Meet the new Phyllis generation


Mel Routhier

“I believe it is imperative that our agency looks like the world outside our windows. Full of every color and gender and orientation and belief. We’re in the business of talking to humans—all of them—and we can’t possibly do it well and do it authentically if we don’t reflect that diversity and range ourselves.”


“I am deeply impressed by the capacity for growth of the human mind. I’m not talking now about maturity, the ripening of intelligence, the sharpening of critical judgment. That too. But I’m talking about what happens when you remove the fears and the restrictions and the nasty habits of limited thinking. I’m talking about what happens when you let the imagination soar.”

Phyllis Robinson

Each year our top creative directors from around the network gather to review the year’s best work and honor the ideas that most represent DDB’s heritage and ideals, as well as the kind of thinking needed to take our business into the future. From the 106 final nominees this year, winners were chosen in each medium and the Best of Show was awarded to Alma DDB Miami ’s “Spanish Lessons” for Netflix. Our jury spent many hours discussing and debating the winners and what we need to do as a network to live up to our legacy, particularly in a world where our clients seem to be held up to higher standards than our politicians. Bernbach Jury President, the legendary Nizan Guanaes, reflected on our best work of the year and our DDB legacy in this current post-truth world.

I was really impressed by the quality of the Bill Bernbach Awards. It’s a fantastic collection of work, and when you see all of them together it’s very impressive. Most of the work I had already seen in Cannes, but I didn’t have any idea that much of it was DDB work, so I’m very impressed.

DDB is going through quite a great momentum. It must be the DDB of Bill Bernbach, in the philosophy, but it has to have the look, the feel, the drive of our times and I think that Amir is doing that job very well. Wendy Clark is doing a fantastic job in North America. adam&eveDDB continues to lead our industry on the world stage.  All these things put together with the leadership of Chuck Brymer are giving DDB the momentum we’ve seen this year – one of the best years of our times. We won accounts, we won awards. We here in Grupo ABC, Africa, DM9DDB, LDC and others, are all very excited to be part of it.

In moments like this current post-truth reality, when you have to face fake news, fake positioning, fake brands, I think that we should not have fear of sticking with truth. Post-truth is going to disappear and truth will go on.

One of the things in my life is that I always stood for the things that I believed in. Sometimes things get fashionable; they come and go. But if you stick by the side of the truth, of integrity, of the things that you believe, in the long run you are going to succeed.

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This year’s Best of Show goes to Alma DDB Miami. This edgy campaign is the perfect example of truly knowing your audience and your product. Relevant ideas are found by listening to people and treating them as friends. Ideas like this make it look simple, but we all know they can be the hardest to sell. The idea was also named our Promotion/Activation winner.

PINK RIBBON: Check It Before It’s Removed

DDB Germany was named our Digital winner for this campaign for breast cancer awareness. By paying attention to what people were focusing on and discussing online, they found a way to make the topic fresh and relevant. They turned the  #freethenipple hashtag against social media censorship into something positive, and by breaking a few rules, they had the censors helping to spread their message even further.