Publicis to buy celebrated UK ad agency BBH

THE FOUNDERS of prestigious London-based advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) yesterday announced they will sell the company they created 30 years ago.

French ad giant Publicis, which bought 49 per cent of BBH’s shares a decade ago, will buy the remaining stock in a deal that will boost the fortunes of co-founders Sir John Hegarty and Nigel Bogle.

The company is behind some of the best-known adverts of the last few decades. BBH’s brand-defining campaigns include the famous Levi’s launderette scene, the <a href=""; target="_blank">Lynx</a> effect advert and Audi’s “Vorsprung durch Technik” slogan.

BBH, which employs around 1,000 staff in seven offices across the globe including 400 in London, generated revenues of €112.2m (£90m) last year.

Publicis, owner of Saatchi & Saatchi, also bought out Brazil-based Neogama/BBH – previously 66 per cent owned by founder Alexandre Gama and 34 per cent owned by BBH – which made €42.2m (£33.7m) in revenues last year.

Publicis boss Maurice Levy said “legendary” BBH would continue to be managed independently.

Co-founders Nigel Bogle and Sir John Hegarty will remain active but will hand over executive duties, with Gama assuming Hegarty’s role of chief creative officer. Gwyn Jones will take over as chief executive, replacing Simon Sherwood who will become chairman. Co-founder John Bartle left BBH in 1999.