Infobox Company
name = BBDO (Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn)

type = Subsidiary of Omnicom Group
foundation = 1928
location_city = New York
location_country = flagicon|USA
location =
locations = 287 offices in 77 countries
key_people = Founders:
George Batten
Bruce Fairchild Barton
Roy Sarles Durstine
Alex Faickney Osborn
area_served = World Wide
industry = Advertising, Marketing
services =
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees = 17,200 employees
parent =
divisions =
subsid =
slogan =
homepage =
dissolved =
footnotes =
intl =yes

BBDO is a worldwide advertising agency network, with its headquarters in New York. Formed through a merger of BDO (Barton, Durstine & Osborn) and Batten Co. in 1928, BBDO Worldwide has been named the "Most Awarded Agency Network in the World" by The Gunn Report in 2007, for the second year running.

BBDO, with 17,200 employees in 287 offices in 77 countries, is the largest of three global networks (BBDO, TBWA, DDB Worldwide) of agencies in Omnicom's portfolio.cite web | year = 2007 | url =| title = Network| format = HTML | publisher = BBDO| accessdate = 2007-07-20 | last=BBDO ] BBDO was named Agency of the Year in 2005 by ADWEEK, Advertising Age, and Campaign Magazine.


BBDO was founded in 1928 by:

* George Batten
* Bruce Fairchild Barton
* Roy Sarles Durstine
* Alex Faickney Osborn

During the years of Alex Osborn's association with the BBDO, it became one of the leading advertising agencies in the United States, with a total of 52 offices throughout the world. Its annual billing increased from $1 million in 1919 to $20 million in 1939, when Osborn became executive vice-president, and to $207 million in 1957.

The Work

With an extensive portfolio of creative advertising, BBDO focuses on the philosophy of "Total Work", citing "at BBDO, the Work encompasses every kind of creative content that can touch the consumer and reinforce the brand". The company's extensive list of clients includes: The Economist, Pepsi, Ikea, FedEx, BBC News, General Electric, Campbells, Gillette, Motorola, Chrysler, Pfizer, Wrigley, Mitsubishi, and Unicef amongst many more.


*1891 George Batten, 37, opens his one-room advertising agency, the Batten Co., at 38 Park Row, New York, with no clients and one employee.

*1894 Batten's is the first agency to install in-house printing. He advocates the use of plain, simple type, which he says, "stands out like a Quaker on Broadway."Fact|date=August 2008

*1906 The agency, now with 50 employees, moves to the Metropolitan Annex building on East 24th Street, occupying the entire 11th floor - 5,000 square feet.

*1912 Hammermill Paper Co. awards its account to Batten. Hammermill, which was acquired by International Paper in 1988, left BBDO in 1995.

*1917 Armstrong Cork Company awards its account to Batten. It is now BBDO's oldest client.

*1918 George Batten dies at 64, and William H. Johns becomes president of the Batten Co.

*1919 The Barton & Durstine Co. agency opens January 1 at 25 W 45th St., with Bruce Barton as president and Roy Durstine as secretary- treasurer. In August, Alex Osborn joins the agency, renamed Barton, Durstine & Osborn.

*1920 General Electric becomes BDO client.

*1923 Both BDO and the Batten Co. move to a new building at 383 Madison Avenue. BDO leases an entire floor, while the Batten Co., with 246 employees, takes a floor and a half.

*1923 The Harvard Advertising Awards are founded by Edward Bok of the Ladies' Home Journal and the Harvard Business School. BDO wins more awards than any other agency in the seven years that the award is presented.

*1924 BDO ranks as the fourth-largest U.S. agency.

*1925 BDO airs its first radio program an hour show for Atwater Kent radios for which the agency had obtained the exclusive right to broadcast Metropolitan Opera stars. Two years later, BDO becomes the first agency to establish a radio department.

*1927 John Caples, who later will become the world's authority on copy testing, joins BDO. In his 1931 book, "Tested Advertising Methods," he declared that the average American is 13 years old mentally, and that a copywriter should "use words you would expect to find in a fifth-grade reader." He also strongly advised against humor.

*1928 On September 21, the Batten Co. and BDO announce a merger to form Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn. Bruce Barton is made chairman of the board, while William H. Johns, president of the Batten Co., becomes president of the new agency. Durstine is made vice president and general manager. The new agency, with branch offices Chicago, Boston, and Buffalo, has over 600 employees. It will occupy 383 Madison for 59 years until it relocates to its current address, 1285 Avenue of the Americas.

*1934 Kate Smith begins her first commercially sponsored radio show for BBDO client La Palina cigars. La Palina was originated by Sam Paley, father of William S. Paley, president of CBS. (The inside of every La Palina box was adorned with a picture of Mrs. Sam Paley in a Spanish costume.)

*1935 DuPont hires BBDO to change the company's image from a World War I munitions manufacturer to a peace time manufacturer. The agency introduces the slogan “Better Things for Better Living … Through Chemistry.” The words “through chemistry” were removed in the 1980s. The slogan was replaced in 1999 with "The miracles of science."

*1935 BBDO launches the first "Hit Parade" radio show. "Soon" was the No. 1 song.

*1937 Bruce Barton is appointed to an unexpired term in the United States House of Representatives and is elected a year later.

*1939 Roy Durstine resigns after three years as president, and opens his own agency. BBDO is reorganized under the leadership of Alex Osborn.

*1939 Lever Bros. becomes a BBDO client.

*1940 After losing his campaign for the Senate, Bruce Barton returns as president of BBDO.
*1940 Alex Osborn introduces "brainstorming," a technique to generate ideas, to the agency.

