Belgiovane Williams Mackay, or BWM, is a leading creative agency in Australia, with offices in Sydney and Melbourne. It is still run by founding partners Paul Williams and Jamie Mackay, CEO and chief strategy officer respectively. Co-founder and former chief creative officer Rob Belgiovane still works on a consultancy basis on key clients but stepped back from day-to-day involvement in early 2020. Creative is now led by ECDs Marcus Tesoriero in Sydney and Phil Van Bruchem in Melbourne. The agency has been majority owned by Dentsu Aegis Network since 2015, adopting the name BWM Dentsu. As a result it is DAN's main creative advertising agency in Australia, partnered by more than 20 other local agencies including Carat, Isobar and Gyro. Williams and Mackay originally launched the business in 1994, recruiting Belgiovane as a third partner 18 months later. The agency grew rapidly, and was named as Adnews Creative Network of the Year in 2000. In 2006, they sold a controlling stake to fast-expanding roll-up Photon (now Enero). As that group struggled to pay down its huge debts after 2010, BWM was itself blindsided by the loss of key client Telstra. As a result, the partners seized the opportunity to buy back Enero's 51% shareholding at a reduced price, and relaunched the agency in 2012 as an independent. They strengthened their digital abilities the following year with the acquisition of local agency Sputnik, and launched PR and social media unit Pop in 2014. In 2018, 'Project Revoice' for The ALS Association became one of the world's most awarded marketing campaigns. In 2020, BWM Dentsu was absorbed into the parent group's newly created DentsuMcGarryBowen global network. It will continue to trade under its existing name, for the time being at least.
Capsule checked 15th July 2020
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Adbrands Daily Update 21st Jun 2021: The consolidation of Dentsu's various agency brands continues. In the latest such move, the Isobar business in Australia was split in two, with its customer experience team transferring into Merkle, which was itself created at the beginning of the year in Australia from the merger of several other local agencies. Merkle now becomes the group's main CX agency in the country. Isobar Australia's creative team, however, will join the former BWM Dentsu, which rebrands as BWM Isobar. The group also plans to launch the Dentsu McGarryBowen banner in Australia to serve local offices of that agency's global clients.
Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Jun 2018: Cannes Lions 2018: And so Cannes Lions 2018 draws to a close. Two separate campaigns won different Grand Prix with a similar theme of recreating a lost voice. The Grand Prix for Creative Data went to Irish agency Rothco for 'JFK Unsilenced', a campaign for the Irish edition of News Corporation's The Times newspaper. On the day John F Kennedy was assassinated, he was on his way to the Dallas Trade Mart to deliver a speech. The speech was already written but he died before he could deliver it. Rothco used vocal extracts from 831 other speeches delivered by JFK to recreate the one he never gave, spoken in his own voice. A similar concept lay behind Australian agency BWM Dentsu's 'Project Revoice' campaign for The ALS Association. ALS sufferer Pat Quinn helped to launch the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - a huge viral triumph four years ago - while himself suffering from the early stages of the disease. He is no longer able to speak, so BWM Dentsu pioneered a technique for cloning and rebuilding his voice so that he can communicate naturally with his carers; the same technique can now be deployed for other sufferer of the disease. This was the worthy winner of the Grand Prix for Good.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Feb 2015: Dentsu strengthened its presence in Australia with the acquisition of a 51% stake in well-known creative agency BWM, which rebrands as BWM Dentsu. It marks a change in strategy for BWM's three founding partners, who bought their agency back from troubled marketing services group Enero (formerly Photon) in 2012. However they remain in situ following the latest deal, with joint ownership of the remaining 49% stake. Those shares will be bought out in stages over the next seven years.
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