Thursday, January 25, 2024


Proud Democrat here. So I'm still flummoxed at the effrontery of a retired longtime DDB ad agency creative director and ad copywriter wants to pick our political candidates, and told me to change my party registration from Democrat to Republican to run for County Commissioner.  She's written on Facebook that I am "standing in the way" of her candidates.  Who or what is DDB WORDLDWIDE?  It's hardly an eleemosynary institution.  DDB's corporate clients included Big Tobacco and Big Oil.  I would no more take orders from corporate ad agencies than from corporate law firms or developers. And I wear their scorn as a badge of honor.

From Wikipedia:

DDB Worldwide

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
DDB Worldwide Communications Group LLC
FormerlyDoyle Dane Bernbach
DDB Needham
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryAdvertisingpublic relations
FoundedJune 1, 1949; 74 years ago
FoundersBill Bernbach
James Edwin Doyle
Maxwell Dane
HeadquartersNew York City, United States
Area served
Key people
Alex Lubar, global CEO
Number of employees
ParentOmnicom Group

DDB Worldwide Communications Group LLC, known internationally as DDB, is a worldwide marketingcommunications network. It is owned by Omnicom Group, one of the world's largest advertising holding companies.[1] The international advertising networks Doyle Dane Bernbach and Needham Harper merged their worldwide agency operations to become DDB Needham in 1986. At that same time the owners of Doyle Dane Bernbach, Needham Harper and BBDO merged their shareholdings to form the US listed holding company Omnicom. In 1996, DDB Needham became known as DDB Worldwide.


Doyle Dane Bernbach[edit]

Bill Bernbach and Ned Doyle worked together at Grey Advertising in New York, where Bernbach was Creative Director. In 1949, they teamed up with Mac Dane, who was running a tiny agency. Together they started Doyle Dane Bernbach in Manhattan. Dane ran the administrative and promotional aspects of the business; Doyle had a client focus and Bernbach played an integral role in the writing of advertising, leading the creative output of the agency.

The agency's first ads were for Ohrbach's department store exemplifying a new "soft-sell" approach to advertising - with catchy slogans and witty humour contrasting the repetitive and hard-sell style in vogue until then. The new agency was initially successful in winning business for clients with small budgets. Their campaigns for Volkswagen throughout the 1950s and 1960s were said to have revolutionized advertising. Notable campaigns included the 1959 Think Small series of Volkswagen advertisements, which was voted the No. 1 campaign of all time in Advertising Age's 1999 The Century of Advertising.[2] In 1959, the firm created the character Juan Valdez for the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia.[3] In 1960, the agency won the account of Avis, then the number-two auto rental company. The tongue-in-cheek approach, "We Try Harder Because We're Number 2," was a major success (and remains part of the company's slogan today: "We Try Harder"). The DDB "Daisy" campaign is considered to have been a significant factor in Lyndon B. Johnson's defeat of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 United States presidential election[4]and landed Mac Dane on the infamous Nixon's Enemies List. 1972's Little Mikeycommercial for Quaker Oats ran continuously in the United States for twelve years.

A branch office was opened in Los Angeles in 1954. In 1961, DDB opened its first international office in West Germany to service Volkswagen. Significant growth came in the mid-1960s after the firm signed Mobil and the available budgets grew materially. Offices in London and other European locations were opened. Bernbach was appointed chairman and chief executive officer in 1968 when the agency was publicly listed; he became chairman of the executive committee in 1976.

The impact of Doyle Dane Bernbach's creativity on advertising around the world, and the history of management crises that led to merger[5] in 1986, are detailed in the book Nobody's Perfect: Bill Bernbach and the Golden Age of Advertising.[6] Written by journalist Doris Willens, who was DDB's Director of Public Relations for 18 years, the book is based on oral histories and interviews with the three founders, the line of the agency's presidents, and key creative and account people. By 1986, four years after Bernbach's death, the agency group had worldwide billings of US$1.67B, 54 offices in 19 countries, and 3,400 employees, but showed profits declining 30% on the prior year.

Needham Harper & Steers[edit]

Needham Harper Worldwide started in Chicago in 1925 as Maurice H. Needham Co. with two clients and billings totalling $270,000. By 1934, it was named Needham, Louis and Brorby, Inc., with billings of US$1 million, had signed the Kraft Foodsaccount and had opened a Hollywood office to service its clients' network radio program production needs.

In 1951, the agency opened a New York office to concentrate on the rapidly expanding television industry. That office merged with Doherty, Clifford, Steers and Shenfield in 1965 and changed its name to Needham, Harper & Steers. The Chicago office grew with accounts such as the Morton Company, Household FinanceCorporation, General Mills and Frigidaire. The firm won the Oklahoma gasoline account (later Esso, then ExxonMobil) after research indicated that American drivers wanted both power and play, and copywriter Sandy Sulcer,[7][8] working with psychologist Ernest Dichter, chose the tiger to symbolize that desire, which led to the campaign Put a Tiger in Your Tank. In 1966, the agency opened a Los Angeles office to handle the Continental Airlines business.[9] An office was opened in Washington D.C. in 1971 initially to service some local McDonald's business. Soon, this agency was winning government and media business and an "Issues and Images" division was opened to service corporate public relations. This business would eventually become Biederman & Company. The agency worked on public service campaignscalled Buckle Up for Safety[8] as well as a traffic safety campaign entitled Watch Out For The Other Guy[10] for the Advertising Council.[11]

Keith L. Reinhard came from Chicago to head the worldwide firm in 1982 and, by 1986, there were thirty two offices outside the US; American offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, WashingtonBostonPhoenixSacramentoSan DiegoBaltimore and Dayton; and diversification in  Porter Novelli, Biederman & Company and the international direct-response agency DR Group, Inc.

Establishment of DDB Worldwide (1982-2006)[edit]

Upon Bernbach's death in 1982, the firm's earnings fell to $1.7 million with some clients and top talent leaving. It had worldwide billings of $1.67 billion with 54 offices in 19 countries and 3,400 employees by 1986.[12]

The trend of hostile takeovers of public companies during the 1980s caused the firm to merge its worldwide operations with Chicago-based Needham Harper to become DDB Needham. That same year, the owners of Doyle Dane Bernbach, Needham Harper and BBDO agreed to merge their shareholdings to form the Omnicom Group as a United States-listed holding company, becoming the world's largest global advertising agency group at the time. It is referred to as the "Big-Bang" merger in direct response to competitive threats from other large advertising agency conglomerates. Keith L. Reinhard became president and CEO of the merged DDB Needham who was previously at Needham Harper. Reinhard reinvested in Bernbach's writings about advertising and the agency shifted its methods to relevancy, originality and impact for clients. By 1987, the firm's earnings $358.5 million with $2.6 billion in billings.[13][14]

DDB Needham executives were among the fatalities in a whitewater rafting accident along the Chilko River in British Columbia, Canada in 1987.[15] Its United States president Al Wolfe had planned the whitewater rafting excursion.[16][17]

By 1989, DDB Needham was the leading United States advertising agency in newspaper media billings. The firm started to guarantee the results of its advertising in 1990 which was questioned by the industry as compensation for campaigns was tied to clients meeting sales goals. It dropped from the third-largest to sixth-largest agency in the United States in 1993 with $229 million in earnings on $1.9 billion in billings. Billings grew in 1994 after the firm moved forward with a plan to centralize its media buying opening a branch called USA Media.[12] DDB Canada opened in Vancouver in 1998 where Frank Palmer became its CEO after merging his own company Palmer Jarvis into DDB Worldwide.[18] In 1999, DDB dropped Needham from its name on its fifty-year anniversary and became officially known as DDB Worldwide, a process that had started five years earlier.[19] That same year, Reinhard became the firm's chairman with Ken Kaess taking over as president, later becoming the global CEO from 2001 to 2006.[19]

Since its foundation, DDB has been credited with staffing people of diverse ethnic backgrounds who found themselves unwelcome at other agencies. The firm hired Phyllis Robinson, the first female copywriter chief in United States history amongst its initial team of 13.[19][20] It uses a talent acquisition strategy known as "no duplicates" to look for professional, socio-economic and cultural diversity in employees to boost creativity.[21]

Long standing client relationships[edit]

Since Doyle Dane Bernbach commenced a US relationship with Volkswagen in 1959, it's been a consistent and significant client in various parts of the world.[22] Needham Harper started working with McDonald's in the 1960s and that client has worked with DDB in several countries unceasingly since then. A global relationship with ExxonMobil has been consistent since the 1960s. As of 2020, longstanding broad worldwide relationships continue to be held with Unilever and Johnson & Johnson.

Leadership since 1986[edit]

Presidents or Global CEOs since the formation of DDB Needham in 1986:

  • Keith L. Reinhard 1986–1999 (then Chairman 1999–2018; Chairman Emeritus since 2018)
  • Ken Kaess 1999–2006 (President 1999–2001; Global CEO 2001–2006)
  • Chuck Brymer 2006–2018 (then Chairman 2018-2023)
  • Wendy Clark 2018–2020
  • Martin O'Halloran 2020-2023 (then Chairman since 2023)
  • Alex Lubar since 2023

Local office histories[edit]


At Omnicom's 1986 foundation, the merging Needham and Doyle Dane Bernbach operation each had London offices with the latter having been established in 1963.[23] Reinhard made six trips to London, fired most of the Needham managers, and put DDB managers in charge.[24] By 1989, the operation was struggling and Omnicom acquired Boase Massimi Pollitt to consume the DDB operation and renamed it as BMP DDB. It operated under that name until January 2004 when it was changed to DDB London, in line with the network's decision to rebrand all agencies it had acquired. The agency struggled during 2006 with management problems and a string of account defections. Stability was restored in 2007, the agency seemed unable to restore its lost billings. It continued to tumble down the UK agency rankings, ending up outside the Top 20 for 2010. In 2012, Adam & Eve DDB was created from the merger of DDB London with the fast-expanding independent Adam & Eve.[25]


In Australia in 2020, DDB operates from Sydney and Melbourne. Both offices trace their history to the post-war foundation of United Services Publicity in Melbourne in 1945 by ex-servicemen rebuilding their careers. Founder John F. Barnes and other staff had worked antebellum at Samson Clark Price-Berry which closed down during WWII.[26] United Services Publicity grew and in 1961 established international links when the British SH Benson group bought 25%. It was renamed USP Benson and opened in Sydney. Needham, Harper & Steers bought into USP Benson in 1967 and by 1971 had effected a name change to USP Needham.[27] The 1986 creation of the Omnicom holding company saw the Australian merger of the Needham and Doyle Dane Bernbach operations and becoming known as DDB Needham in 1986, DDB Worldwide from 1998 then in 2019 back to Doyle Dane Bernbach.

Australian agencies acquired at some point by USP Needham or DDB and which trace a lineage to DDB Australia today include the Sydney agencies SPASM; Bartlett, Murphy and McKenzie; Harriman and Hill; Beeby Advertising; Magnus, Nankervis & Curl; and the Melbourne agencies Berry Currie; Hyde Everett Fuller Kutt; Leonardi & Curtis; Walker Herbert & Associates; Nowland, Robinson & Perret; Kuczynski & Zeigler; Whybin Dery Barnes.[27]


DDB Stockholm is one of the largest agencies in Sweden with clients as Swedish Armed ForcesMcDonald'sTeliaVolkswagen and Vattenfall.[citation needed]


DDB Canada opened in Vancouver in 1998 where Frank Palmer became its CEO after merging his own company Palmer Jarvis into DDB Worldwide. He left the company in 2019.[28]


In 1958, the forerunner of DDB Group Philippines, the Advertising Marketing Associates (AMA) was formed by Antonio de Joya. The AMA became one of the leading advertising agencies of the Philippines before it became DDB Group Philippines in 1993. Today, DDB Group Philippines is operating in five different cities with at least 300 employees.[29]

In July 2023, DDB Philippines publicly apologized to the Department of Tourism(DOT) for using non-original stock footage of travel destinations in other countries for the campaign's promotional video.[30] The DOT hired DDB Philippines for its latest tourism branding campaign. However, after the public apology, the DOT is now in the process of terminating the contract with DDB Philippines.[31]


In 1998, DDB Worldwide was named Ad Age's first-ever "Global Network of the Year" which it also won in 2003. Its Think Small series of Volkswagen advertisements was voted the number one campaign of all time in Advertising Age's 1999 The Century of Advertising.[2]

Under the leadership of Kaess, Bob Scarpelli and Lee Garfinkel, it won "Global Network of the Year" from Adweek in 2003 and 2004. Subsequently, its operating unit Tribal DDB became the first digital agency to be named "Global Network of the Year" by Ad Age.

