Ogilvy Melbourne: Mumbrella Creative Agency Review – a solid if uninspiring agency with a stable client base

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

With 330 staff, Ogilvy is the largest agency in Melbourne with an enviable client list that includes AAMI, Australia Post, BMW, Fosters and McCain. It has performed solidly if uninspiringly, seeing off challenges for its Myer and BMW accounts and winning new ones such as Bank of Melbourne and Puma. The agency ranks highest in our survey for commercial success and client stability.

But Ogilvy Melbourne itself has experienced significant change. ECD Michael Knox, who was promoted to run the creative department in May 2010, left to join Grey Melbourne the following May.

The search continues for a replacement, who has no small task to raise Ogilvy’s creative profile, not that that has seemed a priority for the agency.

Meanwhile, Andrew Baxter, who was made chief executive of Ogilvy Melbourne about the same time as Knox’s promotion, was rewarded for his efforts after a year in the role with the national CEO job. The desire of Ogilvy executive chairman Tom Moult for the Melbourne and Sydney offices to work closer together should mean that Baxter remains on top of things at St Kilda Road. Although at Badjar Ogilvy, the Melbourne group’s creative and strategy offering, the three managing partners – Michael McEwan, Nick Muncaster and Andrew Egan have stepped up to cover some of his duties.

One panellist notes: “Ogilvy Melbourne is Badjar dominated – and that equates to old fashioned and relationship driven. Not a bad place for an agency to be -but not that inspiring either.”

Another panellist comments: “Ogilvy Melbourne produces solid and boring creative overall. However, the digital side is surprisingly capable.”

In our survey, Ogilvy Melbourne ranks poorly overall for a player of its capacity, sitting well in the bottom half (three places below Ogilvy Sydney) of the top 30. It fares poorly for creativity, effectiveness and planning. But that it is a worse agency in the eyes of Mumbrella’s readers than our panel suggests that Ogilvy Melbourne is a decent agency with an ordinary image.

To read more about Ogilvy 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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