FHV, which was renamed FHV/BBDO when it became part of the BBDO family in 1970, was founded in November 1962 by marketing director Giep Franzen, art director Nico Hey and copywriter Martin Veltman.
FHV/BBDO is known for its longstanding client relationships, some dating back nearly 40 years. Among its clients at the turn of the 21st century were Douwe Egberts & Pickwick (coffee, tea, and tobacco brands acquired by Sara Lee Corp.), which worked with the agency since 1964; Henkel, a marketer of household cleaners and body-care products, since 1968; Pepsi-Cola International, 1973; baby-care marketer Zwitsal and Artis, the Amsterdam Zoo, 1978; supermarket chain Albert Heijn, 1980; PTT Post, the Netherlands' Royal Mail, 1986; and Grolsch beer, 1989.
In 1970, Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, then the world's No. 6 agency, began a wave of international acquisition, starting with FHV. It bought a 30% interest in FHV and renamed it FHV/BBDO. The agency, with billings of $7.68 million in 1969, shared two accounts with BBDO prior to the purchase: Henkel, for which FHV handled Vernel fabric softener and Fleuril and Fakt detergents, and Gillette Co., for which it was responsible for the Right Guard, Dippity Do, Tempo Pen, Paper-Mate and Braun brands.
During the 1970s, the agency gained a reputation for award-winning creative work, and in 1981, it expanded its offerings to a full range of integrated communications services, becoming one of the first full-service agencies in the Netherlands. By 1997, FHV/BBDO had transformed itself into what it called a creative marketing agency, covering a range of marketing and communications services, including advertising.
By 2000, FHV/BBDO was one of the largest European offices of BBDO. It continued to expand its services and reorganized as FHV Group in 2000; FHV Group is part of BBDO Nederland, along with Bennis Porter Novelli and other agencies. According to Advertising Age, BBDO
Nederland, Amstelveen, ranked No. 5 among Dutch ad agencies in 2001, with gross income of $40.7 million, down 26.6% from 2000, on billings of $271.4 million.
FHV/BBDO's work has won creative accolades throughout its history. The Dutch chapter of the International Advertising Association named an FHV/BBDO campaign for the Albert Heijn supermarket chain the Netherlands' Print Campaign of the Century. It also chose FHV/BBDO as the Agency of the Century and co-founder Giep Franzen as Advertising Personality of the Century.