A fortnight after Burger King announced its departure from DMB&B,
the brand hits Adwatch for the first time this year. As the third big
client to move out in recent months, it is a frustrating loss for the
agency, especially given its pride in its latest work.
Last year, M&C Saatchi robbed DMB&B of the high-spending Dixons business
and a huge new project on Whiskas.
Although not an altogether bad year, 1996 was a trying one. DMB&B stayed
at number six in the league tables and made a decent profit after a poor
1995 (the first year for a decade that profit targets were not
exceeded). Nonetheless, billings dropped by pounds 20m.
Now the agency is focused on the future. As Jon Farrell takes promotion
in the US, his successor is the Lowe Group’s David Jones who, it is
said, has not been happy in Knightsbridge for a while. But the move to
Victoria will bring more changes than different shopping
Jones is laid-back, clever and passionate about ads - a BMP-trained,
Lowes-polished adman joining a group which, post-Farrell, takes a
fully-integrated approach. In the big UK job, Jones will talk a good
game, but will he really have enough interest in the whole group?
Curiously, he is a ’mate’ and contemporary of DMB&B’s former chairmen
Tony Douglas and Graham Hinton - he even started at Ammirati Puris
Lintas with Hinton on the same day in 1969.
Hinton says: ’He’s a very good operator, he cares about ads, he’s good
with senior clients and he won’t get in Barry Cook’s way. He’s a bright
man who will rise above politics to do a good job.’
Jones can be tough. Look back to Collett Dickenson Pearce, for example,
where he wielded the knife fearlessly during his brief tenure in the
early 90s. He should, however, work well with Cook, Jeremy Pemberton and
Max Burt. For Cook, who sees the 1997 key objectives as new business and
a continuing improvement in the reel, Jones’s arrival is good news that
heralds more work of the Littlewoods calibre.
But Jones will need to keep the entire group, not just the ad agency,
happy in order to - as Littlewoods has it - really get a result.
Projected billings pounds 207m
Wins (in the past 12 months) Scholl, Australian Tourist Commission, COI
Modern Apprenticeships, Tyco Toys, Littlewoods Leisure, Cyprus Tourist
Board, Epson, Lukcy Lotto
Losses (in the past 12 months) PC World and The Link (Dixons),
Clearasil, Interflora, The Express, Burger King (creative), Whiskas
Key clients COI, Mars, P&G, Fiat, TSB, Littlewoods, Lyons Tetley, St
Ivel, British Bakeries
Key people David Jones (group chairman), Barry Cook (managing director),
Jeremy Pemberton (creative director), Max Burt (planning director)