Dentsu London relaunched in 2012 as the UK office of highflying US agency McGarryBowen, now the most successful arm of Japanese giant Dentsu's international creative business. Like all other creative agencies within that network, it adopted the Dentsu McGarryBowen brand in 2020. That marks the latest (but probably not the final) stage in a long and often bumpy journey for what was originally Collett Dickenson Pearce. Even under its new name the current agency bears little resemblance to that trailblazer of London's 1960s advertising industry. Famed as London's most creative and prestigious agency for most of two decades, CDP subsequently suffered a number of setbacks, leading eventually to its acquisition by Dentsu. In 2001, the struggling agency's continuing decline was temporarily halted by its merger into fast-growing creative boutique Travis Sully to form the awkwardly named cdptravissully. However, the erosion of billings continued. The agency was restructured once again at the end of 2006, and given back its original name of CDP. It rebranded in 2009 as Dentsu London, and acquired digital agency Steak in 2011. It finally adopted the McGarryBowen name in Spring 2012. Former Leo Burnett & Fallon London chief Gareth Collins was named as CEO in 2019. Simon Lloyds is chief creative officer.
Capsule checked 22nd January 2021
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Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Apr 2018: Honda confirmed the appointment of Japanese agency Hakuhodo as its new marketing partner across Europe, replacing a collection of different agencies including Wieden & Kennedy and McGarryBowen. A new dedicated unit, Hakuhodo Collective, is being assembled to manage the business, with personnel drawn from its various existing operations in Europe including Sid Lee in France, and Southpaw in the UK.
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Aug 2017: Ads of the Week "Karaoke". Europe is the site of an epic battle of creativity between Honda's two main agencies in the region. Wieden & Kennedy London gets all the best jobs, but it faces stiff competition from the local outpost of McGarryBowen, which has been struggling for years to unseat its more powerful rival. Here's a lovely idea from the underdog agency to answer what must have seemed at first a rather unpromising brief merely to showcase the Honda model range for 2017 across Europe. See what the magic of CGI and a good creative concept can do.
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Sept 2015: Ads of the Week "Precisely Pleasingly Perfect". Here's another attention-grabbing spot for Honda in the UK, this time for the HR-V model and exploiting the full visual power of synchronised formation crowds. McGarryBowen London developed the campaign, utilising a similar sort of visual trickery to that employed in their earlier ads for the CR-V model. Nicely done!
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Apr 2015: Ads Of The Week "Endless Road". Following up their previous Illusions spot, there's more clever visual trickery in McGarryBowen London's latest pan-Euro campaign for the Honda CR-V. Scholars of the visual arts call this the Droste Effect, in which a single image contains multiple recurring copies of itself. It's named after the Dutch cocoa company who did something similar on their packaging more than 100 years ago. (Google it for more). You learn something new every day. Here's a bonus: you might recognise the soundtrack music from its reuse by Quentin Tarantino in the movie Kill Bill, but it was originally composed by the legendary Bernard Herrmann for a 1968 horror movie called Twisted Nerve. Not a lot of people know that... Here's one more. Now you've heard it you won't be able to get Twisted Nerve out of your head for the rest of the day...
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Mar 2015: Ads Of The Week: "Chutney Mountain". If Close Encounters of the Third Kind had been made in England and had been about pickled relish instead of aliens, Roy Neary's mashed potato mountain might have looked something like this... McGarryBowen London gets its cheese knife out for this tasty spot for Mizkan's Branston *Chutney* (No! Is this curtains for pickle?).
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