School Reports 2017: Adam & Eve/DDB

  • John Lewis

    John Lewis

  • H&M



Score: 9
Last year: 9

How the agency rates itself: 9

The UK creative agency sector has been dominated by Adam & Eve/DDB for the past few years. After another 12 months of excellent work and industry leadership, it was named Campaign’s Ad Agency of the Year a third consecutive time in 2016.

Immediately before claiming that gong, Adam & Eve/DDB announced its next generation of leaders, including the first woman to be listed among its key personnel. The promotions of Rick Brim, Tammy Einav, Mat Goff and Alex Hesz recognised their role in making such a success of Adam & Eve’s 2012 merger with DDB – both for Omnicom and the founders’ bank balances. The ascension of Anthony Falco, meanwhile, indicates the increasing importance of production.

After a couple of months of ambiguity, February 2017 brought confirmation of the founders’ roles moving forward. Jon Forsyth is off, though the terms of the deal means he will stick around all year. James Murphy, Ben Priest and David Golding became group chief executive, group chief creative officer and group chief strategy officer respectively, and they will lead the agency’s development into a micro-network.

The international expansion, starting with a New York office, follows the major new-business success of 2016: capturing the North American Samsung account in November. Other wins included digital work for Sky Mobile and additional briefs from Heineken (Strongbow), Google (Pixel) and Diageo (Tanqueray). Work-wise, there were classy ads for John Lewis, Waitrose, Temptations and H&M, while the two Grands Prix at Cannes helped Adam & Eve/DDB top The Gunn Report as the most-awarded agency in the world last year.

Campaign has never given a shop Agency of the Year four years in a row. How the founders and the new management will divide their responsibilities has yet to play out but they’re unlikely to give up the chance of achieving that accolade without a fight.

How the agency describes its performance this year, in 75 words or less

Two Cannes Grand Prix; four BIG Golds; third IPA Effectiveness Grand Prix in a row; IPA Effectiveness Agency of the Year; new home-grown management team; winning Samsung in North America and opening our first international office in New York; and working with 100 year old models, Top Cat and Wes Anderson. A pretty standard year all round.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

#WorldClass. 2 Cannes GPs. 3rd IPA GP in a row. 4 BIG Golds. Samsung NA & adam&eveDDB NYC. Fab new mngmnt team. Oh & Buster, Wes, Becks & Bo

Score key: 9 Outstanding 8 Excellent 7 Good 6 Satisfactory 5 Adequate 4 Below average 3 Poor 2 A year to forget 1 Survival in question

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