It was a big year for AMV, with a trio of Cannes Lions Grands Prix – one for Bodyform and two for LADbible/Plastic Oceans – meaning outgoing chief executive Dame Cilla Snowball couldn’t have asked for a better send-off. In addition to Bodyform and LADbible/Plastic Oceans, work for Pedigree and Sanctus moved forward the social conversation, while a major campaign for Snickers tapped into a surge of interest in Sir Elton John as the singer prepared to embark on a farewell tour.
This work on its own has, rightly, been celebrated, but in each case its impact has been magnified by consistently effective comms, led by communications director Vicky Allard, supported in 2018 by ex-new-business and marketing assistant Billi Hatfield. Allard helped deliver widespread media coverage and generated huge social-media engagement.
Bodyform’s groundbreaking "Blood normal" campaign achieved PR impressions of more than 4.5 billion, social impressions of 116 million and garnered news coverage in 32 countries. Its "Trash isles" campaign for LADbible/Plastic Oceans, with its bid to get the waste plastic in the North Pacific recognised as a country by the UN, reached half-a-billion people and generated 50 million video views. "Lifefaker", a campaign for mental-health organisation Sanctus, had a reach of two billion, increased web visits tenfold, and achieved a PR value of more than £8m.
Allard and co have also bolstered the agency’s reputation by ensuring those in its leadership team are seen as thought-leaders. Snowball wrote for and was interviewed across a range of publications, including The Sunday Times’ "Style" magazine. Joint chief strategy officer Craig Mawdsley continued to demonstrate his status as one of the industry’s top thinkers with an insightful regular column for Campaign, while his counterpart Bridget Angear also commented widely on how brands can create movements and tackle taboos. In addition, executive creative directors Alex Grieve and his former partner Adrian Rossi were frequent commentators on creative work in Campaign and other titles. Other members of the AMV BBDO team were also recognised in the "Agents of change" and "35 women under 35" lists by Management Today.
One judge said the comms team had done an "outstanding job of promoting the outstanding work", while another noted: "I like the way its leaders are happy to get stuck in and challenge the industry and clients about some of the issues that we face together."