Sitting on the beige couch in her office, wearing a bright-blue skirt and a multi-colored-bauble necklace, Becca Weigman looks more like the cool mom you wished was yours in middle school than she does a CEO. At first glance, the floor-to-ceiling chalkboard on the wall behind her seems to be scrawled with doodles from her four children. Wait, no, those are advertising figures and strategies from her 11 a.m.
Weigman comes across as a strong yet laid-back woman—and that’s exactly the attitude she’s bringing to her turnaround mission at TM Advertising.
She was named CEO of the Dallas-based agency in the spring of 2010, replacing Tom Hansen, who left to become president of the wheeled-shoe company Heelys. At the time, TM was clearly in a funk, having lost big-ticket client Nationwide and other key accounts the year before.
A 20-year industry veteran who previously was chief marketing officer for RAPP, Weigman has quickly revived TM, leading a charge to revamp its own image and adding new clients such as Baker Botts LLP, the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science, and the City of Dallas. The agency also has managed to hang on to longtime big-name clients, including Citi, Discover, and American Airlines, for which it recently developed an award-winning campaign.
Advertising Age put TM’s 2009 revenue at $34 million, down from the $41 million it generated in 2006. Weigman declined to reveal the company’s projected revenue for 2011, saying only that TM is “definitely growing.”
Its personnel roster is expanding, too. During the past 12 months the agency has added 30 employees, bringing the total to more than 200. But Weigman is cautious about getting too big. “I never want to get to a point where I don’t know what’s going on with all of our clients and all of my employees,” she says. “I never want to have to do homework before I go to lunch with a client.”
Weigman is fostering collaboration among her team and keeping every level of management involved in all projects. “I want us to be a brand that clients will seek out for our excellent services,” she says.
To add to TM’s spark and help in its mission to become a destination workplace, the agency recently moved from Comerica Bank Tower in downtown Dallas to three floors in Victory Plaza, immediately adjacent to American Airlines Center. Weigman and design firm Gensler came up with an open space plan that works in plenty of lounge areas, as well as small, private work areas. “In a creative business,” she says, “you’ve got to give the creative types an environment that is conducive to their work.”