School Reports 2012: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Recent work from Weetabix
Recent work from Weetabix

Bartle Bogle Hegarty was pretty much everyone's pick of 2011. Not only was it the clear winner of Campaign's top accolade, Agency of the Year, but lots of high-profile clients entrusted their advertising to a shop that enjoyed a dramatic return to form.

Score: 9

Agency fact file: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Type of agency Creative advertising
Company ownership 49% owned by Publicis Groupe
Key personnel Jim Carroll chairman
  Ben Fennell chief executive
  Nick Gill executive creative director
  Charlie Rudd managing director
  Rosie Arnold deputy executive creative director
Nielsen billings 2011 £215m
Nielsen billings 2010 £171m
Declared income £46.7m
Total accounts at year end 44
Accounts won 11 (biggest: Virgin Media)
Accounts lost 2 (biggest: Vodafone)
Number of staff 388 (+1%)

Winning Virgin Media's £36 million advertising business was a fitting way to end such a momentous period. But, most importantly, its work shone throughout the year and earned BBH more Campaign Picks of the Week (six) than any other agency.

Creative high points included the Weetabix "fuel for big days" execution, some witty Lynx work, a charming KFC campaign, interactive online films for ASOS and, of course, the return of the Yeo Valley farmers. The executive creative director, Nick Gill, oversaw a consistently high standard of work from his department last year.

The agency dominated the top pitchlists and, in the main, came out triumphant with an enviable conversion rate, winning 11 out of 13 pitches. Notable wins included the £25 million Waitrose business, the global Dulux account and Sol. BBH also picked up The Guardian's advertising business, and the billings from the Virgin Media win helped make up for the agency's loss of the £47 million Vodafone UK ad account after an alignment of the business into WPP.

The success coincided with plaudits for its co-founder Sir John Hegarty, who launched his book Hegarty On Advertising and was honoured with the Lion of St Mark award at Cannes. The agency also showed that advertising can give back when, out of goodwill, it launched a campaign to save an elderly man's barber business after it was attacked in last summer's riots.

In all, a triumphant year that should imbue the shop with confidence in 2012.

Score last year: 7

How Bartle Bogle Hegarty rates itself: 8

"We are incredibly proud of what our people have achieved in 2011."

Return to the School Reports 2012 A-Z directory

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