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BBDO is the biggest of the three main advertising networks in Omnicom's portfolio. The group has long held a commanding position as one of the world's most prestigious networks, with around 290 offices in more than 80 countries. It has ranked for several years as one of the top two advertising agencies in the US, and its international subsidiaries - for example the UK's AMV BBDO, Germany's BBDO Gruppe and Australia's Clemenger BBDO - are also among the leaders in their local markets. The agency is widely admired for the quality of its creative work, and regularly features among the winners in advertising festivals around the globe. In fact the network as a whole has been the most awarded worldwide every year in the annual Gunn Report since 2006. Between 1920 and the late 1940s, the guiding light for what was then Batten Barton Durstine & Osborn, was Bruce Barton. Little known now, he was at the time considered to be one of the greatest admen of his era. See also
Account Gains 2019: WhatsApp (Global), Continental Tires (Europe), Tennis Australia (Australia), Austrade (Global), Gumtree (Australia) Losses: Mountain Dew (US $120m), Grey Goose (Global), Priceline.com (US $30m), Fonterra Brands (Australia)
Account Gains 2018: Ford (Global $2bn+), Dunkin' Donuts (US), Asda (UK £95m), Avocados From Mexico (US), American Egg Board (US), O2 (Germany), Redd's (US), Virgin Atlantic (UK), Samsung (UK), BMW Group (Australia), iZettle (UK) Losses: Mercedes-Benz (Global), Lowe's (US), Campbell Soup Company (Global), Auchan supermarkets (France), Tourism Australia (Global), GE Appliances (US), National Lottery (UK £45m), Douglas (Germany), PepsiCo Beverages (Australia)
Account Gains 2017: Macy's (US $500m), Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price (US), Carphone Warehouse (UK £30m), Great Ormond Street Hospital (UK), Beyondblue (Australia) Losses: Beck's (Germany), Virgin Australia (Australia), University of Queensland (Australia)
See ranking of Leading Agency Brands Worldwide
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Adbrands Daily Update 18th Jun 2019: BBDO took home its first Grand Prix at Cannes Lions 2019 with a bold Print & Publishing campaign from Impact BBDO Dubai for Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar. Last year, Lebanon was without a functioning government for months because political inflighting between different parties prevented the creation of a new administration. To protest against the political vacuum, An-Nahar published an entirely blank edition of its top-selling daily newspaper to make the point "if the government doesn't work, why should we". Readers were encouraged to buy the paper and write their own headlines protesting against the stalemate.
Adbrands Social Media 28th May 2019: "Train". Here's the latest of a series of genre mash-ups from BBDO New York for AT&T. Previous such exercises have blended the romcom and the horror movie, the sports drama and the scifi chiller, each in a fabulously accurate and convincing pastiche. The idea is to illustrate the full range of movie entertainment available on AT&T's on-demand service. This, though, takes the series to new delightful levels of the epic and the absurd. That first half especially is in a class of its own. The switch, when it comes, delivers the biggest surprise of the series so far.
Adbrands Social Media 11th Feb 2019: "Fuel Your Destiny". Our favourite ad by far from last night's Grammys was this offbeat spot from BBDO New York for Dunkin' - just Dunkin' now; they still sell Donuts but not above the door! It's quite a change from previous ads from the coffeeshop chain, and all the better for that. Great concept, great script and a really impressive collection of unusual-looking character actors. Don't be offended but even in these PC times, the technical term for them is still "uglies", but we think they're all wonderful. A special shout-out for the crazed captain and that "prototypes" guy.
Adbrands Social Media 15th Jan 2019: "Act Tiny. Be Mighty". Ocean Spray's long-running comic growers duo finally got dropped last year along with agency Arnold Worldwide. A New Year brings a new start from Energy BBDO in Chicago, and it's a charming tale of family values and social responsibility, real footage overlaid with some cute animation. "We're excited to help build the iconic Ocean Spray brand in a new and authentic way," says Energy BBDO CCO Andres Ordonez. "By visiting the Ocean Spray farms, we got to experience, first-hand, the authentic passion and love that goes into growing these wonderful berries."Key to the brand's underlying message is the fact that Ocean Spray remains a cooperative enterprise, representing the interests of 700 or so independent cranberry (and grapefruit) farmers across America.
