BBH has made around 40 people redundant from its Kingly Street HQ in London’s West End. This follows a round of redundancies earlier in the year.
Given that the agency is now proud owner of the £100m Tesco account, one of the UK’s largest, these actions seems peculiar, to put it mildly. BBH is supposed to be establishing a new production HQ in Welwyn Garden City, close to Tesco’s new home.
But Publicis Groupe, now the owner of BBH after buying out Sirs Nigel Bogle, John Hegarty and other senior managers two years ago, reported an impairment charge against BBH in its last accounts. This, presumably, means it thinks the £100m it paid to buy the 51 per cent it didn’t then own was too much. PG also prides itself on its 18 per cent margins.
Even so these latest job cuts are swingeing, amounting to about 15 per cent of the agency’s work force. Last year it lost Johnnie Walker to Anomaly and the lead role on Unilever’s Axe to 72andSunny Amsterdam. Other high profile accounts like the Guardian have not been spending much recently and signature client Audi, with the agency for 30 years or so, seems more inclined to give big TV briefs to German agencies.
Global CEO Neil Munn (left), the hero of the hour when he won Tesco over a drink with Dave Lewis in Mayfair club Little House, is now in danger of entering adland’s mythical bestiary as the Grim Reaper.
The Guardian has produced a new ad through BBH for its ‘Own Your Weekend’ campaign.