BWM Celebrates 18 Years In Business

BWM Celebrates 18 Years In Business
SHARE
THIS



This year, Aussie ad agency BWM is celebrating 18 years in business. With an array of new client wins, strong creative leadership in Sydney and Melbourne, and a 30 per cent increase in revenue over the past year, Belgiovane Williams Mackay (BWM) has plenty of reasons to pop the champagne.

BWM was born in 1996, fathered by the vision of founding partners Rob Belgiovane, Paul Williams, and Jamie Mackay, to build a great Australian advertising agency. The vision, and the partnership, has been one of the most enduring in Australian advertising.

Eighteen years on, BWM is now comparable in size to some of Australia’s largest multinational agencies, with more than 150 employees across Sydney and Melbourne, and revenues exceeding $30 million.

Paul Williams, BWM Group CEO, said: “We first started thinking about opening our own advertising agency when Jamie, Rob and I were mates sharing a weekender on Pittwater together, but all working in different agencies. At the time the industry was deregulating media, so we spent many a late night in our boatshed figuring out how to position a new, more agile creative alternative to our big multinational employers. We also shared a love of music, which gave us permission to form the BWM band. We still play today; ironically, we’re probably the Australia’s Rolling Stones of advertising.

“This friendship, a passion for great advertising, and a belief we could go it alone is what BWM was founded on. It’s amazing to think the bold dream of a creative, a suit and a planner is today a flourishing 18 year old independent agency, with headquarters in Sydney and Melbourne and a new generation of talent driving its mission to create ‘Ideas that get Australians talking’,” he said.

Jamie Mackay, BWM Group executive planning director, said: “We opened the doors to our Ultimo office in June1996, with little more than some shared office space, a $30,000 bank loan from Westpac and a few small but brave clients. It was certainly a big change from our big cushy multinational offices, but we were ambitious and weren’t afraid of hard work.”

In the early 2000s BWM won a number of seminal accounts including AAMI, Telstra BigPond, LG, Freedom Furniture, Virgin Money, Ateco and Suncorp-GIO, gaining momentum as Australia’s leading independent advertising agency.

Award winning campaigns included Aussie Home Loans ‘We’ll save you’, TDK ‘Evolve’, Freedom ‘Think outside the square you live in’, Telstra BigPond ‘Father and Son’ and ‘Call Mum’, Selleys ‘Do it before some else does it for you,’ Virgin ‘Everlasting Love’ and NIB ‘It’s worth it’.

In 2006, BWM sold 51 per cent of the business to listed communications group Photon. Following six years under the watch of Photon, partners Rob, Paul and Jamie bought the agency back and implemented a renewed strategy to take the business to new strengths.

Rob Belgiovane, BWM Group chief creative officer, said: “Taking back ownership of BWM reinvigorated us with the flexibility and freedom to structure our Group in a way that enables us to move with more agility, using our broad skills set and partner companies, Sputnik and Cox Inall, to conceive and execute organising ideas that build brands internally and externally across all platforms.”

In 2009 BWM dared to go where many Sydney agencies had failed … Melbourne. The success has been impressive. Starting with founding client Simplot and a handful of staff, BWM Group’s Melbourne office is today a creative and digital powerhouse, recreating the revenue of the Sydney office in just five years.  The agency has produced notable work for Kmart, Birds Eye, I&J, John West and most recently Real Estate Australia.

Mackay said: “Australian advertising history is littered with the wreckages of Sydney agencies that tackled the Melbourne market and failed. It’s a tough market that has a unique way of doing business. So we are doubly proud that our business model has bucked the trend, that we were fortunate enough to have a few large founding clients like Simplot and Kmart who backed us, and that our people have been able to replicate in Melbourne a model and a culture that is true to the BWM brand.”

In 2011 BWM found it’s true positioning as the agency that creates ‘Ideas that get Australians talking.’

Belgiovane said: “Ideas that get Australians talking (ITGAT) is something that BWM had stood for since the days of its inception.

“It’s always been a part of our philosophy and at the heart of the thinking behind every successful campaign – from the BigPond ‘Father and Son’ campaign, to the repositioning of Kmart, through to our latest work for Real Estate Australia featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. ITGAT is all about building a bold and engaging story that speaks to everyday Australians,” he said.

In 2013, BWM Group Melbourne welcomed a change of leadership with the appointment of Mark Watkin to the role of Managing Director, and Murray White to the position of Executive Creative Director. With Watkin and White at the helm, BWM Group Melbourne has achieved 43 per cent year on year total revenue growth.

To accommodate for rapid growth, earlier this year BWM opened new state of the art offices in Windsor, Melbourne.

Williams said: “This year we have achieved our long-term business objective of recreating the success of the Sydney office in Melbourne. In terms of creative firepower, employee growth, blue-chip clients, and agency revenue, BWM Melbourne is now on par with Sydney.

