BMF: Mumbrella Creative Agency Review

MCAR coverThe newly published Mumbrella Creative Agency Review examines Australia’s top 30 ad agencies. Today Robin Hicks examines how BMF has fared over the last 12 months.

A consistent performer for over a decade, BMF did not disappoint in 2011 – even with a new management team in place that is less than a year into its stride. Though there is not a clear leader in the market at the moment, no one could object too strongly with the panellist who describes BMF as the best agency in Australia – a view echoed by Mumbrella’s readers.
In four out of ten categories the Photon-owned shop was voted the top
performer in the country, bringing credibility to the panel comment that BMF is a “benchmark agency in most areas.”

Of all the categories, planning was singled out as a particularly strong point. One panelist noted that the department’s head Martin Rippon, also the agency’s MD, is “the almost invisible reason why BMF is such a planning force.” On the creative front, ECD Dylan Taylor was identified as a “quiet, steady and quite brilliant creative talent” who is able to drive consistently strong work.

At the management level, CEO Jeremy Nicholas – who replaced Matt Melhuish, who moved upstairs to run Photon’s agency portfolio – is credited with stepping up with an assured lack of fuss. “It takes a while to let go from a practitioner’s role to management. But over the last six months, Jeremy has grown into the role and has reignited the agency’s entrepreneurial culture,” says one panelist.

If there is a weakness it is perhaps that BMF has not been performing at its very best of late – an observation made by individuals on the panel, and reflected in the agency’s lowliest position in the survey: momentum.

While the agency has won more awards this year than at any time in its history, its showing at Cannes was poor. Meanwhile, the departure of Paddy Douneen drew a question mark over the agency’s ambitions to build an inhouse media buying department.

But with recent work for the likes of Lasoo, Cracker Barrel Vintage Cheddar and Meat & Livestock Australia solid if not looking like it’ll win awards, and a settled management looking to push on, 2012 should be another good year for BMF. “There is a clear ambition to replicate the success of the previous decade next year and beyond,” noted one panellist. You’d be a fool to bet against them.”

To read more about BMF, including full details on how it was scored by both our expert panel and Mumbrella’s own readers, to view examples of the agency’s work and read its own assessment of its performance, buy a copy of the Mumbrella Creative Agency Review priced at $75. The book features an assessment of the country’s top 30 ad agencies.

To buy the book, click here.


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