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Agencies: John Osborn, President-CEO, BBDO New York

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John Osborn, who was named president-CEO of BBDO New York last year, said the biggest challenge his agency faces is continuing to grow while acting like a small operation.

"We want to leverage the size of our network, while walking and talking like a small agency," Osborn said. The agency is accomplishing this, he said, with a collaborative process it introduced last year called Incite Work.

"It requires small groups of people from the agency and client side to work in tandem to progress through the various steps involved in the Incite process flow," Osborn said.

"It ensures that we and the client are on the same page early on in the process, and it inspires teamwork and collaboration."

The Incite process has been used for b-to-b clients including General Electric Co. and FedEx Corp.

For GE, BBDO launched a campaign this year called "Ecomagination," which portrays how GE is creating innovation while maintaining its concern to protect the environment. BBDO also created GE’s "Imagination" rebranding campaign, which was launched in 2003.

For FedEx, which acquired Kinko’s copy centers last year, BBDO developed a campaign for the new FedEx Kinko’s brand, as well as ads for other FedEx services. The agency’s FedEx work won a prestigious Gold Lion Award at the Cannes International Advertising Festival last year.

The agency also created a new campaign for Cingular Wireless, with the tagline "Raising the Bar," following Cingular’s acquisition of AT&T Wireless in 2004.

Osborn said a key focus for the agency is bringing in exceptional, creative people. Last year, the agency hired David Lubars as chairman-chief creative officer, demonstrating that its commitment to creative goes all the way to the top.

It also hired Eric Silver as executive creative director to handle work for FedEx, and promoted Susan Credle to creative director to handle the Cingular account.

"We have an all-star team of creative management," Osborn said.

However, he added, "our clients are not in business to make great ads. Our clients are in business to make business. We have to become true partners with them and continue to deliver great work that delivers great results."

Prior to being named president-CEO, Osborn was chief integration officer at BBDO New York. He joined BBDO in 1991, and in 2003 was inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement.

—K.M.

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