DDB Melbourne: Mumbrella Creative Agency Review – double blow for a powerful player

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

A large company with 145 employees, DDB is one of Melbourne’s most powerful agencies and has earned its place over many years as a cornerstone of the industry. But to lose Coles and much of ANZ in a single year is enough for the market to wonder if DDB Melbourne can fully recover from an annus horribillis.

ANZ is an account DDB, led by group MD Andrew Little, has been hungrily
pursuing for the best part of a decade. The group had secured the business
in New Zealand and much of Asia. So winning at home must have seemed
inevitable. But some argue that too much energy spent in a tug of war over the business with M&C Saatchi, which shared the account, allowed Whybin\TBWA\Melbourne to sneak in the back door.

“Losing ANZ was a devastating blow for DDB Melbourne, having been
desperately trying to win all of the business all these years. But the exit, even of a client this big and psychologically important, does not change the fact that DDB is a highly capable agency. With Little in charge, and Marty O’Halloran behind him, there’s no question that the agency will find its feet again.”

It is hardly surprising that DDB Melbourne ranks lowest in our survey for client stability, which is probably unfair given its sure footing in the market. Its highest score, and only top ten slot, is for planning. But the agency comes 16th out of 30 overall.

The agency rates better among Mumbrella’s readers than our expert panel – only just out of the top ten for the former, but well out of the top half for the latter.

Bringing PZ Cuzzons’ Imperial Leather brand back to TV with a remake of the classic ‘Tahiti, Simon’ was fairly well received, as was work for Radiant, KR Castlemaine and Origin, an account it won this year.

The exit of Coles and a fair bit of ANZ may spur the agency to push on to new things. “The year they’ve just had should give them the knock they need to think carefully about ways to bring a rather traditional agency up to date.”

To read more about DDB Melbourne, 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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