Until 2018, Ogilvy Group UK was the umbrella for a collection of ten separate units which worked together to offer fully integrated "360 Degree Branding" for clients. However, despite the historical prominence of the main Ogilvy (or previously Ogilvy & Mather) advertising agency, the real powerhouse of the UK group was arguably its direct and digital division OgilvyOne. A new global strategy adopted in 2017 across the whole Ogilvy network prompted the merger of most of those separate fiefdoms into a single full-service entity. In the case of Ogilvy UK it caused considerable turbulence at an agency that has long struggled with a revolving door of top managers. Annette King, chief executive of Ogilvy Group UK since 2014 and a senior OgilvyOne staffer since 2000, resigned unexpectedly to join Publicis Groupe as UK country leader. She was eventually replaced by Michael Frohlich, previously CEO of Ogilvy PR across the EMEA region, but a succession of other senior managers departed in the months following King's resignation and the divisional consolidation. Despite the upheaval there seems to have been no apparent impact on financial performance. Ogilvy & Mather Group Holdings, which serves as the parent of all local activities, reported turnover of £266m in 2017, up slightly on the year before, along with higher profits at both gross and net level. Nielsen (in Campaign) estimated a 35% increase in billings to £229m, pushing Ogilvy back into the UK Top Ten for the first time since 2011. The enlarged central Ogilvy business still has a handful of satellite units, notably branding agency Coley Porter Bell, and continues to work closely with other WPP entities like Geometry and Hogarth. The Ogilvy brand was introduced to the UK for the first time in 1965, when David Ogilvy returned to London to acquire the first of the two British agencies which had backed the launch of his Ogilvy & Mather agency in New York a decade earlier. Mather & Crowther became the London office of Ogilvy & Mather in 1965; SH Benson was absorbed in 1972.
Capsule checked 30th October 2018
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Historical profile information for Ogilvy UK
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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Nov 2018: Ogilvy UK is seeking to draw a line under over a year of management turbulence with an offer of voluntary redundancy to all 1,200 current employees. The UK business was hit by a string of top-level resignations following the network-wide decision to merge all satellite agencies into a single unified reporting stricture. This new offer is clearly designed to allow any remaining unhappy staff to depart in preparation for a new clean start. However, the move is not entirely altruistic: a source within the agency told The Drum that compulsory redundancies might become necessary if not enough staff take up the offer. John Cornwell, chief operations officer at Ogilvy UK, said: "This offer of voluntary redundancy is the final stage in Ogilvy UK's transformation journey. Our intent is to be as transparent as possible and provide our people with choices as we continue to reshape our business for the future. The intent of these actions is to enable us to reinvest for the future."
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Aug 2018: Ads Of The Week "I'm Fine". Here's a completely new approach from Ogilvy UK for Dove, produced globally in partnership with Cartoon Network. We're already familiar with Dove's well-established goal of promoting self-esteem among women. In an admirable new initiative, this latest campaign targets perhaps the hardest to reach and also most vulnerable demographic of teenage girls, using animated sequences to embody their innermost fears and concerns. Anyone with a teenage daughter of their own will be familiar with that blank "I'm fine" response, and the ensuing worry that there is more to it than that. Inevitably, social media envy plays a significant role. Here's the first of what will eventually be four films, in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese, for Dove's main global markets.
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Sep 2017: Ogilvy UK was rocked by the unexpected resignation of local chief Annette King to become UK country head of Publicis Groupe, overseeing all four of its local operating divisions, Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis.Sapient and Publicis Health. Earlier reports had speculated that global Publicis Media chief Steve King would take on that role; however, he will merely oversee the business until King is able to join the Groupe, probably not until this time next year. WPP is renowned for the vigour with which it enforces gardening leave for departing executives.
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th May 2017: WPP triumphed in the pitch for International Airlines Group, the parent entity for British Airways and Iberia, among other brands. The business moves from Publicis Groupe agencies. Bartle Bogle Hegarty has led creative for BA the past 12 years, with digital support from what is now SapientRazorfish. Ogilvy - already Iberia's agency - will add responsibility for British Airways, and will regain all that carrier's digital duties, which had been mostly transferred to BBH and SapientNitro. GroupM agencies will manage media for BA and frequent flyer scheme Avios, but it's understood that media for Iberia will remain with Carat.
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th June 2014: Top winner in the Direct category at this year's Cannes Lions Festival was OgilvyOne London, with its clever "magic of flying" campaign for British Airways in which electronic billboards pointed out aircraft passing overhead and supplied details of where they were going. Bizarrely, the same campaign only collected a Gold in the Outdoor category.
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