During the quarter, MullenLowe made a number of key moves in international markets. The agency unveiled its hyperbundled agency offering in China, bringing together MullenLowe and Profero agencies in Shanghai. It also opened a third agency in India, to be named PointNine Lintas, and launched MullenLowe in Japan. Just last week, we announced the acquisition of strategic communications agency salt, which will strengthen the key London office, where MullenLowe was recently named the U.K.’s most effective agency, as well as Agency of the Year, at the Effie Awards. The network also remains very active in terms of new business activity.
Among our U.S. independents, Hill Holliday has been a strong performer and is also increasingly active in pitch activity, as is Carmichael Lynch, which features an outstanding embedded PR and social agency. Deutsch and The Martin Agency are premier creative agencies, which, as we have previously mentioned, are increasingly involved on our integrated, holding-company client engagements.
A number of our competitors have been touting their unified solutions or holding company teams. As you know, this is something we’ve been working on for the better part of a decade. As an ex-client, I know how compelling an open-architecture offering, custom built to meet the needs of my business, can be. We continue to excel in this area, whether in competitive reviews or, increasingly, as an offering that we are developing for existing clients. We’ve recently seen increased demand for this approach with healthcare and pharma clients. We are also extending the collaborative, open-architecture approach by bringing it to bear through a consultative model that proactively engages clients to solve their most challenging business problems.
The other area in which we see significant opportunity is data and analytics. We’ve been bringing together data sets from across the Company, as well as from a range of external partners. By adding to our stack, we improve our ability to match online and offline data at scale. Ultimately, we believe our data platform will be able not to only drive decision-making in our media investments on behalf of clients, but also inform our creative process, and also prove out the value of the ideas and work we deliver to our clients. We’ll have more on that as we execute on our plans, but this is a very exciting area of the business.
Going forward, we realize that market conditions have become more challenging, but by staying focused on our clients and on execution, we know we can continue to deliver strong results. While the second quarter is not up to the level of the expectations created by three years of outstanding growth, our performance year-to-date keeps us right in the mix with our principal peers.
In terms of awards per dollar of revenue, we led the industry at Cannes. And no holding company won as many Grand Prix as we did. At this year’s North American Effies, we were named Most Effective Holding Company. This is why, as mentioned in my opening remarks, we are confident in the quality of our people and our work.
The key focus will be on our client relationships, new business and leveraging our existing client base for organic growth. We will also remain relentless and vigilant in terms of controlling costs.
That’s how we can deliver within the 3 - 4% range that we have as a target for organic revenue in 2017, and also improve operating margin by 50 basis points. Combined with the strength of our balance sheet and our proven commitment to capital return, this will allow us to create value and further enhance shareholder value.
As always, I thank you for your support and your time. And with that, I’ll open it up for questions.