“The success of both the Sydney and Melbourne offices, following client wins for Jemena, NBN, News Limited, Medibank float, RACT and CarsGuide, has enabled BWM Group to get back to the level of success we achieved pre-Photon, when our work for AAMI, Aussie Home Loans and Telstra were household staples,” he said.

Today, BWM Group consists of six complementary businesses that span the entire communications value chain, including: BWM agency (Sydney and Melbourne), Sputnik, The POP Agency, Cox Inall Communications, Cox Inall Ridgeway and Blue Boat Productions.

At the core of BWM’s culture is a partnership and friendship that was forged at a beach house almost two decades ago, that has withstood seismic changes in the industry, and periods of turbulence within the industry and company over the past 18 years.

This creative culture has shaped the agency – at its heart BWM is a culture of empowered entrepreneurs and bold creatives focusing on the only thing that really matters, client success.

Belgiovane said: “We’re proud of what we have achieved and every day we’re excited by the fantastic talent we have in the agency and the stand out campaigns we’re producing to get Australians talking.”

Williams said: “We look forward to what lies ahead for BWM. We can see the agency doubling in size over the next ten years. Whatever we do, we will be bold, live fearlessly, and have fun – that will never change.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

Deluxe Australia Piracy

Latest News

Digital Breadcrumbs: Picking Up The Pieces Your Competitors Leave Online
  • Opinion

Digital Breadcrumbs: Picking Up The Pieces Your Competitors Leave Online

In this guest column, Meltwater’s area director, David Hickey (pictured below), says a quick glance at the mountains of data your competitors are producing can fast prove a boon for your business too… It’s time for businesses to start paying attention and embrace the new digital reality we’re living in. We are currently in the […]

Opinion

by David Hickey

David Hickey
“The Rock” Leads a Flotilla Of Athletes In Huge Under Armour Campaign
  • Campaigns

“The Rock” Leads a Flotilla Of Athletes In Huge Under Armour Campaign

US sportswear giant Under Armour has enlisted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to front a series of inspirational new ads featuring a host of sport stars and fitness icons. Created by Droga 5 the campaign is called “Will finds a way” and includes eight ads in all. Johnson aside, the spots include actress and martial arts star, Zoe Zhang. Fellow […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Media

Free TV Calls For ACCC Oversight Of Facebook & Google

In a submission lodged with the ACCC inquiry into digital platforms, industry body Free TV today called for greater regulatory oversight of Facebook and Google. The FreeTV submission identifies a number of key areas of concern: Heavy regulation on traditional media providers and almost none on Facebook and Google Questionable claims about the reach, viewability, […]

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts
  • Media

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts

APN Outdoor has used its annual general meeting to announce three key contract renewals: Transport for Brisbane, Transdev Melbourne and Adelaide & Parafield Airports, for multiple years. Company CEO and managing director, James Warburton, said: “These contracts represent an important part of our advertising offering. The far-reaching impact they provide delivers a compelling proposition and cements our commitment […]

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren

It's the latest in our Women In Media profiles, and this one is so good you'll possibly get a nervous twitch somewhere.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers
  • Marketing
  • Media

LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers

M&C Saatchi Group’s customer engagement specialist agency, LIDA, has crafted an initial eight-episode series of bite-sized animated videos designed to help busy marketers stay ahead of the game. ‘60 Second Gets’ draws on LIDA’s wealth of experience to unpack the latest industry tools, tech and thinking. Launching today, the first video, ‘Success in 6 Seconds’, […]

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking
  • Campaigns

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking

Today Naked launches its ‘Start Talking’ campaign for Gidget Foundation Australia; a not-for-profit that provides support for families who are affected by perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA). The centrepiece of the campaign is a powerful TVC that brings to life this common, but often hidden illness, and shows how Gidget Foundation’s ‘Start Talking’ telehealth program […]

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums
  • Marketing
  • Technology

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums

For the first time ever, AFL spectators will be able to view real-time Telstra Tracker player data via in-stadium LED signage, thanks to the combined efforts of Telstra, Champion Data and MKTG. By integrating the Telstra Tracker data into the LED signage at the MCG and Etihad Stadium, fans will receive contextually relevant information from […]

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering
  • Marketing

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering

Scentre Group has unveiled a new brand look and feel coinciding with the re-launch of the Westfield.com.au and Westfield.co.nz sites. This digital-first visual identity sees a shift towards creating a more contemporary, invigorated and colourful brand, reflective of Westfield’s in-centre experience. The iconic Westfield logo will continue to lead brand communications, supported with a new […]

The Age Of The Ephemeral: Why Experiential Marketing Is Compulsory This Year
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

The Age Of The Ephemeral: Why Experiential Marketing Is Compulsory This Year

In this guest post, Keep Left’s head of consumer engagement, Johanna Murray (pictured below), explains the merits of experiential marketing, as well as sharing some tips on how to do it – and do it well. Humans love to label things – especially intangible things, like time. We like eras and ages and eons because they […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

The Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018

This trends report is a must-read for all marketers, although it contains no news on the return of the bubble perm.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Give And Take Feedback At Work
  • Opinion

How To Give And Take Feedback At Work

Georgia Murch (pictured below) is an expert in creating feedback cultures and author of Feedback Flow; The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Embed Change in 90 Days. In this guest post, Murch offers her tips on giving (and receiving) feedback from colleagues without botching it up… We all know that feedback matters.  Most of us want the good, the bad and the […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney

Have you completely forgotten what Sydney looks like? Well, thankfully this story comes with a handy pictorial reminder.

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV
  • Media

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV

SBS Radio has announced two new digital radio stations – SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and a refresh of SBS Radio 3 – is now available on digital TV. SBS Radio 3 will broadcast world news and current affairs from the BBC World Service (previously airing on SBS Radio 4 on digital radio) and special events […]

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive

For its first Australian campaign, Champion has partnered with creative and content agency Emotive to launch a music program titled ‘Revealed’. The program champions emerging Australian artists by intimately telling their story through video, and providing funding and creative support to create world class music videos for new release music. The first Revealed artist is […]

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India
  • Marketing

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India

Australian-owned call analytics provider Delacon has continued its international expansion, opening an innovation centre in India to service local and global partners, and develop the next generation of call tracking and analytics solutions. The office in Chennai is the eighth for the Sydney-headquartered business, which enables brands and agencies to optimise marketing campaigns by accurately […]

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It
  • Marketing

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It

Sydney brand and digital agency Protein has been appointed to handle the retail and digital roll-out of recycling company Return-It, which has just been announced as the container collection network for the ACT. Return-It awarded the work to the 17-year strong agency, following Protein’s tender support and brand development of the retail concept. The public-facing […]

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure
  • Opinion

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure

This is an excellent article about celebrating failure. Although, admittedly, we failed to get to the very end of it.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt

Kimmie Neidhardt doesn't just have a very cool name, as you'll read here. There's a good head on those shoulders, too.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SCA Promotes Nathan Soulsby To Head Of TV Sales For Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

SCA Promotes Nathan Soulsby To Head Of TV Sales For Sydney

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has announced the promotion of Nathan Soulsby to head of TV sales for Sydney. The announcement comes after Kristen Budd’s move to general manager of SCA’s Central Coast office. Caretaking the role during Budd’s maternity leave, Soulsby has been a key contributor to the consistent share and revenue growth that has […]

Columbus, A Merkle Company Announces Client Wins & Senior Appointments
  • Marketing

Columbus, A Merkle Company Announces Client Wins & Senior Appointments

Following the launch of Merkle in the Australian market in March, Columbus, a Merkle Company has secured nine new clients in three months, including Macquarie University, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited and Hipages. Columbus has also appointed two group business directors in the Victorian market, with Leonie Dawkins (pictured above, left) and Guy McGechan (pictured […]

Black woman in handcuffs
  • Media

Adland Industry Leaders To Be Locked Up In Prison To Help Aussie Youth

Over sixty senior leaders from the media, marketing, tech and creative industry will spend the night in jail as part of UnLtd’s Adland Bail Out, to raise funds for Whitelion. The ‘inmates’ will be handing over their mobile phones and putting on their prison overalls to brave a night in the chilling cells of Yasmar […]

JCDecaux Partners With Seedooh To Verify OOH Campaigns
  • Advertising
  • Media

JCDecaux Partners With Seedooh To Verify OOH Campaigns

Global out-of-home (OOH) advertising giant JCDecaux has announced a partnership with independent tech platform Seedooh to offer advertisers greater transparency for campaigns. Under the agreement, Seedooh’s reporting and verification platform will be integrated into JCDecaux’s system to create an independent campaign delivery reporting function that works seamlessly within the end-to-end campaign delivery processes. It will […]

Innovation: The Foundation Of Marketing & Sales Collaboration
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Innovation: The Foundation Of Marketing & Sales Collaboration

In this opinion piece, Seismic’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Andy Pattinson (pictured below), explains how marketers can work smarter and why collaboration is vital in delivering return on investment. Demand for marketing roles is growing, as marketers continue to learn more about what customers want. The marketing agenda is increasingly being tied in […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Roll’d Enlists Impress!ve Digital Ahead Of Franchise & Catering Push
  • Marketing

Roll’d Enlists Impress!ve Digital Ahead Of Franchise & Catering Push

Aussie food franchise Roll’d has announced it has signed on Melbourne digital marketing agency Impress!ve Digital to support its digital marketing. The partnership has already begun, with Impress!ve Digital aiming to significantly boost the company’s revenue through digital marketing strategies that are directly linked to return on investment and franchise acquisition. Impress!ve Digital has been […]

Yippee! More Photos from the 30 Under 30 Awards!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

Yippee! More Photos from the 30 Under 30 Awards!

If you think B&T simply runs these photo gallery stories so you can gawk at young, attractive people, you'd be right.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine