Think of an awards ceremony from around the globe; any one will do. Then find out which was the most awarded network. There's a really good chance it's going to be BBDO.
Andrew Robertson, the chief executive of the network provided a list of awards ceremonies where the network, or one of its agencies, had been the most awarded. It's too long to print.
If you don't believe that, check out this year's Gunn Report, which has BBDO as the most awarded network in the world with 203 points, a whopping 75 points in front of Leo Burnett in second place.
It's the third time since 2006 that the network has topped the table and its sixth time in first place in the ten years that the report has been running.
It is also the third time in four years that the network has won Campaign's Network of the Year accolade.
There were strong performances at Cannes from agencies across the network who picked up golds, such as AlmapBBDO in Sao Paulo, with "objects of pocket" for Cia Das Letras, BBDO in Korea with "Grand Canyon" for Jeep and BBDO in Dusseldorf with "Michael" for Braun.
But BBDO New York was the star performer, scooping pretty much every award going for HBO "voyeur" - the most successful campaign at Cannes 2008 with ten awards, including five golds (Promotion, Cyber, Design and two for Film) and two Grands Prix for Promotion and Outdoor.
The campaign's aim was to show the depth and mastery of HBO's storytelling. Two high-definition projectors were used to project a film (consisting of a number of stories being played out in boxes) on to the side of a building in downtown New York so that it appeared to passers-by that they were looking right into the rooms of the building.
However, the 2008 success story is not just about the work. This year, BBDO picked up £500 million of new business across its network - more than 200 wins leading to the network posting revenues of £1.2 billion (it believes tracking its billings to be irrelevant).
The network also took part in four global reviews, and won three of them. Most significant was the £100 million-plus ad account for HP's digital imaging and printing business in at least 50 markets, but the agency also won the Tag Heuer and Hyatt Hotels global accounts. However, the network did trip up on the global Visa pitch that eventually went to TBWA (Chiat\Day was the incumbent on the US business) as well as losing US PepsiCo to the same agency at the end of the year.
On a local level, BBDO picked up the Guinness account in Asia and triumphed in the year's biggest pitches in Australia (Vodafone) and Singapore (Singtel).
In people moves, Fallon's Michael Wall joined BBDO Portugal as its chief executive.In New Zealand, the highly respected Nick Worthington, the executive creative director of Publicis Mojo, moved to Colenzo BBDO to take the same position.
Overall, the BBDO network continues to grow (it opened an office in India) and pick up new business around the globe as well as cementing its position in Asia and Europe through the work of Chris Thomas, the chairman and chief executive of Asia, and William Eccleshare, the chairman and chief executive of EMEA. But strong, experienced regional management and a sterling new-business record aside, BBDO, as Robertson continues to insist, is still all about "the work, the work, the work".
DDB DDB's award shelf may not be as resplendent as BBDO's, and its UK office may have had a quieter year than usual, but that cannot take away from the fact that the network as a whole has been striding forward in leaps and bounds.
Having amassed well over $1 billion in new billings, the group's new-business record has been one of the best this year, with its most significant coup coming in the form of the £85 million global advertising account for Tourism Australia, which the Sydney office picked up following a shoot-out against Saatchi & Saatchi.
The network also counted briefs from Unilever, Sol and Bosch among its global wins, as well as Wrigley, which appointed Tribal DDB as its lead digital agency after DDB won the global advertising account in 2007.
In fact, Tribal's global growth has been especially notable this year, with expansion into new markets such as the Philippines and Russia, and further wins for McAfee, McDonald's and Vodafone.
As if that wasn't enough, the network ended the year with a bang, adding the $120 million business-to-business account for AT&T to its haul.
But new business wasn't the only string to DDB's bow. It hired the ex-JWT executive creative director Nick Bell to a global role, and the creative output went up a notch, with the network climbing up to third place in The Gunn Report's Most Awarded Network category - an improvement on last year's fourth position.
This success was down to a striking reel, including the Cannes Grand Prix-winning press campaign for Energizer, as well as strong campaigns for Volkswagen, Harvey Nichols and Marmite from the London office.
But by far the best of the bunch was DDB Chicago's laugh-out-loud Budweiser "swear jar", which scooped the 2008 Emmy for Best Commercial, and the same office's Super Bowl commercial for Budweiser, which was voted the most popular Super Bowl spot in USA Today's Super Bowl Ad Meter.
Bartle Bogle Hegarty The micro network, which has billings of £1.2 billion, continues to be led by the strength of the UK office. And it has become a gold standard for smaller creative networks.
Most of its awards came from London this year, but its other network offices, of which it has five (New York, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Mumbai and Shanghai), which employ more than 900 people, are slowly but surely building their own momentum and character. BBH did, however, close its Tokyo office earlier this year.
As well as winning the global Chupa Chups business (and creating some excellent work out of New York), its new-business performance in Asia was especially strong - in China alone it won Lux, Nestea, Fila, Cai Bai and Unilever Clear, as well as Bloomberg, the Land Transport Authority and NTUC Income across Asia-Pacific.
The London office scooped a bucketload of awards in the UK, with two golds and eight silvers at the Big Awards, seven yellow Pencils at D&AD and the IPA Effectiveness Company of the Year. The other offices chipped in with awards at the AAAA (BBH New York was named the best mid-sized agency) and the EFFIE Awards, where offices from Asia, the US and Brazil won prizes.
Another strength of the network is the stable (and extremely talented) global management team, which includes John Hegarty, Nigel Bogle, Simon Sherwood and Gwyn Jones, who was moved out of the New York office and promoted to group chief operating officer, based in London, earlier in the year.
Recent winners: BBDO (2007); Euro RSCG (2006); BBDO (2005); Bartle Bogle Hegarty (2004)
January: Launches HBO's "voyeur" in New York. Wins the Singtel account in Singapore.
April: Wins the £100 million HP imaging and printing account, previously handled by Publicis.
June: Becomes the most awarded network at Cannes while BBDO New York is the most awarded agency. "Voyeur" picks up five golds and two Grands Prix.
August: Picks up the global Hyatt business after a pitch against five undisclosed agencies.
September: Wins Vodafone in Australia.
October: Wins the global Tag Heuer account after a pitch against Wieden & Kennedy, Ogilvy & Mather and McCann Erickson.
November: Tops the 2008 Gunn Report.
This article was first published on Campaign