FCB : Foote Cone & Belding

Profile subscribers click here for full profile

The FCB name was reintroduced in 2014 for the network previously known as Draftfcb. That business had been created in 2006 from the merger by Interpublic of two of its existing subsidiaries: direct marketing specialist Draft Worldwide and famed creative advertising network Foote Cone & Belding. Under both its names, the resulting business is a fully integrated worldwide marketing services giant offering a broad range of disciplines from traditional creative to direct, digital and sales promotion. Draft had for several years been one of Interpublic's most consistently profitable brands, and the merger was designed to provide added strength to FCB which, while a strong performer in the US, remained weak outside its home market. The combined business got off to a terrible start when it was fired from the Wal-Mart account at the end of 2006 after just three months. Despite that shaky debut, Draftfcb evolved into what was said to be one of Interpublic's more profitable subsidiaries by the end of the decade. More recently, however, the loss of SC Johnson and other major accounts in 2011 and 2012 made something of a dent in performance. The appointment of a new management team has resulted in an improvement in fortune since 2013.

Selected FCB advertising

Which clients does FCB handle? Find out more from the Adbrands Account Assignments database

Who are the competitors of FCB? see ranking of Leading Agency Brands Worldwide

Subscribers only: Adbrands profile
Account assignments & selected regional contact information

Adbrands Company Profiles provide a detailed analysis of the history and current operations of leading advertisers, agencies and brands worldwide, and include a critical summary which identifies key strengths and weaknesses. Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. Subscribers may access the following website links:

FCB website


FCB Health FCB/Red




FCB Inferno UK FCB Brazil
FCB Canada FCB New Zealand
FCB Germany FCB Ulka India
FCB France FCB South Africa

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Aug 2015: It was also another good week for FCB, with two significant wins. FCB South Africa was awarded local and global duties for South Africa Tourism, taking over that account for struggling WPP unit Ireland Davenport, which has now lost its three biggest accounts in the space of three weeks. Meanwhile FCB Chicago will take over creative for US lender Lincoln Financial Group from B2B agency Gyro.

Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Jul 2015: Ads Of The Week: "Dog". There are so many ways you could illustrate the idea of a customer "being taken advantage of", but few would have been as memorable, as amusing and also faintly disturbing as this... Funny spot from FCB South Africa for local mobile operator Cell C. The Behind The Scenes film is also very entertaining - see it over on our Facebook page.

Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jun 2015: FCB CEO Carter Murray has scored something of a creative coup, poaching Susan Credle, currently chief creative officer of Leo Burnett USA to become FCB's global CCO from January 2016. That promises to give a significant boost to FCB's creative output. Unlike Burnett, FCB is, let us say, not generally noted for its creative work. In the Big Won's ranking of creative award winners in 2014, FCB was ranked #14 out of the 14 major ad networks. Burnett was #4. Credle will depart Burnett in July and take six months off before joining FCB at the beginning of 2016. At that point current CCO Jonathan Harries will move up to group chairman.

Adbrands Weekly Update 4th June 2015: Ads of the Week "Doll". You can tell we're getting near to the Cannes Lions Festival when marketing case studies keep popping up everywhere. FCB Brasil is hoping to get two in a row for Nivea (they won the Grand Prix for mobile last year) with its latest clever idea, a doll that gets sunburn if it doesn't have regular applications of Nivea suncream. This latest idea is arguably even cleverer than the same team's mobile-trackable kids' wristband last year, so FCB probably has a strong chance of collecting some metal at the end of the month.

Adbrands Weekly Update 4th June 2015: Ads of the Week "Piggy Sue". We try not to feature the same network more than once here, but it's not often we get two strong offerings from FCB in the same week. Here's an adorable spot for Vodafone New Zealand from the local outpost of FCB - it's one of the few markets where a non-WPP agency has the business. The ad has not a lot to do with Vodafone mobile, other than in a merely functional sense, but anyone who has a soft spot for pigs (while they're still moving around as opposed to in bacon or sausage form) will be completely bowled over.

Subscribe to Adbrands.net and access the profile and website links

Client Gains & Losses

see full profile

Brands & Activities

see full profile


see full profile


Free to all users | see full profile for current activities: [See here for the history of FCB]. Before its acquisition by Interpublic in 1995, Draft Worldwide was something of a shuttlecock in the global marketing industry, changing owners several times in its first two decades. The agency was originally the in-house marketing department for US insurer Bankers Life & Casualty. In 1978, that financial services group spun off the department as an independent agency, with its $7m account as the new company's biggest piece of business. The agency was run by former marketing director Jim Kobs under the name Kobs & Brady. The young Howard Draft was then an account executive, but he gradually worked his way up the corporate ladder. In 1982 he was given responsibility for launching the company's first office in New York, on behalf of new client HBO. Four years later he was named group president. The same year, 1986, Kobs & Brady was acquired by agency giant Ted Bates, becoming Kobs & Draft. Bates was itself snapped up by Saatchi & Saatchi a matter of months later. Backed by Saatchi's, Kobs & Brady opened its first international office, in Madrid, Spain, a year later. Howard Draft became chairman and CEO in 1988, and the company name was changed to Bates, Kobs & Draft.

