Arguably London's most admired agency, and currently its biggest by billings, 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 and it continued to tumble down the UK agency rankings. Those concerns were finally erased with what was effectively a reverse takeover 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 in 2019. The agency also operates an office in New York, known as Adam&Eve NYC to avoid confusion with the main DDB outpost. In 2018, A&E DDB was the first agency ever to be named as Campaign's Agency of the Year five times, and was the inevitable winner of Agency of the Decade in 2019. That year it was also revealed to have unseated long-time local giant AMV BBDO as the UK's biggest agency by billings. It scooped Campaign's Agency of the Year award for an unprecedented sixth time in 2020. Despite a pandemic-induced slide in global spend during 2020, it retained its lead with estimated billings of £371m, £30m clear of second-placed McCann. DDB UK Ltd is the legal parent entity for Adam&Eve DDB, digital satellite Tribal London and inhouse production unit Cain & Abel (which absorbed the local arm of DDB's international production network Gutenberg in 2021). DDB UK Ltd reported gross profit of £82.1m in 2019 and net of £9.9m, on declared gross billings of £184.8m.
Capsule checked 28th October 2021
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Historical profile information for Adam&Eve DDB
Marketer Moves 10th Feb 2022: Leadership shake-up at Adam&Eve DDB. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 1st Jun 2020: In a rare account loss, Adam&Eve DDB have surrendered the creative account for Lloyds Banking Group's Halifax brand to start-up agency New Commercial Arts. Adding a sting to the loss, NCA is the independent creative boutique launched just two weeks ago by A&E's former founders and managing partners James Murphy and David Golding. A&E DDB retains - for now at least - the rest of the Lloyds brand portfolio.
Adbrands Daily Update 18th May 2020: "Jumping / Rolling". Subtle, it ain't, nor refined, but Adam&Eve DDB's new Australian campaign for Mars-owned pet snack Schmackos is a high-octane treat reminiscent of the Saturday morning cartoons of your childhood. It's also a return to screens for two Australian advertising icons. Dorothy and Roger were first introduced (by TBWA) in 2008 as brand ambassadors for what was then an Australia-only pet treat. Despite their immense popularity with Aussies, they were dropped after four years in favour of a (slightly) more sophisticated style of marketing. Now they've been resurrected by A&E DDB, and given new CGI polish (replacing the old Claymation) by international animation prodco Not To Scale. In honour of the original ads, A&E even tracked down Australian voice artist Deidre Rubinstein to reprise the role of Dorothy. A guilty pleasure!
Adbrands Daily Update 3rd Dec 2019: "Moments In Between". There's a pleasing lightness of touch to H&M's laidback and chilled Christmas special, out of Adam&Eve DDB. It's a welcome respite from some of the other rather more frenetic seasonal spots, offering a succession of well-observed vignettes of everyday life at this unique time of the year. Presumably H&M is offering other such spots in other markets, because most of the slices of life contained here could only perhaps take place in urban Britain.
Adbrands Daily Update 14th Nov 2019: "Excitable Edgar". Well here it is. Somehow the arrival of the seasonal John Lewis ad has become the sign that Christmas is here, in the same way that the first cuckoo portends Spring. John Lewis and sister brand Waitrose are now working in tandem in marketing terms and this is their first joint Christmas ad. As usual, Adam&Eve DDB is the agency. It's not bad. Certainly better than past misfires like "Man on the Moon" and 'Moz the Monster". (And would be better still without that X Factor version of an already so-so song!). The problem for the John Lewis Partnership now is that expectations run so high each year that it's virtually impossible to surprise the audience, in the way that the best of the company's ads ("The Long Wait", "The Journey", "Monty the Penguin") did five or more years ago. As a result, there's clearly a temptation to settle for kids' fare like this rather than a film with slightly more grown-up edges. Still, if you keep the kids happy, the parents will be happy too.
Adbrands Daily Update 10th Oct 2019: "Marmite Mind Control". Adam&Eve DDB has unleashed the latest in their long-running lovers/haters campaign for Unilever's Marmite brand. That bitter black yeast spread is famously divisive. More perhaps than any other foodstuff, it's a product you either love or hate, and this has proved fertile ground for a succession of funny ads over the past few years. This latest offers the opportunity for haters to be converted to lovers through a semi-genuine hypnotherapy course. Haters can sign up online for a live event during which they will be experimented upon comedy hypnotist Rory Z Fulcher. It is, of course, all just a gag; but a funny one. Here's part of the hypnotism taster; there's also a more traditional TV ad.
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