McGarryBowen established a reputation as one of the top agencies in the US in the late 2000s and early 2010s as a result of an awe-inspiring run of big account wins. In pitches, its record was virtually unblemished, and even the handful of important accounts it lost after 2005 ended up back at the agency again after a couple of years elsewhere. It's proof that experience counts: McGarryBowen might have seemed like a "new" agency but in fact its founders had a long and distinguished record in the industry, dating back to the 1970s. The agency was acquired in 2008 by Japanese giant Dentsu, and launched its first European offices during 2012 with the rebranding of Dentsu outposts in London and Duesseldorf. Further openings in other markets followed, mostly through acquisition. In recent years, expansion has occupied much of the agency's time and energy, and new business performance has been somewhat less starry than in its 2010s heyday. Nevertheless, there have been several key wins, and McGarryBowen is the biggest traditional creative agency by far within what is now Dentsu International. Co-founder Gordon Bowen remains global chairman and co-chief creative officer. His former partner John McGarry retired from the business in 2012 (and passed away in 2021). Jon Dupuis was appointed as global president in 2019, with Ned Crowley as global chief creative officer. By the end of 2019, the agency operated 12 offices in nine countries. Ad Age estimated total revenues of $220m that year, including $170m from the US. In 2020, all Dentsu Aegis Network's creative agencies outside Japan were combined under the banner of Dentsu McGarryBowen. The US agency, for the time being at least, still calls itself just McGarryBowen.
Capsule checked 29th September 2020
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Adbrands Update 20th Jun 2022: In a further consolidation of its sprawling empire, Dentsu International announced the merger of all its creative agencies to form a single network, Dentsu Creative. Much of this work has already been partially completed with what was once a disparate collection of local companies already grouped into three main networks of Dentsu MB (formerly McGarryBowen), Isobar and 360i. Now the MB, 360i and Isobar brands will also be shelved in favour of a united Dentsu Creative (or DC) identity.
Marketer Moves 1st Jul 2021: New regional chief creative officer for Asia Pacific at Dentsu. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 13th May 2020: Dentsu has begun the process of consolidating its non-Japanese operations with the creation of the uncomfortably named Dentsu McGarryBowen network. This will combine all creative operations outside Japan under what was previously the McGarryBowen banner. Key additions will be the parent group's several creative outposts across Asia Pacific, such as Dentsu Jayme Syfu in the Philippines and BWM Dentsu in Australia. The resulting business will have more than 3,000 staff spread between 33 offices in 24 countries. Merlee Jayme, previously chair and chief creative officer of Dentsu Jayme Syfu, was appointed as global co-president alongside McGarryBowen's Jon Dupuis. [Updated: Jayme later moved to a new role, leaving Dupuis as sole president.] Gordon Bowen remains global chairman with Ned Crowley as chief creative officer.
Adbrands Weekly Update 13th Jul 2017: Ads of the Week: "RoboBoy". Clearly the way to a Dutch girl's heart is by becoming a real-life Transformer. This cute campaign for Volkswagen is from McGarryBowen's newly acquired outpost in Amsterdam, Achtung! It should provide considerable inspiration for parents seeking the ultimate fancy dress outfit for their offspring, but we're wondering if some form of Transformers royalty deal was necessary with Paramount and Hasbro. Separately, McGarryBowen announced the departure of New York chief creative officer Matthew Bull (one-time head honcho of South Africa's old Lowe Bull agency). No word of Bull's destination but North America CCO Ned Crowley will take over the reins on an interim basis. To relieve some of the pressure in the main Chicago office, Kurt Fries was promoted to local chief creative officer for that office.
Adbrands Weekly Update 13th Oct 2016: Dentsu Aegis Network's relentless acquisition drive rolled on. Latest addition to the portfolio is Happy Creative Services in Bangalore. This joins the McGarryBowen network as Happy McGarryBowen. It is the network's 13th office worldwide, joining other Asia pacific region outposts in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Apr 2016: The Clorox Company ended its 20-year association with DDB, dividing creative and digital duties for all brands between FCB and Dentsu Aegis Network, mainly McGarryBowen. FCB will take over all the company's cleaning products, as well as Glad food wrap and trash bags. McGarryBowen gets a collection of lifestyle brands including Burt's Bees cosmetics, Kingsford charcoal and Brita water filters. However it won't handle Clorox-owned salad dressings Hidden Valley and KC Masterpiece, because of a conflict with its existing assignments for Kraft. Those will handled by a separate Dentsu Aegis unit, still to be confirmed.
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Feb 2016: Dentsu Aegis Network continues to build its McGarryBowen international network. Latest addition to the fold is Dutch agency Achtung, which now becomes the Amsterdam outpost of the business.
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