AMV celebrates its 20th birthday next year, and in the ever-changing agency world that makes it something of a veteran.

AMV celebrates its 20th birthday next year, and in the ever-changing

agency world that makes it something of a veteran.

But advertising is a business where grey hairs aren’t always welcome.

The agency is bringing in new management to ensure its prosperity into

the next millennium.

Creative supremo David Abbott appointed Peter Souter as his heir

apparent in January. Former WCRS chief executive Andrew Robertson was

also head-hunted to beef up the operation. Its acquisition of PHD last

month extends that thinking into media.

It is a strategy that appears to be working. More than 40% of the

agency’s clients have been on its books for five years or more.

Where it has lost major clients there have been factors outside the

agency’s control. Kingfisher pulled out the pounds 24m Comet account to

align all its business with Cordiant, and AMV lost the Leeds building

society when it was swallowed by the Halifax.

Its win record, which includes WH Smith’s pounds 13m account and pounds

14m from BT, has more than compensated. ‘The single greatest thing we

can do for clients is something they cannot do themselves, which is to

come up with great ideas,’ says AMV chief executive Michael Baulk.

No one disputes the quality of AMV’s work, but with a list of blue-chip

clients and all that history, can it remain on the creative cutting


It has already dipped its toe into more off-beat advertising with Tony

Kaye’s ‘Unexpected’ work for Dunlop, which polarised opinions. Some

critics saw it as against AMV’s creed and a creative ego gone mad.

But it pleased the client. Stuart Wyss, marketing services manager at

Dunlop, says: ‘They’re terribly skilled at understanding what the client

needs - even if the client doesn’t know it himself.’


Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO


principal Directors

Michael Baulk chief executive

David Abbott creative director and joint chairman

Turnover                     pounds 287m

Billings (Register MEAL)     pounds 253.22m

Media network                New Phd

New business wins 18 in 1995

Key clients BT, PepsiCo, Gossard, Volvo and Sainsbury’s



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