WPP’s Grey is Ad Age’s Agency of 2014 (by which they presumably mean 2013, they wouldn’t give a prize for the best agency in January surely?) with Mullen in second place. Carat won the media agency gong.
Well Grey, under New York boss Tor Myhren (left) and global CEO Jim Heakin has indeed produced a stellar performance over the last couple of years; moving from being an agency that produced very little that you’d call advertising quite successfully to becoming quite a hot shop, a worthy challenger to biggies like BBDO, Leo Burnett and WPP’s Ogilvy.
Now the challenge is to keep up the pace, which means hanging on to Myhren, a creative, who must be besieged by offers to start his own agency.
As for Carat, it too has prospered since being sold, as part of holding company Aegis, to Japan’s Dentsu for an improbable $5bn. Continuity is again an issue though. Considerably-enriched Aegis boss Jerry Buhlmann seems to be happy running a large chunk of the enlarged empire outside Japan for the time being – but for how long?
Carat also has to maintain its momentum; its big win was General Motors’ $3bn global media account a couple of years ago and aspects of that will probably be reviewed sometime soon as part of the original deal.
These gongs can be a kiss of death: think back to when Crispin Porter+Bogusky won Ad Age’s last Agency of the Decade or, even further back, HHCL won Campaign’s. Still, let’s be optimistic and trust that Grey and Carat will move onto even greater things.