Type Public
Industry Advertising
Genre Advertising Agency
Founded 1873 (1873) (as Lord & Thomas)
Headquarters New York, Chicago
Number of locations 96 countries
Area served Worldwide
Key people Howard Draft
Executive Chairman
Laurence Boschetto
CEO & President
Jonathan Harries
Vice Chairman &
Global Chief Creative Officer

Neil Miller
Services Marketing communications
Employees 9,200
Parent Interpublic Group of Companies
Website www.draftfcb.com

Draftfcb is one of the largest global advertising agency networks.[1] It is owned by Interpublic Group and was formed by the 2006 merger of Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB) and Draft. Although the merger of the two agencies is fairly young, the origins of Draftfcb date back to 1873, with the opening of Lord & Thomas ad agency, which later became Foote, Cone, & Belding. The Interpublic Group is one of the big four agency holdings conglomerates, the others being Publicis, WPP, and Omnicom.



Founded as Lord and Thomas in Chicago in 1873, FCB was the world's third oldest advertising agency. Albert Lasker, a founding figure of modern advertising, went to work for the firm as a clerk in 1898, working his way up until he purchased it in 1912. Chicago, along with New York, was the center of the nation's advertising industry. Albert Lasker, known as the "father of modern advertising," made Chicago his base 1898-1942. As head of the Lord and Thomas agency, Lasker devised a copywriting technique that appealed directly to the psychology of the consumer. Women seldom smoked cigarettes; he told them if they smoked Lucky Strikes they could stay slender. Lasker's use of radio, particularly with his campaigns for Palmolive soap, Pepsodent toothpaste, Kotex products, and Lucky Strike cigarettes, not only revolutionized the advertising industry but also significantly changed popular culture.[2]

In 1942 Lasker sold it to its three top managers, Emerson H. Foote in New York, Fairfax Cone in Chicago and Don Belding in California, who renamed it. In 2000 they reported billings of $9.5 billion and more than 190 offices serving clients in 102 countries.

Draft began as a direct marketing agency called Kobs & Brady in 1978. Howard Draft was an account executive at the agency. In 1986, Kobs & Brady was acquired by Ted Bates Worldwide. The agency was renamed Kobs & Draft when Draft became its Chairman and CEO in 1988. In 1995, the agency regained its independence in a management buyout and was renamed Draft Direct Worldwide. A year later, Draft Direct Worldwide was purchased by The Interpublic Group of Companies.

The two agencies were merged in June 2006, becoming Draftfcb. Draftfcb is currently the largest advertising agency in Chicago, with over 1,100 employees split between two Chicago campuses. The agency’s global corporate leadership team includes Howard Draft, executive chairman; Laurence Boschetto, CEO and president; Jonathan Harries, vice chairman and global chief creative officer; and Neil Miller, CFO.

Less than a year after the merger, Kmart switched its $740 million account from Grey New York to Draftfcb Chicago without a pitch in April 2007.[3] Kmart's chief marketing officer, Bill Stewart said: "Grey has been a good partner over the years, but we feel Draftfcb is uniquely qualified to assist our needs right now." Howard Draft, Draftfcb's chairman, commented: "Our two organizations have a shared commitment to accountability and loyalty."

In October 2008, Ad Age focused on the state of the agency two years after the merger, noting “In truth, in the two years since the Chicago-rooted agencies Draft and Foote Cone & Belding merged, the agency has won more than 250 pieces of business around the globe including Kmart, Qwest and the U.S. Census Bureau.” The article goes on to list other major account wins including: MoneyGram International, Domino’s Pizza (Puerto Rico) and DIRECTV.[4]

A few months later, the agency’s Chicago office won the $400M MillerCoors media account along with sister IPG agency Initiative and WPP’s Kinetic[5] as well as MillerCoors’ Miller Lite,[6] Molson and Killian’s Irish Red brands.[7] The agency’s Orange County office was also named Agency of Record for the entire Del Monte pet products portfolio.[8]