Adbrands Social Media 29th Dec 2018: "OK". BBDO New York has a great new "gag" campaign out for AT&T to argue that having a wireless network that is just OK just isn't OK, and of course AT&T now claims to be the best there is. (No doubt Verizon begs to differ). There's nothing like a good gag, though, to make the message stick. There are already five executions in circulation, each of which offers other everyday situations when OK really isn't good enough. Tattoo artists and car mechanics are among the others on offer, but here are a couple of our favourite set-ups.
Adbrands Social Media 12th Dec 2018: "Point of View". Here's another immensely powerful PSA from BBDO New York for Sandy Hook Promise, the nonprofit set up to highlight the warning signs that could be leading up to a school shooting. As the campaign warns, most people only notice a shooter once it's too late. Whereas BBDO's previous campaigns have presented an objective view, this one, in a disturbing twist, puts us firmly in the driving seat: a school election seen from the point of view of one alienated teenager as he moves closer to a catastrophic confrontation with his classmates. It's not a happy experience, but it deserves to be seen.
BBDO is among the top two or three worldwide advertising networks in terms of creativity, geographic spread and general reputation, and has delivered consistently high performance for many years. It is generally among the top tier of agencies in each market in which it operates, and offers a broad range of marketing services in most countries, sometimes through locally acquired and separately branded specialist subsidiaries or affiliates. The agency's consistent performance is due in no small part to a long-serving senior management team, and the handover to the latest generation of leaders has been handled skillfully and smoothly.
BBDO positions itself as the leading global creative network, highlighting an obsessive focus on "The Work, The Work, The Work." In Gunn Report rankings, which tally up the prizes in all the world's leading creative awards schemes, BBDO was the world's most awarded network in 2016 for the eleventh consecutive year, and it has taken first place 14 times in the 18 years since the ranking was launched. Big Won creative rankings, which use a different marking system, placed it as the #1 network in 2016, for the 12th time in 13 years.
Traditionally, the star performer in this area tends to be AlmapBBDO of Brazil, the single most awarded agency in 2010, Agency of the Year at the Cannes Lions Festival in both 2010 and 2011, and #3 in the Gunn top five for 2013, equal 2nd in 2015 and #3 in 2016. AlmapBBDO was Big Won's #5 agency for 2016, and it almost always features among the Top Ten. In 2016, however, New Zealand's Colenso BBDO was not only the network's top performer but also the world's most awarded agency, according to The Big Won, primarily as a result of its "Brewtroleum" campaign for DB Breweries, although other campaigns were also recognised internationally. BBDO had no less than six agencies among the Big Won's Top Ten. Others were AlmapBBDO, BBDO NY, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, AMV BBDO London and Dubai's Impact BBDO.
The network now claims a footprint of 289 offices in 81 countries. According to Advertising Age, the BBDO network generated worldwide revenues of $1.78bn in 2015. Including marketing services subsidiaries, Ad Age estimated total revenues of $2.48bn. The network's strength is underpinned by a hard core of global clients, most notably PepsiCo (for both drinks and snacks), Mars, Mercedes-Benz and Bayer healthcare. The group operates several partnership arrangements with local agencies around the world. These include Clemenger BBDO in Australia (BBDO increased its holding from 46% to just under 74% in 2011). In 2009, it acquired full control of another former joint venture, the Impact BBDO network spread across seven countries in the Middle East.
Advertising Age estimated US revenues for the BBDO advertising network as $603m (or 34% of worldwide revenues) in 2015. There are five main agencies, located in New York, Atlanta (primarily to service key client AT&T), Minneapolis (primarily for Hormel Foods), San Francisco and Chicago. The latter changed its name in 2005 from plain old BBDO Chicago to Energy BBDO in a bid to differentiate it from the New York office. Several other offices have been closed or restructured. Los Angeles shuttered in 2009, followed in 2010 by the outpost in Detroit, after the loss of the Chrysler account. That unit was originally established in 2000 under the name Pentamark following the capture of the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep accounts from FCB. Pentamark had rebranded as BBDO Detroit in 2002.
BBDO operates offices in Canada in Toronto and Montreal. (The latter was until 2015 known as Nolin BBDO). Until the 1970s, BBDO was represented in Canada by part-owned affiliate Baker BBDO. It steadily increased in size over the next few years as a result of a string of acquisitions, with James Lovick in 1971 to form Baker Lovick BBDO, and then in 1992 with the country's oldest agency McKim Advertising (established in 1899). The resulting agency took the name BBDO Canada.
The network has an extensive footprint across Europe, including leading positions in several major Western markets including the UK, Germany and France. It is also a leading player in Russia, where it operates through three separate advertising brands: BBDO Russia, Instinct and Contrapunto, as well as a host of affiliated marketing services units. It was among the first Western agencies into Russia, establishing a presence in 1989 to manage local advertising for Pepsi, and now claims to be the biggest advertising and communications group in the country.
It has a presence in 18 countries in Latin America, including cornerstone AlmapBBDO in Brazil, which is considered one of the world's most creative agencies, as well as the local #3 by billings in 2016. The network operates in 14 markets in the Asia Pacific region, including major presences in Australia and New Zealand (Clemenger BBDO), Japan (I&S/BBDO) and India (through two separate networks - wholly owned BBDO India and minority-owned RK Swamy BBDO). Of the few world markets of any significance where BBDO has no direct branded presence, one is Switzerland, where it is represented by local shop Wirz; another is Ireland, where it operates through Irish International.
The network operates a number of local satellites in different markets. Proximity Worldwide was traditionally the network's global integrated marketing network. However, several outposts have gradually been absorbed into local offices of BBDO. In 2017, the remaining standalone outposts of Proximity were transferred out into a newly created Omnicom Precision Marketing division, and direct reporting links with BBDO were terminated. BBDO also works closely with Omnicom-owned Organic while Healthwork is a joint venture with Omnicom stablemate CDM. In several markets, business communications agency Doremus is affiliated to the BBDO group through a minority holding, although it is not a formal part of the network. In 2010, the agency established what was previously an inhouse brand consultancy team in New York as an autonomous unit under the name Batten & Co, a nod to George Batten, founder of the oldest agency in the group's family tree. The group's German consultancy business BBDO Consulting also adopted the Batten & Co name. BBDO is closely aligned with OMD and PHD for media planning and buying.
Allen Rosenshine retired as chairman of BBDO Worldwide at the end of 2006, handing over that role to British-born Andrew Robertson, already CEO. Trained at AMV BBDO in London during the late 1990s, Robertson was previously president and CEO of BBDO North America, before becoming worldwide president in 2002.
David Lubars is chairman & chief creative officer, North America; Mark Cadman is EVP & managing director, North America, and account lead for AT&T. Matt MacDonald is EVP & chief creative officer for AT&T. Paul Roebuck rejoined the agency in 2014 as EVP & senior business director for worldwide Johnson & Johnson business.
At the flagship New York office, Kirsten Flanik was promoted to president in May 2016, and then succeeded John Osborn as CEO in 2017. Greg Hahn is chief creative officer. Crystal Rix is chief strategy officer and global chief marketing officer. Tonise Paul is president & CEO of Energy BBDO in Chicago. CCO Andres Ordonez departed in 2019 and was replaced by co-CCOs Josh Gross and Pedro Perez. BBDO Atlanta is led by managing director Peter Bunarek. Robin Fitzgerald became chief creative officer in 2016, the first female creative chief at a US BBDO agency. Jim Lesser is CEO, San Francisco with Matt Miller & Steve Rutter as CEDs.
Regional chiefs include St John Walshe (chief executive, BBDO Americas), Jim Moser (chairman, Europe), Jean-Paul Burge (CEO, Asia) and Dani Richa (CEO, Middle East & Africa).
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