School Reports 2011: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Bartle Bogle Hegarty had some historic moments in 2010. The agency brought to an end its 28-year relationship with Levi's, a partnership that had produced some of the most celebrated advertising of all time. And it made a small West Country dairy company one of the most talked-about brands of the year.

Recent Bartle Bogle Hegarty work: Yeo Valley
Recent Bartle Bogle Hegarty work: Yeo Valley

Score: 7

Agency fact file: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Type of agency Creative
Company ownership 49% owned by Publicis Groupe
Key personnel Jim Carroll chairman
  Ben Fennell chief executive
  Nick Gill executive creative director
  Charlie Rudd managing director
  Jon Peppiatt deputy chairman
The Nielsen Company billings 2010 £164m
The Nielsen Company billings 2009 £175m
Declared income £55.4m (2009)
Total accounts at year end 39

Between the highs and lows, BBH put in a solid performance. The agency busied itself on almost every pitchlist in town. The effort paid off with wins including Unicredit, Matalan's £10 million account, the £40 million global advertising for Baileys (which BBH had previously lost to JWT in 2008), Kronenbourg's UK account, the pan-European ad account for Wonderbra and Yeo Valley's £5 million business. The agency did not repitch for Ginsters, which reviewed and went to Grey.

BBH performed well on the awards circuit, with eight Cannes Lions, including two silver Cybers, as well as a Film Craft silver and bronze. IPA Effectiveness awards abounded, with three silvers and a bronze.

There were some standout campaigns. The real winners of The X Factor this year were BBH's rapping farmers for Yeo Valley. The TV spot, which aired exclusively during the show's ad breaks, became a hit. BBH also paired Motorhead and Kronenbourg to great effect and pulled off a live ad for St John Ambulance. Its Audi work continues to be strong and several digital campaigns showed creativity such as Barclays' 56 Sage Street game and MySpace "fan video".

But the creative department became a poaching ground for rivals. Nick Gill, the executive creative director, retaliated by injecting some new blood with hirings such as David Kolbusz and Pablo Marques from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Publicis Modem respectively. BBH also brought in Ian Heartfield and Matt Doman, the former Beattie McGuinness Bungay creatives, to join its Creative Leadership Team.

BBH had an impressive 2010, and should be ready to up the ante creatively. In the aftermath of its Levi's break-up, there is some work to be done to prove that its glory days can return.

Score last year: 5

How Bartle Bogle Hegarty rates itself: 7

"Ten pitch wins, £6 million-worth of new income.

Three 'agency of the year' titles. Most-awarded UK agency at Cannes Cyber. Most-awarded agency ever at an IPA Effectiveness Awards. Work good. Could always be better."

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