An AMV BBDO advertising supplement: Editorial - All smiles now with AMV fulfilling early promise

Twenty years ago this week, the founding partners of Abbott Mead Vickers set out their stall in a double-page ad in Campaign. ’Watch out Colletts,’ the headline said above a cheery picture of the founders, ’we’re only pounds 34 million behind you’ - Collett Dickenson Pearce, for those whose history doesn’t go back that far, was then the undisputed number one agency.

Twenty years ago this week, the founding partners of Abbott Mead

Vickers set out their stall in a double-page ad in Campaign. ’Watch out

Colletts,’ the headline said above a cheery picture of the founders,

’we’re only pounds 34 million behind you’ - Collett Dickenson Pearce,

for those whose history doesn’t go back that far, was then the

undisputed number one agency.



How the industry must have laughed. Indeed, the smiles worn by David

Abbott, Peter Mead and Adrian Vickers suggest they agreed it was a

preposterous claim.



Little, one suspects, did anybody realise this fledgling agency would

today be not only the UK’s biggest, but also its most respected and

admired - by both rivals and clients. The irony, of course, is that

throughout its history, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO (as it now is) has

never pursued size for its own sake, but focused only on achieving

excellence. Yet, by concentrating on the latter, it has achieved the

former.



How has it got there? Well, one could list the conventional reasons:

outstanding and consistent creative excellence; leadership; brilliant

strategic understanding of marketing and the role of advertising; an

account management style that means client and agency always have the

same agenda; a vision of where the agency is going, and an openness - as

evidenced by a canny group acquisitions policy - to other disciplines;

and a refusal to be diverted from its game-plan by short-term

exigencies. These are the attributes which distinguish all top agencies.

The difficult bit is getting it all to work at the same time, all the

time. In achieving this, AMV is unique.



Still, that doesn’t explain how it has achieved this, to which there can

only be one answer: the people, the culture they have created - and the

symbiotic relationship between the two. By hiring the best people and

treating them with respect and decency, AMV has created a cycle in which

virtue brings success. It is hard to see how that virtuous circle could

be broken.



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