Adam & Eve wins Marketing magazine’s UK agency of the year

And you have to say the agency, a breakaway from RKCR/Y&R in 2007, deserves it after winning an impressive raft of new business including Fosters and new TV service YouView and showing it can handle big accounts with aplomb, most notably John Lewis.

The news won’t be greeted with joy either at Y&R HQ in Camden or owner WPP in Mayfair’s Farm Street. For a while Y&R refused to pitch against defectors David Golding, James Murphy and Ben Priest while WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell sued the three for breaking the terms of their ‘gardening leave,’ pocketing the best part of £1m but singularly failing to derail the new agency.

Adam & Eve beat last year’s winner Meerkats agency VCCP to the prize. For the first time the poll included votes from Marketing Society members, which augurs well for more new business in 2011.

Omnicom’s PHD won the media agency gong and Dare won the digital prize for the second year running.

Hot new agencies come and go of course but there does seem to be a definite trend in both the UK and US of big domestic clients (like John Lewis) overlooking the big agency networks. Opinion varies about the reasons (it’s always happened to a degree of course) but the feeling is that the networks are too fixated by global clients and charge too much. Neither do they attract the best creatives.

And Adam & Eve has certainly demonstrated that it can produce smart advertising that doesn’t frighten the horses. As this Christmas ad for John Lewis demonstrates:

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.