Foote Cone Belding has taken the unprecedented step of running its own
radio ads poking fun at its chequered past - and what it claims is the
industry’s failure to recognise its revival.
Dominic Mills, Campaign’s editorial director; the headhunter, Canna
Kendall; the recording artist, Nick Angell; Roger Alexander, the
specialist media lawyer; and Maria Echevannier from L’Estaminet
restaurant, feature in a series of commercials breaking on London News
Radio this Thursday.
All the personalities take a good-natured swipe at FCB, which has been
on the receiving end of some wicked industry humour since its fall from
grace in the early 80s.
Once one of the UK’s most successful shops, with blue-chip names such as
British Airways and ICI on its client list, the agency was laid low in
the late 80s by the in-fighting of its senior management.
Since then, it has almost totally revamped its managerial frontline with
the appointment of Chris Rendel from Ogilvy and Mather as managing
director, and the arrival of O&M’s former joint creative directors, Alan
Midgley and John Bacon, to head the creative department.
The agency recently made a profit for the first time in five years and
has chalked up a number of new-business wins, including S. C. Johnson
and Molson beer.
One ad features a Campaign news meeting. A reporter says that the
magazine will have to feature FCB on its front page more often. ‘Don’t
be ridiculous,’ Mills protests. ‘Next thing you’ll be asking me to do a
commercial for them!’
Rendel said: ‘The commercials are just a bit of fun and it would be
pompous to suggest otherwise. We thought it a good idea to get across to
the ad ‘village’ and a few knowing clients that we are cutting it