Executive SummaryAMV was founded in 1977 by Adrian Vickers, David Abbott and Peter Mead. With Mr.
Abbott as head of the creative department , they managed to become a recognised agency through the winning of several briefs, such as Volvo and The Economist. AMV was on the look for access to an international agency network to abandon its deal with Scali McCabe Sloves and succeeded when it merged together with BBDO in 1991 under the Omnicom ‘umbrella’. Four years later, the agency wins £50 million for the BT account and displaces Saatchis as the top firm in 1997. That same year Andrew Robertson, Peter Souter and Michael Baulk take over, and since then they managed to retain Sainsbury’s in 2005. A year later, AMV/BBDO won the Cannes Grand Prix for Guinness ‘noitulove’ ad. The IPA effectiveness awards granted their prize to AMV in 2008, 2010 2014 and 2016, a consistency unmatched by any other brand in its history. The last award AMVBBDO was given was the inaugural Grand Prix at the Youtube Works Awards in 2017.
Agency Management and Senior StaffCilla Snowball is the Group Chairman and Group Chief Executive of Abott Mead Vickers BBDO. She joined as the agency’s first Business Director and has now been with the agency for over 25 years. She now oversees 3 companies that compose the AMV Group in the UK – Proximity and Redwood. She was made a Dame for services to advertising, equality and diversity. Paul Brazier is the Chief Creative Officer and Chairman, and has been a part of AMV team for 26 years. He has won innumerable awards including six D&AD pencils. He also won the top prize at Cannes both as a creative and Creative Director.Alex Grieve and Adrian Rossi joined in 2011 and were promoted to Executive Creative Directors in 2013.
Since then, they have created award-winning work for Guinness, Eurostar, Sainsbury’s and Camelot. Their awards record includes two Cannes gold Lions, three D Pencils, and a Campaign Big Awards gold. Justin Pahl is the managing director, who joined in 2008 having worked on a number of award-winning campaigns for brands including Waitrose, Weetabix, Skoda and More Than.Bridget Angear is the Joint Strategic Officer, she runs the strategic output, in partnership with Craig Mawdsley. Both of them have been voted the no.1 strategists winning Cannes Effectiveness Grand Prix’s.Key Clients and CampaignsAMVBBDO’s diverse client roster includes over 70 brands in which Guinness, BT, Marsbars, Walkers, Mercedes and Snickers stand out.
The Economist is also one of its key clients, as the campaign of 1998 left a mark on the agency’s history. Another famous campaign they did was the BT ‘frustration’ ad in 1994. It was this, and the work for Sainsbury’s Christmas ads and the Yellow Pages that solidified AMVBBDO’s reputation. Other recognised campaigns are ‘Surfer’ – Guinness 1999, Dunlop ‘tested for unexpected’ 1993 and the Metropolitan Police ‘choose a different ending’ 2009. AnalysisNo report of AMV BBDO’s year can start without recognising the prodigious fall of when Sainsbury’s parted ways after a nearly 40-year partnership, after appointing Wieden+Kennedy as their new creative agency.
This came as a surprise, given the agency’s success on the Sainsbury’s account, which brought prize winning campaigns, for example the WW1 Christmas Truce, or the most recent one Mog the Cat. Moreover, at the end of the year AMV lost its position on the government roster, which came as another notable setback. A creative highlight in 2017 was for Libresse – a series of scenes which show real-life scenarios of women dealing with menstruation. This campaign was a such a fruitful attempt to tackle the taboo head on by banishing the blue liquid that conventionally stood for period blood and illustrate real blood. This ad created a platform for discussion in many contemporary industry news, such as The Drum and Campaign, and runs across Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, digital and Snapchat, which has allowed to implant the idea of a new normal. A recent campaign for the Mayor of London planned to dissuade teenagers in London from carrying knives by underlining their worth to the fabric of the city. ‘London needs you alive’ is directed at 13 to 16-year olds, using usual advertising media channels for kids to really relate.
It puts forward a clear and beneficial message of making an active choice, spread though role models or ‘influencers’ in London such as the artist Younger, or blogger The Slumflower. The agency carried a positive output through this movement aimed to be owned by Londoners.Furthermore, the agency has strengthened its creative department by hiring two creative teams from BBH and W&K. After having been awarded for the work of ‘Global Peace’ campaign, Jack Smedley and George Hackforth- Jones join the Omnicom agency. Ben Polkinghorne and Scott Kelly from W&K have also been hired after having won 11 Cannes Lions and D&AD pencils. This has been considerable achievement for AMV in 2017.The chief operations officer, Jonny Spindler has left the agency the year after being promoted.
Although the agency has no current plans to replace Spindler it has meant a substantial loss to AMV. The creative director Rob Steeles has also departed the agency to join Realise, Amaze and Branded3 as executive creative director. In his former role, he had worked with key clients including Walkers, BT, Mercedes, Camelot and Currys PC. His media neutral approach for customer-focused view, allowed Abott Mead Vickers to launch campaigns from brand platforms, through to social, digital, direct and experiential. SWOTAccording to Bridget Angear, the Joint Strategic Officer at AMV states that brands that are going to be successful are those that have a noble purpose at their heart, such as Dove, a campaign about building female self esteem. Also reinforces the need for collaborations and the need to keep experimenting with brands that stand for something beyond the product that they are selling