School Reports 2017: BMB


Score: 4
Last year: 4

How the agency rates itself: 5

Soon after completing its full takeover of BMB at the end of 2015, Cheil wasted little time in plucking the agency from its cosy Covent Garden home and shelving it into the Cheil UK headquarters on the South Bank. After the upheaval, what followed was a year of quiet transition.

Moving in with Cheil gave BMB access to Samsung, for which it now works on global content for TVs after a competitive pitch. The meaty account has contributed to the 31% growth in the agency’s headcount. And, ever so quietly, BMB seems to be getting its mojo back.

Samsung was the biggest of a creditable nine new clients added to its books last year but, overall, there is still a lack of big brands for BMB to play with. This is no small shortcoming for an agency whose heritage is in big-brand TV advertising and was underscored by its loss of Yorkshire Tea.

And yet BMB showed it can still deliver strong TV campaigns when given the chance: a particular highlight was Dairylea’s return to TV after three years with an elegant and clever spot featuring children on bikes imagining themselves as knights on horses. It also impressed with a campaign for New Balance featuring sports stars Aaron Ramsey, Joe Root and Heather Watson.

Enter Jules Chalkley, who joined as chief creative officer in May: nominally replacing the otherwise irreplaceable Beattie and the architect of the 2015 "Missing type" campaign for NHS Blood and Transplant while at Engine. His impact on this agency in transition may be the most important variable of all.

Behind the scenes, chief executive Juliet Haygarth is conscious of BMB’s need to evolve to compete and, as well as bolstering its creative team, has been overseeing the formation of the agency’s in-house production arm.

Watch this space.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

Great new clients to join our roster, headcount up, revenue up, our first CCO and we’re building a real creative head of steam.

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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