Search Consultants Rate Agencies, Grey Tops

Grey Advertising was rated the “best all-around ad agency of 2012,” according to a new poll of agency search consultants conducted by Avidan Strategies, itself a marketing and search firm.

Writing about the poll on his blog for Forbes, Avidan founder Avi Dan said it was the first such survey of search consultants, “who have unique firsthand knowledge of agencies.”

That Grey came out on top, wrote Dan, speaks to “Grey’s transformation” from a shop divided among sometimes warring factions into a cohesive unit that has created award-winning ads such as the series of E-Trade Baby spots and the Charlie Sheen commercial for DirecTV.

Dan credited Tor Myhren, agency president and creative director, and global CEO Jim Heekin for “sprucing up the staid 95-year-old shop known more for strong account management than award-winning advertising."

The survey ranked Wieden + Kennedy the No. 2 agency for the year. “It is quite amazing,” Dan declared, “that in a cyclical business such as advertising, W+K has stayed on top consistently for 30 years. Its advertising for Coke, Nike and P&G (Old Spice) is universally admired, as is the agency."

Butler, Shine Stern came in third and Dan cited its work for Columbia outerwear, Nokia and car brand Mini.  

Ogilvy & Mather was ranked fourth. “Under CEO Miles Young, Ogilvy achieved a rare feat this year,” reported Dan, “becoming the first agency to garner the most awards in the two most important award shows, the Effies and Cannes Lions, giving it a nice balance of creative and effective work.”

Rounding out the top five was BBDO, which Dan praised for coming up with “consistently good work for such blue-chip clients as General Electric, AT&T, Mars, and Federal Express.”

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