BBDO global boss Andrew Robertson on scam: ‘I trust my people to do the right thing’

Andrew Robertson

Andrew Robertson

The global boss of BBDO has said that he trusts his staff “to do the right thing” when it comes to entering work for awards shows.

Andrew Robertson, who last month celebrated his tenth anniversary as the president and CEO of BBDO Worldwide, told Mumbrella that creative agencies “should be winning awards for real work for real clients – not local bike shops or dry cleaners.”

His comments come in response to questions from Mumbrella for his views on advertising scam – work created purely to win awards – and about a campaign for Guinness by BBDO’s Singapore office, which ran just once in a free listing magazine and went on to win three Silver Lions in the press category at Cannes.

Robertson said he was not familiar with the details of the ‘Pint in a glass’ campaign, which also won a gold and silver in the Outdoor Lions this year, but had been “assured it qualified”.

BBDO Singapore's ad for Guinness in I-S Magazine

BBDO Singapore’s ad for Guinness in I-S

He said: “I am frankly not familiar with the details of the Guinness campaign you refer to, but have been assured it qualified. Nor do I attempt to control what work our agencies around the world enter. There is too much of it, and, more importantly, I trust our people to do the right thing.”

“Our position is that we should be winning awards for real work for real clients – not local bike shops or dry cleaners – and, obviously, it has to comply with the rules of the competition in question,” he said.

Earlier this year, BBDO was named top of The Gunn Report, a global ranking of the most awarded agencies, for the eighth year in a row, and for the eleventh time in the report’s history.

Robertson was quoted as saying then, “The Gunn Report matters, first and foremost, because of the strong proven correlation between work that does well in awards shows and work that performs in the market. Great work works great.”

He told Mumbrella today that his agency wanted to be seen as the world’s most creative and effective agency – in Asia, BBDO has emerged as the number one agency at effectiveness shows, the AMEs and Effies.

“The link between the two [creative and effective work] has been well established, most comprehensively, by Peter Field’s work for the IPA. So we want to do well in BOTH creative AND effectiveness awards. Not one or the other,” he said.


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