ADVERTISING & PROMOTION: Agency profile: Bartle bogle hegarty

With new London premises, a new agency structure, a start-up operation in the Far East and the first Queen’s Award for Export Achievement earned by any ad agency, 1996 has been one of the most important years in Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s 14-year history.

With new London premises, a new agency structure, a start-up operation

in the Far East and the first Queen’s Award for Export Achievement

earned by any ad agency, 1996 has been one of the most important years

in Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s 14-year history.



Having endured a confused period in the early 90s, the agency has

emerged with a clear sense of its own identity in an increasingly

competitive worldwide market. Since the day eight people set up with no

business and stating that they would never do full creative pitches, BBH

has oozed integrity. John Hegarty’s name has become a byword for

creative standards, John Bartle is the current president of the IPA, and

BBH epitomises what every independent agency hopes to achieve.



Last year’s resignation of Cadbury underlined BBH’s determination to

stand by its beliefs - a stance which makes it a superb business

partner, says Levi’s European consumer marketing manager, Xavier

Gauderlot: ‘Their strategic thinking is excellent and our permanent

dialogue has implications way beyond advertising. Internationally, they

are the best partners I have worked with.’



It is hard to criticise BBH. The work, elegant and witty with a distinct

style (think Levi’s, Boddingtons, Haagen-Dazs, Polaroid and the new Club

Med campaign) might be a little two-dimensional, but that is a minor

carp.



BBH has subsidiaries in direct marketing, design, educational

sponsorship and media. But its planned Singapore office, to be headed by

former London managing director Simon Sherwood, is its most

controversial move so far. Is BBH diluting one of its key points of

difference - the principle that great international work can be created

by one office, without a traditional ‘network’?



Managing director Martin Smith is emphatic that the move extends the

principle. While BBH-London creates campaigns for the pan-European

market, BBH Singapore will do the same for Asia Pacific. However, the

agency is keeping an eye on the American market - a move into the US

would raise the question of where parallel offices stop and a network

starts.



Yet BBH, having built a mini-empire by putting quality control before

profit, has coped well with the changes in the 90s. The goal posts may

have moved since 1982 and the agency has certainly up-dated its game

plan - but it is still playing in the same strip and is not in the habit

of scoring own goals.



------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bartle Bogle Hegarty

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Billings (1995)           pounds 160m

New business (1996)       Metaxa, Wallis, Perfetti, Selfridges, Ray-Ban,

                          Golden Wonder, McCain Pizza, Levi’s Japan,

                          Rolling Rock

Key clients               Audi, Whitbread, Levi’s, Haagen-Dazs, NatWest,

                          Heineken, Coca-Cola, Polaroid

Key people                Joint chief executives John Bartle and Nigel

                          Bogle, chairman/creative director John

                          Hegarty, managing director Martin Smith

------------------------------------------------------------------------



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