BMB - or Beattie McGuinness Bungay as it was originally known - is the creative agency founded in 2005 when high profile creative director Trevor Beattie and two other senior executives from TBWA London jumped ship to set up their own shop. It was for a time considered a potential challenger to the upper echelons of the UK industry and at one point, as their old agency's performance faltered, Omnicom was said to be negotiating with the trio to return to TBWA London as part-owners. Talks reached an advanced stage but eventually failed at the last minute, apparently over BMB's price demands. Instead, the partners sold an initial 49% shareholding in 2008 to Cheil Worldwide, the Korean advertising group closely connected to (and part-owned by) electronics giant Samsung. That deal capped a phenomenal year in which BMB was the top UK agency by new business wins, causing billings to soar by almost two-thirds to over £80m. Since then, though performance has drifted more than a little. The founding partners gradually reduced their day-to-day involvement in the business, recruiting outsider Juliet Haygarth in 2014 as CEO. Of the three founders, Beattie was the last to depart, latterly as part-time chairman. Cheil took full control in 2016, but performance remained lacklustre. Haygarth resigned at the end of 2017 as a result of health issues. Jason Cobbold was finally appointed as Haygarth's successor mid-2018, with Matt Lever as chief creative officer. The main creative agency is partnered by production arm Cylndr. In its most recent set of filed accounts, BMB London reported revenues of £19.5m for 2018, but a net loss of £387k. As much of half of revenues were generated by intercompany clients, presumably Samsung. Nielsen (in Campaign) estimated billings of £26m for 2019.
Capsule checked 27th October 2020
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