FCB is the second largest integrated network within Interpublic, after McCann. The FCB name was reintroduced in 2014 for the network previously known as Draftfcb. That business had been created in 2006 from the merger by Interpublic of two of its existing subsidiaries: direct marketing specialist Draft Worldwide and famed creative advertising network Foote Cone & Belding. Draft had for several years been one of Interpublic's most consistently profitable brands, and the merger was designed to provide added strength to FCB which, while a strong performer in the US, remained weak outside its home market. Under both its names, the resulting business is a fully integrated worldwide marketing services giant offering a broad range of disciplines from traditional creative to direct, digital and sales promotion, all under a single management team. Though it is rarely given full credit for the fact, the creation of Draftfcb anticipated by several years the process taken more recently by several other networks, notably Ogilvy and Publicis Groupe agencies. Yet the combined business got off to a terrible start when it was fired from the Wal-Mart account at the end of 2006 after just three months. Despite that shaky debut, Draftfcb evolved into what was said to be one of Interpublic's more profitable subsidiaries by the end of the decade. More recently, though, the loss of SC Johnson and other major accounts in 2011 and 2012 made something of a dent in performance. The appointment of a new management team led by former Y&R and Publicis executive Carter Murray resulted in a marked improvement in fortune after 2013. Susan Credle was poached from Leo Burnett in 2016 to become chief creative officer. AdAge estimated revenues for the main FCB network of $728m in 2019, or $1.1bn including its small collection of specialised satellite agencies. FCB Health is the network's dedicated healthcare marketing division. FCB/Red and FCB/Six are shopper and promotional marketing agencies operating primarily in North America. International markets remain FCB's comparative weak spot, with some notable exceptions such as Brazil and South Africa. FCB Inferno is the UK outpost. In several other important markets, however, not least France, Germany and Australia, FCB has no local presence at all, but is represented either by local independents or by other Interpublic agencies. Several European offices (in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Poland) are wholly independent agencies operating the FCB brand (and in some cases McCann as well) under license, while offices in Argentina, Spain and several other Spanish-speaking markets are joint ventures with management, only minority owned by Interpublic. In a welcome recognition of the network's steady turnaround since 2013, FCB was named as North American Creative Agency of the Year at the Cannes Lions Festival in 2019 and by Adweek as Global Network of the Year for 2020.
Capsule checked 5th January 2021
Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets.
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Marketer Moves 18th Aug 2021: New CCO at FCB West. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 28th Oct 2020: "You Can Sense It You Can Stop It". A decade's worth of Compare The Market advertising has rather over-familiarised us with the comic potential of meerkats. Try to put that out of your mind for a moment for this superb film from FCB New Zealand for local health and safety regulator WorkSafe, which riffs on the most striking aspect of meerkat society. Namely, their tendency to watch out for one another; very appropriate in the context of workplace safety. Just consider for a moment what this ad might have in another agency's hands. It's a government-sponsored public safety message, after all. Not the place you'd expect to find humour. It just goes to prove once again that FCB's New Zealand office, tucked away on the other side of the globe, is actually one of the network's most creatively inspired outposts.
Adbrands Daily Update 29th Oct 2019: "Sensitive". There's a new spirit of creative excellence making its presence felt at global skincare giant Beiersdorf. After many years in which, for the most part, flagship brand Nivea was notable for its generally bland cookie cutter advertising, there's a refreshing intelligence and sense of humour to more recent fare. That process seems to have started in Latin America, and is gradually spreading across the company's international operations. Witness this excellent campaign from FCB Mexico for Nivea Men, which leavens the heart-on-our-sleeve political correctness adopted recently by rivals Gillette and Axe with a wittier, more self-deprecating lightness of touch.
Adbrands Daily Update 1st Oct 2019: There was further restructuring of FCB's management structure in the US, with the departure of FCB Chicago CEO Michael Fassnecht after almost 10 years at the agency. Instead, all the agency's offices in the region will be united under the leadership of Tyler Turnbull, already CEO of FCB's offices in Toronto and New York. He assumes the title of CEO, FCB North America. Kelly Graves was promoted to president of FCB Chicago, reporting to Turnbull. At the same time, FCB's North American outposts (excluding FCB Health) will combine under a single P&L.
Adbrands Daily Update 17th Sep 2019: "Resist". Here's another splendidly tongue-in-cheek homage to life in the advertising industry from FCB Brazil. Like the mind-blowing "Anger" animation we featured here a few weeks ago, it's part of the annual celebrations for the local creative body Clube de Criacao. The new film promotes the club's forthcoming advertising festival. The earlier ad's anger has now turned into acceptance - clients only seem to want the same work over and over again; you just have to keep churning it out. But the new film ends with a call to resist the same old same old. As always, these films like to bite the hand that feeds them, but the results are a visual delight.
Adbrands Daily Update 21st Aug 2019: "Rage". Clube de Criacao - or Creative Club - is Brazil's non-profit association for advertising art directors and copywriters. Each year it produces a yearbook of the country's best output, and traditionally the local office of FCB is called upon to promote the occasion. Here's one of several films out this week to canvas entries for next year's 44th annual edition. As you might expect it aims for (and achieves) maximum eyeball-grabbing impact. The theme this time is the everyday rage suffered by creative directors searching for the next big idea, or as the ad suggests: "You get really mad until you get an idea that makes other people go mad".
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