*1946 Ben Duffy, who started in the agency's mailroom and rose to head the media department, becomes president. Under his watch billings quadruple from $50 million to $200 million in ten years. He steps down in 1957 due to illness.

*1952 Jim Jordan starts his career as a copywriter at BBDO. He will become the agency's chief creative officer in 1968.

*1957 Charlie Brower, who was hired as a copywriter with the Batten Co. just before the merger with BDO, becomes president.

*1960 On March 16, Chrysler moves its Dodge Truck and Car Divisions, with billings of $21 million, to BBDO. On April 6, BBDO wins the $17 million Pepsi account after a pitch against seven other agencies.

*1961 Jim Jordan creates a campaign for Schaefer Beer based on research that revealed that 80% of the beer was consumed by 20% of the drinkers. The slogan and jingle: "Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one."

*1962 Phil Dusenberry is hired as a junior copywriter.

*1963 Jim Jordan creates the campaign "Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch!"

*1963 BBDO introduces the slogan "Come alive! You're in the Pepsi Generation." It is the first time a product is identified not by its own attributes but by its consumers' lifestyles and attitudes.

*1968 Jim Jordan creates the "Ring around the collar" campaign for Wisk detergent, a Unilever product. Wisk left BBDO in 1989.

*1973 BBDO creates the campaign (and jingle) "Have it your way" for Burger King.

*1978 Jim Jordan leaves BBDO to open his own agency. Allen Rosenshine succeeds him as BBDO's creative director.

*1980 Phil Dusenberry becomes the agency's executive creative director.

*1983 Tom Kiely is named president of a new BBDO division called the "BBDO Business-to-Business Group" to service the broad range of communications needs required by its BtoB-oriented clients, including The Timken Company, Hammermill Paper, certain General Electric Company departments and of Symbolics, Inc, (a so-called Artificial Intelligence computer manufacturer).

*1984 On January 27, Michael Jackson's hair is accidentally set on fire during filming of a Pepsi commercial. The mishap made front page news around the world. (Phil Dusenberry's 2005 memoir is titled "Then We Set His Hair on Fire.") The commercial debuted a month later on the Grammy Awards, where Jackson, wearing a hair piece, collected a record eight awards.

*1985 BBDO wins the $15 million Visa account and introduces the slogan "It's everywhere you want to be." The account, which grew to $350 million, remained at BBDO for 20 years until it moved to another Omnicom agency, TBWAChiatDay.

*1985 Advertising Age selects BBDO as Agency of the Year.

*1986 BBDO wins the $50 million Apple Computer account from ChiatDay, which had produced Apple's "1984" Super Bowl commercial. Apple returned to TBWAChiatDay in 1997 soon after Steve Jobs returned to Apple.

*1986 Omnicom is formed from the merger between BBDO and DDB Needham. Sometimes referred to as the "Big-Bang" merger, it was spearheaded by BBDO Worldwide CEO Allen Rosenshine in response to competitive threats from other large advertising agency comglomerates.

*1994 BBDO is selected Agency of the Year by both Adweek and Advertising Age.
* 2007 BBDO Worldwide is awarded the Network of the Year award at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival.

* 2008 BBDO is named Network of the Year by CAMPAIGN Magazine, as well as the Clios International Advertising Festival

* 2008 BBDO Worldwide is awarded Network of the Year for the second straight year at Cannes. BBDO New York is named Agency of the Year, and ALMAPBBDO is #2 as Agency of the Year.

In popular culture

In the 1933 comedy "Hard to Handle", James Cagney says, "Well, so long, boys. I'm lunching with Bruce Barton of Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn."

In an episode of Jack Benny's radio program (broadcast 11/21/48), Jack spends virtually the entire show on the phone waiting to talk to either Batten, Barton, Durstine "or" Osborn (the agency for his sponsor, Lucky Strike). During this episode, Jack's wife, Mary Livingston, cracks that the agency's name "sounds like a trunk falling down stairs." The line has also been attributed--probably erroneously--to Fred Allen.

In the 1961 Doris Day-Rock Hudson film "Lover Come Back," the pair play rival advertising executives; Hudson's character works at 383 Madison Avenue—BBDO's address—and is shown entering the building's lobby.

A character in the 1961 Broadway musical and 1967 film "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" is named Benjamin Burton Daniel Ovington, and referred to by his initials, "BBDO." Naturally he becomes the head of advertising.

Mentioned in the 1963 parody song "Harvey and Sheila" ("Hava Nagila") by Allan Sherman: "Sheila's a girl I know/At B.B.D.& O./She works the PBX/And makes out the checks."

Pop composer and lyricist Van Dyke Parks alludes to the firm in "Palm Desert" on his 1968 album "Song Cycle": "I came west unto Hollywood, never-never land. Juxtaposed to B.B.D. and O. Beyond San Fernando on hillside manors on the banks of toxicity those below and those above the same."

In the 1999 film "The Truman Show", Jim Carrey works at a company named Omnicom (BBDO's parent company).

In the 2000 Helen Hunt-Mel Gibson film "What Women Want", Hunt's character leaves top agency "BBD&O" to work at fictional Sloane/Curtis.

The agency in the 2007 TV series Mad Men, which is set in 1960, is based on BBDO, according to the show's creator, Matthew Weiner [] . BBDO is mentioned in at least two episodes, including Season 1 Episode 7, when a department store customer says, "He's a media buyer at BBDO..."


External links

* [ Asia-Pacific website]
* [ Chilean website]
* [ Moscow website]
* [ BBDO-Guerrero (Manila) blog site]
* [ BBDO West - San Francisco Zoo TV ad]

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