Widely admired for its technical wizardry and stunning design, R/GA is generally considered to be among the foremost agencies working in digital marketing, and is the biggest creative network by revenues within Interpublic after its three main ad agencies. AdAge estimated revenues of $392m in 2017, not far behind MullenLowe. There is an extensive global presence now stretching to 18 offices across 12 countries. R\GA was named as interactive agency of the year by both leading US trade publications in 2006, and digital agency of the decade by Adweek in 2009. More recently, it was AdAge's Agency of the Year for 2014. R/GA remains one of the world's most admired digital specialists. However, it has moved well beyond the confines of traditional web design, and increasingly the company is positioning itself as a full-service ad agency and consultancy specialising in digital creativity: "The agency for the connected age". The company started life in the late 1970s as R/Greenberg Associates, a specialist creative studio making computer-assisted movie trailers and title sequences including for Superman and Alien. The company later moved into digital special effects for movies and commercials, and from there into other digital media. It was acquired in 1997 by what was then FCB's parent entity True North. Founder Bob Greenberg remains chairman, and is regarded as one of the presiding gurus of digital creativity. He will pass on the role of CEO to Sean Lyons at the beginning of 2019. Stephen Plumlee is global COO.
Capsule checked 10th October 2018
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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Nov 2018: Ads of the Week "Rising". R/GA has already won a shelf-full of awards for its 'Love Has No Labels' campaign for the US Ad Council, encouraging acceptance and inclusion across all racial, religious and gender barriers. This latest campaign, from director David Nutter, deserves to take home a few more. It's an immensely powerful moral tale that reminds us that a community needs to stick together in the face of appalling odds: "Why does it take a disaster to bring us together?" It's a fine piece of film-making, with excellent effects and performances. If we have a reservation - yeah, you know us, we always have a reservation - it would be: enough of the music already. The film is strong enough to get its message across without needing the soaring orchestration and especially that final song to put a saccharine cherry on top.
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Nov 2018: Bob Greenberg will step down as CEO of R/GA at the beginning of next year, passing over that role to Sean Lyons, president of R/GA USA since 2015. Greenberg will continue as chairman until 2020 at the earliest. He has led the business for 40 years since founding it with his brother Richard in the 1970s to design title sequences for movies. The company's first job was the extraordinary opening title sequence for Ridley Scott's Alien.
Adbrands Social Media 30th Aug 2018: "The First Driver". According to corporate legend, the first person to take the first ever automobile for a drive was not in fact its inventor Karl Benz - later to become the founder of Mercedes-Benz - but his wife Bertha, who took it out for a spin without his knowledge. This year is the 130th anniversary of that surreptitious pleasure-drive, and R/GA is celebrating the milestone with a nice little film. It probably stretches the truth a bit (though the garter detail is apparently true). And those title cards are unnecessary and a tad annoying, even if they are intended to provide an echo of silent-era movies. However, it's a cute reminder that in some areas, female empowerment started early.
Adbrands Social Media 30th Oct 2017: "Shake Up Imagination". R/GA's stripped down online promo for LEGO lets its young stars carry the show, and a fine job they do of it too. Every one is a complete natural in front of the camera, so all the production had to do was point the camera and turn it on; or at least that's what it looks like.
Adbrands Social Media 22 Jun 2017: Grand Prix for Media at Cannes went to R/GA for its clever "low cost" campaign for online retailer Jet.com. Rather like other Grand Prix-winning campaigns for Mailchimp and Burger King, this won its honours by thinking outside the box about how to capture consumers' attention. (Interestingly, in this category, BK had to settle with just a couple of bronze awards). As usual Cannes, the criteria for "best media" didn't have much to do with planning or buying but was all about the concept, so virtually no traditional media agencies got even a metal lion in the overall handout.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Jan 2017: Ads of the Week: "Improv". Nike's new spot featuring NBA star Kyrie Irving and Questlove is a gem, making up for a few disappointing recent campaigns from Wieden & Kennedy. Worryingly for W&K, that may be because this new spot is not by them; it's actually from R/GA, who've been threatening for some time to out-W&K W&K, if you know what we mean, with fine work for Samsung and Beats, among others. (Recognise Questlove? He's best known as leader of Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show house band). Love this.
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