DDB Worldwide was recognized as "Network of the Year" at the 2023 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. It was the first time the firm had received the award.[32] The firm also received "Most Effective Agency Network" for 2023 at the Effie Awards.[33] Design and Art Direction (D&AD) recognized adam&eveDDB with "Agency of the Year" and DDB Worldwide as "Network of the Year" in 2023.[34]


  1. ^ "Advertising Age's Agency Family Trees 2008" (PDF) Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  2. Jump up to: a b Bob Garfield (March 29, 1999). "Ad Age Advertising Century: The Top 100 Campaigns"Advertising Age.
  3. ^ "DDB welcomes back iconic Juan Valdez after 30-year absence".
  4. ^ "Daisy: The Complete History Of An Infamous And Iconic Ad - Part Three". Conelrad. Archived from the original on 2019-04-18. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  5. ^ New York Times, April 28, 1986.
  6. ^ D. WillensNobody's Perfect: Bill Bernbach and the Golden Age of Advertising, CreateSpace, New York, 2009.
  7. ^ Kaplan, David (January 23, 2004). "Sulcer, 77, Former DDB Needham Exec, Dies. (Frederick D. Sulcer) (Obituary)"AdWeek. Archived from the original on September 14, 2015. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
  8. Jump up to: a b Kaplan, David (January 2004). "Sulcer, 77, Former DDB Needham Exec, Dies". all Business. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
  9. ^ "History of DDB Needham Worldwide" Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  10. ^ "Twelve Big Ideas - The Advertising Council's Traffic Safety Campaign: "Watch Out For The Other Guy"". WARC. 1966. Retrieved 2011-10-03... In his speech at the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) 1966 Central Region Annual Meeting, Frederick D. Sulcer from Needham, Harper & Steers shows how his agency developed the "Watch Out For The Other Guy" concept for the Traffic Safety Council.
  11. ^ Smith, James (October 12, 1966). "Agency Men Will Meet Tomorrow"Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2013-03-19. Retrieved 2011-10-03Campaigns that broke the mold of advertising w ... The Advertising Council's Traffic Safety Campaign Frederick D Sulcer Needham Harper & Steers
  12. Jump up to: a b "DDB Needham Worldwide History". Funding Universe.
  13. ^ [1] Archived February 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "History of DDB Needham Worldwide" Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  15. ^ "Rafting Accident Kills Five U.S. Advertising Executives"APNews.comAssociated Press. 3 August 1987.
  16. ^ Goldstein v. D.D.B. Needham Worldwide740 F. Supp. 461 (S.D. Ohio 1990).
  17. ^ Kozlowski, J.C. (March 1998). "Whitewater Rafting Waivers Illustrate an Expressed Assumption of Risk"NRPA Law Review. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  18. ^ GmbH, finanzen net. "Frank Palmer Moves on from his Indelible DDB Legacy" Retrieved 2022-02-02.
  19. Jump up to: a b c Elliott, Stuart (1 June 1999). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING; DDB Worldwide hopes to build on the legacy of 50 years of industry innovation". The New York Times.
  20. ^ "Remembering Phyllis Robinson: The Original Mad Woman"New York Magazine. January 7, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  21. ^ Capper, Addison (6 March 2021). "How a New Team with DE&I at its Heart Is Fuelling Unexpected Creativity at DDB North America". Little Black Book.
  22. ^ Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9.
  23. ^ [2] Archived February 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "History of DDB Needham Worldwide" Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  25. ^ "Adam & Eve DDB advertising profile" Archived from the originalon 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  26. ^ Law Notices The Argus 24 May 1943 page 11
  27. Jump up to: a b "50 years in the making" DDB Needham Melb publication 1995
  28. ^ GmbH, finanzen net. "Frank Palmer Moves on from his Indelible DDB Legacy" Retrieved 2022-02-02.
  29. ^ "About Us"DDB Group Philippines. Retrieved 2023-07-03.
  30. ^ Corrales, Dona Z. Pazzibugan, Marlon Ramos, Nestor (2023-07-03). "Ad firm admits 'foreign stock footage' used in PH promo" Retrieved 2023-07-03.
  31. ^ "DOT to terminate contract with ad agency after video blunder"ABS-CBN News. Retrieved July 3, 2023.
  32. ^ Nudd, Tim (23 June 2023). "GUT, DDB, OMNICOM, SOMESUCH AND APPLE WIN FINAL PRIZES AT CANNES 2023". Ad Age.
  33. ^ "Agency Performance Review 2023: DDB North America". Campaign US. 11 April 2023.
  34. ^ "Adam&EveDDB Wins D&AD Agency Of The Year". Creative Salon. 27 May 2023.

External links[edit]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tea Party Democrat. Whoever heard of such a thing? I guess we all have now with Ed. Socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Mad hatter political orientation bound to make not much difference in the current political environment.