Leo Burnett Sydney: Mumbrella Creative Agency Review – poor survey for strong agency that thrives in the limelight

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

To think of the impact Leo Burnett Sydney has had on the industry in recent years. Earth Hour. The boss starring in hit ad show The Gruen Transfer. Consistently one of Australia’s biggest award winners. Winning Campaign Brief’s NSW creative agency of the year. Ranking top of AdNews’ list of Australia’s most awarded agencies. Yes, CEO Todd Sampson can be forgiven for feeling a little disappointed with his agency’s position in our survey. Overall, it ranked 10th.

In the eyes of Mumbrella’s readers, Leo Burnett Sydney is Australia’s seventh best agency, and its lowest score is – curiously perhaps – for its impact on the industry. It does not even make our panel’s top ten, scoring poorly for effectiveness and planning. But the comments from the panel belie the agency’s relatively lowly standing in our survey.

“Superb management and creative leadership with Todd Sampson and Andy DiLallo,” says one.

Another calls it: “a class act with a fearsome arsenal of creative talent. Capable of interesting work that has been well awarded.”

Canon ‘Photochains’ and WWF ‘Monkey’ won big this year. Recent work, however, it hasn’t always been looking like it’ll win awards. The latest Earth Hour ad was an interesting change in tack for WWF’s energy-saving movement. But the recent outing for Canon Pixma, featuring home office entrepreneur Cliff Logan, and the Tom Kuntz-directed ‘Clear character’ for Bundaberg’s new rum, have been less well received.

When it has made the effort, Leo Burnett Sydney has been adept at managing its profile. Firing Subaru was a masterstroke. It claimed it did so because the client objected to every campaign being pitched out – getting its ‘People, Product, Profit’ mantra across in the process. The industry applauded. The bosses were even able to keep their sense of humour about a picture of a row of Burnetters stripped to their underwear for a Bonds pitch that appeared on Mumbrella. At least for a while, until they asked for it to be taken down. Good or bad, Burnett can be guaranteed of making headlines.

To read more about Leo Burnett Sydney, 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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