Nielsen billings 2017: £322m (+18%)
Declared income: n/s
Total accounts at year end: 47
Accounts won: 6 (biggest: Costa)
Accounts lost: 3 (biggest: British Airways)
Number of staff: 405 (-10%)
Key personnel: Ben Fennell, chief executive; Alison Hoad, chief strategy officer; Anthony Austin, executive creative director; Ian Heartfield, executive creative director; Karen Martin, managing director
Star player: n/s
The loss of the British Airways account looked like being an unhappy portent for Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s year – but, fortunately, this was not the case. In truth, BA hadn’t run much brand work for a while, instead focusing its efforts on CRM (an area in which BBH has capabilities but is by no means a specialist) and is not the prestigious account it once was. The creative opportunities on offer were always pretty thin on the ground.
There were plenty of other opportunities for the BBH creative department to get its teeth into, though – highlights included "Clowns" for Audi (handed Campaign’s 2017 Creative Grand Prix), Virgin Media’s "Fibre" and Absolut’s striking "Equal love".
It also looked like the year when the agency had cracked the previously problematic Tesco account, with its "Love stories" campaign.
History was made as Nick Gill stepped aside as the agency’s fourth executive creative director, to be replaced by a combination of Ian Heartfield and Anthony Austin. This pairing could prove compelling, given their different but complementary skills. Certainly the output is beginning to look increasingly diverse – the shop even won a Bafta for its short film Home.
The management team seems to have settled down, although there was a little flux early this year, when Adam Arnold was replaced by his deputy Karen Martin.
New business was, by BBH’s standards, so-so. Costa and Next aren’t necessarily accounts that set the heart aflutter – at least not traditionally – but let’s see what Heartfield and Austin manage to do with them.
SCORE THIS YEAR
SCORE LAST YEAR
Agency's year in a tweet
The Black Sheep creativity you know, now in even more interesting places
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
*indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation