The essence: 2004 will be remembered in one of two ways for BBDO: either as the year the 30-second spot agency stole a march on rivals and moved into 21st century marketing world, or as the beginning of the end of BBDO's grip on longtime client PepsiCo. The soft-drink marketer greeted Mr. Lubars, who replaced Chairman-Chief Creative Officer Ted Sann in June, by promptly tossing its Diet Pepsi account into a jump-ball competition among Omnicom shops, with DDB Worldwide, New York, emerging victorious. However, a torrent of new accounts made that loss more emotional than financial, as BBDO pulled in business from DirectTV, Braun and GlaxoSmithKline, and prevailed in the wackiest review of them all, the California lottery, the contentious review that dragged on for three years.
Net growth: BBDO picked up more than $400 million in net new billings. The Diet Pepsi assignment and Long John Silver's accounts were the key losses.
management: Worldwide CEO Andrew Robertson made a bold move in hiring David Lubars, who presides over an impressive creative team including Eric Silver and Jimmy Smith.
Creative quality and effectiveness: Mr. Lubars came midyear so there wasn't a chance to show off his non-traditional firepower. However, BBDO's TV reel is still tough to beat, and it was supplemented by some cool work like online games for Chrysler Group's Dodge "Hemi" campaign and an interactive push for Red Stripe beer.