BBDO's Recent Wins Quench Thirst Left by Diet Pepsi Loss

David Kiley

Less than a year ago, one had to wonder what was going on at BBDO, the muscle agency at Omnicom. After all, CEO Andrerw Robertson had appeared to lose his mind when he fired BBDO's top dog creative director Ted Sann without telling the agency's very important client, Pepsi, on which Sann was a fixture. Pepsi heard about it from the media before hearing it from Robertson. That little move resulted in the Diet Pepsi business leaving BBDO for DDB Needham, another Omnicom agency.

But since the start of the year, consider that BBDO has racked up Lowes Home Centers ($315 million), announced just today, Motorola ($100 million) Mitsubishi ($200 million), ebay ($60 million)and was key part of winning Bank of America's $600 million account for Omnicom, which put several of its agencies against the recent pitch. I bet I'm leaving out some wins that BBDO's media relations chief will call me about shortly. What is impressive about the wins listed here is that, except for the struggling Mitsubishi, these are all "leader" brands. And the ability to win Mitsubishi looks all the more impressive against the backdrop of the agency's handling of Chrysler's advertising for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep. I don't much like half the stuff BBDO does for Chrysler, but Chrysler is the Detroit company making money these days. And it was interesting that Robertson got Chrysler to sign off on the agency taking on a second car account. That's usually not done.

The Lowe's win for BBDO is another dig at IPG agencies. McCann-Erickson had been the incumbent on Lowe's. IPG's Deutsch had been Mitsubishi's agency. B of A had been at IPG.

Some insiders say Robertson's firing of Sann was calculated to break the "rock star" culture among BBDO's creative directors. He made a statement then by hiring David Lubars from Fallon McElligott's frigid midwestern outpost in Minneapolis egos have to be smaller just to stay warm. Looks like its paying off.

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