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 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 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. It offers a broad range of marketing services in most countries, sometimes through locally acquired and separately branded specialist subsidiaries or affiliates. Widely admired for the quality of its creative work, BBDO regularly features among the winners in advertising festivals around the globe. In fact the network as a whole was the most awarded worldwide every year in the annual Gunn Report since from 2006 and 2018. For years, its global positioning has emphasised its obsessive focus on "The Work. The Work. The Work." That 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 for the most part been handled skillfully and smoothly. British-born CEO Andrew Robertson has led the network since 2004. BBDO currently claims a network spanning 289 agencies across 81 countries. Most trade simply as BBDO; however, there are important exceptions. The main New York flagship is partnered by a substantial operation in Chicago under the Energy BBDO name. Similarly several local acquired agencies in other markets - such as AMV BBDO, Clemenger BBDO, Almap BBDO in Brazil or Contrapunto BBDO in Spain - retain a nod to their heritage. Most of what were once several satellite marketing services networks have been absorbed back into the main agency or into other Omnicom businesses. One of the biggest, the Proximity direct & digital network, was absorbed into Rapp in 2020. However, BBDO still operates separately branded production network Flare BBDO in several locations. AdAge estimated global revenues for BBDO of almost $1.8bn in 2019, including $691m in the US. The business traces its roots back to Batten & Co, a small agency founded in New York in 1891. However, the guiding light between 1920 and the late 1940s for what was by 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.
Capsule checked 2nd October 2020
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Historical profile information for BBDO
Marketer Moves 6th Apr 2022: New CCOs at BBDO North America & New York. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Marketer Moves 15th Mar 2022: New APAC CEO at BBDO. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 5th May 2021: "No Drama". It's been an unusual 12 months, so perhaps it's inevitable that it should culminate in one of the world's more unusual tourism films. BBDO's local affiliate Wirz has concocted a deliciously odd film for Switzerland Tourism, in which the country's most famous prodigal son Roger Federer fails dismally to persuade Robert De Niro, a New Yorker through and through, to come sample the splendour of the alps. Brilliantly, the ad manages to have its cake and eat it: a tongue-in-cheek trashing by De Niro of Switzerland for its lack of gritty urban drama while also showing all the many wonders of its scenery. Top marks to the cheeky sound effects guy who snuck in that sound of smashing glass when Federer hits a volley. But perhaps the biggest surprise (apart from De Niro's shorts) is the ad's willingness to unleash a wholly unexpected f-bomb. There goes the family audience! But that's probably not a word that squeaky clean Federer has even heard before, let alone uttered himself.
Adbrands Daily Update 3rd May 2021: "For When It's Time". Ads for Mars-owned Extra chewing gum have in the past mostly tended to be a little basic, even slightly painful to watch. Who can forget Antonio Banderas having a conversation with animated doughnuts and cupcakes? I wish I could. It was time for a change, and Energy BBDO more than stepped up to the mark with this hilarious parody of post-lockdown life. You might have spent the past year indoors without combing your hair, getting out of your pyjamas, and most especially practising proper oral hygiene, but now it's time to get out there again and freshen up that breath again.
Marketer Moves 2nd April 2021: New leadership team at BBDO San Francisco. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 2nd Oct 2020: "First Timers". It's so rare for a spirits marketer to sign off on an original concept for its advertising. Like fragrance and fashion ads, so many campaigns are cut from near-identical cloth. In the case of spirits, there are four main concepts to choose from: an exploration of the brand's rich heritage; or perhaps the "moody loner with distinctive taste"; or maybe a group of edgy up and coming real-world milennial influencers; or alternatively it's just a montage of images of good friends sharing good times with good drinks. Energy BBDO have come up with something different for Jack Daniel's new global ad campaign. Notably too, more women feature here than men, which has got to be a positive. And here's one fun fact to finish with: you'd never think it but the entire ad was shot in Kyiv in Ukraine. Star director Ian Pons Jewell coordinated the socially distanced shoot with agency and client teams over Zoom.
Adbrands Daily Update 17th Apr 2020: In the most shocking development to-date in agency downsizing, BBDO laid off New York chief creative officer Greg Hahn and EVP integrated production Dave Rolfe as part of a reduction of around 10% to 13% of all US staff. BBDO's worldwide CCO & North America chairman Dave Lubars told AdAge simply "I'm too heartbroken to comment." Several agencies have already laid off some staff and furloughed others, but these are the most senior job reductions so far. Sadly, it seems inevitable they will be by no means the last.
Adbrands Daily Update 19th Nov 2019: "New Breed". British actor Idris Elba is the front man for Ford's bold reinvention of its classic Mustang racer, in an all-electric version, the Mach-E, and main agency BBDO NY is behind this striking launch film. It's a great-looking spot, but with some reservations. Now, we like Idris Elba a lot; this is a guy with character and charisma, which he has used to great effect in recent ads for Squarespace and Stella Artois. So we're wondering why BBDO hasn't made better use of him here. Who is he talking to? Not us, clearly, because otherwise he would be looking at us, not off into space or into his coffee. Eye contact is the secret to good salesmanship. Everyone knows that. An opportunity missed, we feel.
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