Staying Hungry

Shaking Up Germany’s Biggest Ad Group

Dr Oetker Pizza Burger BBDO
BBDO's campaign for the Dr. Oetker pizza burger.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Subsidiaries of big advertising firms, traditionally opaque and lumbering, need to change to compete with the proliferation of young advertising hot-shops.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Revenues at BBDO Germany grew 6 percent last year, above the 5-percent industry average.
    • Frank Lotze was a consultant at the owner-managed Jung von Matt agency before taking over at BBDO.
    • BBDO is owned by New York-based Omnicon.
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  • Audio

    Audio

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Since Frank Lotze took over at BBDO Germany in 2010, he has shaken up the country’s largest advertising agency group. Subsidiaries merged, only to be separated again. Employees were added and revenue boosted.

Mr. Lotze’s latest project is an open-plan office. “We wanted a breath of fresh air,” he explained.

The gust of fresh air at BBDO is symbolic of change across the entire ad industry in Germany. Network agencies – subsidiaries owned by giant global firms – are becoming more important and wielding more clout. BBDO, for example, is owned by New York-based Omnicom.

The change is also reflected in last year’s business results, which Mr. Lotze is happy to talk about more openly than in the past.

“Operating profit was about €92 million according to preliminary figures, considerably higher than in 2013,” Mr. Lotze told Handelsblatt.

Revenues climbed more than 6 percent, he said. That’s above the industry average, estimated at 5 percent by the Association of German Advertising Agencies.

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