“When I got the initial outreach, I think I was one of those people that had that palpable holy shit moment … because for me it was literally taking such an amazing heritage and DNA of two fantastic different agencies and playing them both to their strengths,” Winterton said in an interview.
Key clients for Adam&EveNYC include PepsiCo, JetBlue, NBA 2K and PlayStation. Key clients for DDB New York include Kroger, Kroger Health, Cotton, Lipton and Molson Coors.
Lubar said DDB offices outside of New York will remain in “the same construct that they currently have.”
Adam&Eve has roughly 40 employees and DDB New York has about 140, according to a DDB spokeswoman, which suggests the merged entity will have about 180 employees. DDB New York Chief Creative Officer Mat Bisher will continue to oversee his creative team and transition to a new role as group executive creative director of the new agency, while Adam&EveNYC's ECDs David Brown and Daniel Bonder will continue to oversee their teams.
“There’s always a challenge when you have a merger that one group doesn't feel superseded by the other,” Lubar said. “It feels like both groups are coming together and they're given equal air time and they're able to make decisions as a collective and there isn't any favoritism. That's something that we're very conscious of and we won't allow to happen.”
The new entity's employees in June will move into a new office space in the West Village.
The merger marks the latest change for DDB, whose North American client wins over the past few years have included Reynolds Consumer Brands, Orkin, Kroger Health and Bimbo Bakeries. Ad Age reported early in May that DDB’s North America CEO Justin Thomas-Copeland was set to depart after taking the helm in 2020. DDB confirmed that his role won't be filled following his departure.
Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson also launched a U.S. creative review for Aveeno and Neutrogena, both DDB clients. In February, DDB Canada merged into TBWA\Group Canada, which Lubar said is not related to the New York merger.
This is a notable change for both the agency and the industry, given that DDB's New York flagship was founded by advertising legend Bill Bernbach in 1949. The move comes a few days after DDB Worldwide was named Network of the Year and Adam&EveDDB was named Agency of the year by D&AD.