HP Cutty Sark

BBDO loses Chrysler - and comes back as Agency of the Year!


By Noel Young, Correspondent

December 13, 2011 | 3 min read

An agency which started the year with the loss of one of its biggest clients - Chrysler - has rebounded with a vengeance, winning the Global Agency of the Year accolade from the US magazine Adweek.

Big win for BBDO

BBDO's global revenue zoomed 18 percent over last year. In addition to S.C. Johnson and ExxonMobil, BBDO’s global wins included digital business for Visa’s 2012 Olympics initiative, BlackBerry, Cutty Sark, Western Union, and Hewlett-Packard’s Imaging and Printing Group. BBDO also won the first-ever Cannes Grand Prix for Creativity.

It was a huge blow when BBDO, who had had stuck with Chrysler through bankruptcy, lost the account in January. Detroit was one of the agency’s largest offices outside New York, and 500 staff were laid of.

Since then, BBDO has more than recovered . This year it had a leap in global revenue of 18 percent to an estimated $2.47 billion

Since March 2009, it has won 90 percent of the global pitches in which it was a finalist, including major reviews such as S.C. Johnson (a win shared with Ogilvy & Mather) and ExxonMobil.

BBDO was the most recognised network for creative and effectiveness at Cannes , and the most awarded at the CLIO Awards.

Andrew Robertson, BBDO’s worldwide CEO, said “We were dealing with a ghastly economy and the loss of Chrysler. One of the things I am most proud of is that given all of that, we could have been forgiven if the quality of the creative slipped a little, but it didn’t.

“We’ve just had our fifth consecutive year as the most awarded network at Cannes. We’ve doubled down on the things we do best.”

Steve Pacheco, director of advertising for client FedEx,says, “BBDO is not just a TV shop any more. They’ve evolved in interactive and digital where they are as good as they are in TV. There’s a consistency and proven reliability where we know they’ll knock it out of the park with whatever they do for us.”

Parent Omnicom is also expanding in emerging markets. In Russia, BBDO and its associated companies are now the country’s largest agency group.

Just three years ago, Josy Paul, chairman of BBDO’s new agency in India, was running the office out of his car. Today, it boasts a staff of 70, and this year won four Cannes Lions, including one for effectiveness .

London’s AMV BBDO won the inaugural Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness at Cannes , for its work on Walkers crisps.

HP Cutty Sark

More from HP

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +