Friday, January 7, 2011

A Quick Look at Ad Agencies During the Last Decade

It is a new year.  It is also a new decade.  I started thinking about some of the agencies which have come and gone and thought I would write some of my notables.  What are yours?

A lot of really good agencies, big and small have merged, re-merged and submerged during the last ten years.  Here is my list off the top of my head.  I am sure I have left some good ones out.

Interpublic merged Bozell into FCB and then merged FCB into Draft - maybe a good strategy but perhaps the wrong execution.  Somewhere in all this, a wonderful small agency, Berenter, Greenhouse Webster, which had been owned by Bozell, went out of business.

Jordan McGrath Case and Taylor (JMCT) was subsumed by Arnold in New York.

IPG bought Deutsch and allowed Donny Deutsch to become a celebrity.

Lintas was merged with Ammirati in the nineties, which did neither of them any good.  Scali, McCabe, Sloves  had previously been merged into Lowe, then IPG merged Lowe into Lintas.  And then Deutsch in NY got the remnants of Lowe.  Now all those brands (except Deutsch)  have disappeared in the U.S.

Bates was bought by WPP and then merged into Ogilvy and JWT.  Much of the Bates business is gone from those agencies.  The loss of Bates is an unfortunate thing.  It was a fine agency and much better than it was given credit to be in the U.S.

Publicis went on a buying spree.  The result was the merger of Bcom3 into Publicis and the subsequent closing D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles into Publicis and D’Arcy’s demise.  Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett remained unsullied.

JWT closed it venerable Chicago Office.

Wells, Rich, Greene disappeared.  So did Cliff Freeman, M &C Saatchi (in the U.S.) and Margeotes, Fertitta and Partners. 

Enfatico came and went. 

Emergence and success
There have been a few notable success stories.  Not many, to be sure.  But the successes have been spectacular and are well deserved.
Crispin Porter Bogusky came out of nowhere in the late nineties and then in the last decade emerged as one of the creative giants of the business.

Kaplan Thaler Group became a billion dollar agency or close to it. Also true of McGarry Bowen.

A whole bunch of agencies with clever names seem to be doing more or less pretty well – Mother, Taxi, Strawberry Frog, Modernista

Wieden and Kennedy remains independent and continues to be one of the great agencies.

The Martin Agency keeps getting stronger.
David & Goliath came out of nowhere to become a strong west coast contender.

Jim Heeken accomplished the impossible by reinventing Grey with very little disruption of its existing accounts.  Bravo!

Publicis seems to be doing well.  Ditto Omnicom. 

Mergers continue.  Corporately, it may be ok, but on an individual basis, does it really do any good for anyone?

Messner, Vetere, Berger, McNamee and Schmetterer (Messner), lost its New York identity to Euro.  Too bad, but I guess inevitable. 

Kirshenbaum Bond and Partners became KBS Partners.  Who are they?

Sapient merged with Nitro to become SapientNitro.  Are they an agency or an IT consulting firm?

All the media companies have consolidated and expanded.  They now have account people, strategic (not media) planners and some are adding creative.  Huh?

And so it goes…..

1 comment:

  1. M&C Saatchi isn't gone.



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