SCDP.

Account Owner: Pete Campbell

Sugarberry Ham - $500,000

Sugarberry Ham increased its media spend with the agency after Peggy and Pete hatched a PR stunt -- a supermarket brawl over a ham -- that made headlines.

Account Owner: Pete Campbell

Life Cereal - $500,000

The Quaker Oats owned brand, Life Cereal, joined the roster after an alcohol-fuelled pitch from Draper. This slogan (pictured) was rejected in favour of 'Life. The cure for the common cereal.'

Account Owner: Pete Campbell

Fillmore Auto Parts - $2 million

Despite publicity problems in the South where it will not hire black employees, Fillmore Auto Parts is looking to expand its target market from mechanics to the general public. This means dollars for print, radio, and TV.

Account Owner: Ken Cosgrove

Bird's Eye - $2 million

A fairly stable client that isn't discussed much at the agency, Bird's Eye, which makes frozen vegetables, moved with Cosgrove from McCann to SCDP.

Account Owner: Ken Cosgrove

Mountain Dew - $2 million

Mountain Dew was acquired by Pepsi-Cola in 1964. There were whispers around the agency that SCDP hired Cosgrove for this account, in the hopes it could eventually snag the entire Pepsi account.

Account Owner: Ken Cosgrove

Topaz Panti-Hose: $250,000

Peggy got a tip that Topaz Panti-Hose had fired its agency just a week before it needed a finished ad campaign. It is the first, and only, new client added to the roster after the loss of Lucky Strike.

Account Owner: Ken Cosgrove

Total Billings - $20.25 million

This total is confirmed by Lane Pryce, CFO and SCDP Partner, and Bert Cooper, SCDP Partner (in Season 4).

Accounts Lost/Resigned - $32 million

Here are the accounts that Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce lost:

Lucky Strike - $24 million

North American Aviation - $4 million

Clearasil - $1.25 million

Jai Alai - $750,000

Glo-Coat - $2 million

Prospective Billings

While things are look a bit sad for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, they have their sites set on a few big fish:

  • Honda Cars - SCDP lost the Honda Motorcycles pitch, but were offered the first-go at the company's new product, a car. (In reality, however, Honda cars weren't released until 1970 so the work may not come in for a while.)
  • American Cancer Society - Impressed by Draper's 'Why I'm quitting Tobacco.' stunt, the American Cancer Society took a meeting with the creative director and moved him on to the next round of review. This account will likely be pro bono, however.
  • Dow Chemical - Ken Cosgrove is engaged to the daughter of a big-wig at the company. Roger Sterling is planning to use that connection to land an account, maybe Saran Wrapt.
  • Quaker Oats - If the Life Cereal work proves successful that could mean more work from its parent company.
  • PepsiCo - Similarly, if the team hits it out of the park with Mountain Dew, Pepsi could send more accounts SCDP's way. It may need the extra agency help, since Pepsi merged with Frito Lay in 1965.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.