Currently London's most admired agency, Adam&Eve DDB was created in 2012 from the merger of the existing DDB London office with fast-expanding independent Adam & Eve. Despite a long-established reputation for creative excellence, the performance of the London outpost of DDB Worldwide had declined significantly since the mid 2000s. Under its previous name of BMP DDB - and before that as Boase Massimi Pollitt - it had been one of the star agencies of the 1970s and 1980s. However, it struggled during 2006 with management problems and a string of account defections. Stability was restored in 2007, but although its creative output remained strong, DDB London seemed unable to restore its lost billings. It continued to tumble down the UK agency rankings. Those concerns were finally erased with what was effectively a reverse takeover of DDB London by Adam & Eve, a plucky independent that had launched four years earlier as a breakaway from what was then RKCR/Y&R. The merged Adam&Eve DDB has retained a position ever since as the UK's most admired creative agency, winning an unprecedented four Grand Prix at the 2014 Cannes Lions festival, and several more in the years since. A&E's four founding partners - CEO James Murphy, chief creative officer Ben Priest and planning partners David Golding and Jon Forsyth - stepped back from the business in 2016 following substantial earn-outs. They gradually departed Omnicom in pursuit of new ventures. Murphy and Golding were the last two to leave, and have announced plans to launch a new start-up creative business in 2020. Tammy Einav and Matthew Goff are now co-CEOs; Richard Brim is CCO supported by ECD Ben Tollett. A&E DDB also operates an office in New York, known as Adam&Eve NYC to avoid confusion with the main DDB outpost. DDB UK Ltd is the parent entity for Adam&Eve DDB, digital satellite Tribal London and production unit Gutenberg. It reported billings of £206m in 2017, gross profit of £78m and net of £6.8m. Nielsen (in Campaign) estimated billings for Adam&Eve DDB of £334m in 2017. That year it was the first agency ever to be named as Campaign's Agency of the Year four times in a row.
Capsule checked 31st October 2018
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Historical profile information for Adam&Eve DDB
Adbrands Social Media 29th Apr 2019: "Bridges on Bridges". There's the germ of a decent ad behind Adam&Eve DDB's new UK campaign for Heineken-owned Amstel beer, but it's let down by rather shoddy digital work and a script that really stretches the underlying concept until it's paper-thin. Amsterdam equals togetherness equals bridges equals Bridges. Admittedly it's quite an ambitious visual task, but it's not helped by high-def photography, which not only reveals the clear visible seams between the real and the digital, but also every hard-earned crack in Jeff's craggy boatrace. After that recent Stella Artois ad in the Super Bowl, our Jeff is definitely the go-to-guy to advertise European beers.
Adbrands Social Media 6th Mar 2019: "Live Curious". Here's the first big European campaign for Booking.com since Adam&Eve DDB took over the regional account. It's notable how the travel aggregator's marketing has become steadily less quirky and humour-led since it became the dominant player in the region. It really is about the joy of travel now, and A&E have been able to source some pleasantly offbeat local curiosities to highlight.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Nov 2018: "The One Gift Santa Can't Deliver". Here in the developed world we're so benumbed by all the Christmas joy that's it's easy to overlook the fact that there are many parts of the world that it doesn't reach. Adam&Eve DDB delivers a sobering Yuletide message to us all on behalf of the International Committee of the Red Cross. You'll be hard-pressed not to experience a lump in your throat in the closing seconds of the film.
Adbrands Social Media 20th Nov 2018: "Fast Forward". Ooh, that's cheeky! And so very "meta" too. As part of the seasonal campaign for supermarket Waitrose - which is of course the sister retail chain to John Lewis - Adam&Eve DDB makes fun of its own latest John Lewis Christmas ad and the annual anticipation for each year's release. The concept underlying all the agency's seasonal ads for Waitrose this year is that the produce is so good, people can't wait to try it. And not even our beloved Lord Elton can stop them.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Nov 2018: Ads Of The Week: "A Boy & His Piano". Well here we are. That annual Christmas milestone has been reached: the new John Lewis - sorry, John Lewis & Partners - ad is out. At first glance, Adam&Eve DDB has proved the doubters wrong. After last year's surprise disappointment, the 2018 Christmas ad is pretty damn wonderful: a celebration of the joy of giving while also providing some form of meditation on one of this country's most beloved musical icons, now just about to embark on his UK Farewell tour. We said 'at first glance' only because we suspect this ad won't look quite as original once the forthcoming 'Rocket Man' biopic is released next summer. There's a different cast and crew for the ad, so it's all original footage, not a clips compilation or promotional tie-in; nevertheless, the similarities are striking. But our Elton is clearly in the mood for some nostalgic reflection just now, and Adam&Eve DDB has managed to strike while the iron is hot. That rumoured (but denied) £5m paycheck probably helped too. All those reservations aside, this is a great film; a worthy successor to previous showstoppers from this retailer and its agency. It's ads like this that justify the fevered anticipation for each year's John Lewis Christmas ad.
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