In the break-up of the Saatchi Group in 1995, Draft mounted a management buy-in, taking the agency independent again as Draft Direct Worldwide. Before the end of the year, however, Interpublic came knocking and added Draft to its own swelling portfolio. Under Interpublic's wing, the agency added a number of additional subsidiaries to its ranks. In 1997, Draft took over Lee Hill Inc, when its own parent Marketing Corp of America was acquired by IPG. Over the next 12 months it acquired a string of agencies in the US and Europe including sales promotion agency DL Blair, Adler Boschetto Peebles & Partners (ABP), KBA Marketing, integrated agency Vogt-Wein, Gingko (Canada), H2O (France), Feedback (Belgium) and M&V (Germany). The new name of DraftWorldwide was adopted in 1998.

During 2000, Draft acquired a series of other marketing agencies including leading UK research consultancy HPI, Scottish marketing group The Boroughloch Agency, international brand consultancy AG Worldwide/Surge Interactive and Swedish integrated agency Trampolin. Other purchases included youth marketer Sloan Group, events marketing agencies Group III, e-services agency Capita Technologies, and Chilean outfit Creactiva. The agency also absorbed Chicago direct marketer Columbian, previously part of the Lowe Lintas group.

In 2001, Draft was aligned with Lowe & Partners within Interpublic as part of The Partnership, a loose alliance of more entrepreneurial agencies. Later that year, AG Worldwide was sold back to management (becoming Arnell Group). Surge, Group III and Capita were merged to form Surge at DraftWorldwide. Originally designed to highlight the agency's interactive offering, the Surge brand was gradually phased out during 2002, replaced by the main Draft brand. Premium Surge was set up at the end of 2001 to market premium gifts after Draft recruited several executives from failing Simon Worldwide. Most of these sub-brands were phased out in 2002 and 2003.

Although the wider Partnership concept quickly fell by the wayside, Draft continued to work closely with Lowe. Between 2001 and 2002, Lowe's Lowe Live direct marketing network was absorbed into Draft in the US and UK. The following year, Interpublic was reported to have considered a full merger of Lowe and Draft. Instead, the group eventually opted for a consolidation of the two networks' back-office functions, with consulting unit Lowe Plus Draft formed to encourage cross-fertilisation of client business. However in many countries, the below-the-line operations of the local Lowe office adopted the Draft brand. During 2005, for example, the Lowe Forever brand in Scandinavia, and Lowe RMS in Canada were both rebranded as Draft.

In 2006, however, the partnership with Lowe was suspended, and instead Draft was given effective control of the storied FCB network. This merger was widely perceived as a personal triumph for Howard Draft, who was given responsibility for running the combined business. Things only got better during 2006 when the agency scored a clutch of prestigious awards at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, and was then awarded the hotly contested advertising account of Wal-Mart in October. Events move fast in the advertising industry, however, and less than three months later, triumph had changed to embarrassment when Draftfcb was ignominiously fired by Wal-Mart, along with Julie Roehm, the Wal-Mart exec who had handled the review.

The resulting brouhaha became the talk of the industry over the following winter. The specific reasons for the sacking were not initially made public, but it was eventually disclosed that Draftfcb managers and Roehm had contravened Wal-Mart's code of conduct during the course of the review. In pursuit of pitch victory, Howard Draft had gone out of his way to flatter Roehm with gifts and perks, which she failed to decline firmly enough for the purposes of Wal-Mart's strict rules on supplier relations. Later it was alleged that Roehm and a subordinate in Wal-Mart's marketing department had been having an affair, and that they they had even discussed jumping ship from the retailer to join Draftfcb. Wal-Mart's board was also said to have been offended by a smutty house ad produced by Draftfcb in which it crowed over the awards it had received at Cannes with a picture of two lions mating, above the slogan "It's great to be on top." Allegations and lawsuits flew back and forth, leading to the effective destruction (by her own hand) of Roehm's once-promising career, and red faces all round at Draftfcb. The agency made up in part for the humiliation of its loss by subsequently winning rival discounter Kmart.

There was a sudden and entirely unexpected shakeup of the agency's North American management team in summer 2010. Mark Modesto, a 30-year company veteran, had been promoted to president of Draftfcb North America the previous October, but left the company abruptly in August 2010, along with two other senior officers. Their sudden departures were said to have resulted from internal politics, possibly associated with the fact that at the same time Dana Maiman, CEO of Draftfcb Healthcare, was promoted to a wider role as CEO of Draftfcb New York. (She surrendered that role in 2013). See full profile for current activities

All rights reserved © Mind Advertising Ltd 1998-2015