Since its creation in 2006, the agency and its work have been recognized at multiple award competitions—Cannes, The One Show, Echoes, El Ojo, Effies, and Caples—as well as Agency of the Year honors for Draftfcb's New Zealand,[9] Indonesia,[10] and Durban[11] São Paulo, Mexico City and Kuwait offices. And in January 2010, the agency was recognized on Advertising Age's annual A-List, which honors "the agencies that showed moxie, innovation and effectiveness in 2009." David Novak, CEO of Yum! Brands, stated in the article: "...they are client maniacs. They are genuine business partners who really care about the success of our brands"[12]

Ad Age regularly lists Draftfcb-created spots for brands like KFC, Oreo and Taco Bell[13] among IAG/Nielsen’s most-liked and most-recalled ads, and Time.com’s Lev Grossman noted in his Nerd World blog that the spot for EA Games’ Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, “Oh No You Didn’t,” created by Draftfcb San Francisco, was the greatest video game ad of 2008.[14]

At this year’s MI6 Game Marketing Conference and Awards Show, Draftfcb San Francisco's "Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2" campaign took home Gold in the Outstanding Overall Marketing Campaign of the Year category and a Silver in the Best Online Rich Media category for their work on Mass Effect 2. In addition, the San Francisco office won two Bronzes for the same campaign at the 2011 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.[15]

The 2010 U.S. Census campaign, led by Draftfcb New York, received Gold in the multicultural category and the Research Achievement Award at the 2010 Advertising Research Foundation David Ogilvy Awards for Excellence in Advertising Research.[16]

Draftfcb won more than 345 awards globally in 2010, including six best workplace honors for Draftfcb Chicago. Draftfcb Spain's "Cutty Shark Shanghai-London" event was named one of the Top 10 events of the first decade of the 21st century, according to Spanish magazine Estrategias. Draftfcb Johannesburg won two Silver Radio Lions at Cannes for Toyota.[17]

In 2011, judges awarded Draftfcb New Zealand the Best in Show, Media Agency of the Year and Leadership awards for 2011, as well as five gold and three silver awards at the CAANZ Awards.[18] Draftfcb New Zealand was also named Media Agency of the Year at the Fairfax Media/AdMedia Agency of the Year Awards in 2011, 2010 and 2008.[19] Draftfcb Malaysia was voted the number one creative agency in Malaysia in 2010 by Cream Magazine.[20]

Draftfcb Healthcare was named "Agency of the Year" by Medical Advertising News in 2006 and 2009 and by Medical Marketing & Media in 2007 and 2011.[21] In 2010 and 2011, it was named Most Creative Agency by Medical Advertising News.[22]

At this year’s IPG MERGE Diversity & Inclusion Awards, Draftfcb Chicago won Gold for Multicultural Agency/Practice of the Year and Draftfcb New York won Gold for Inclusive Marketing Initiative of the Year for its leadership role on the 2010 U.S. Census. Draftfcb's U.S. operations also won a Gold for Supplier Diversity, celebrating commitment to engaging and supporting minority vendors across the country.[23]


  1. ^ "Agency Report 2008," Advertising Age May 5, 2008
  2. ^ Arthur W. Schultz, "Albert Lasker's Advertising Revolution," Chicago History, Nov 2002, Vol. 31#2 pp 36-53
  3. ^ "Kmart Picks Draftfcb as Agency of Record," DIRECT 18 April 2007
  4. ^ "DraftFCB, Two Years After the Merger," Advertising Age 13 October 2008
  5. ^ "Agency Team Takes $400 Mil. MillerCoors Media Biz," Adweek 21 November 2008
  6. ^ "MillerCoors Hands Miller Lite Account to DraftFCB", Advertising Age 9 April 2009
  7. ^ "MillerCoors Shifts 2 Brands to Draftfcb," Adweek 11 December 2008
  8. ^ "More Del Monte for Draftfcb," Adweek 15 December 2008
  9. ^ "DraftFCB wins Agency of the Year," Scoop 18 April 2008
  10. ^ Campaign Brief February 2008
  11. ^ "FCB Durban named ‘Agency of the Year’," Biz Community 11 May 2007
  12. ^ "DraftFCB Is No. 5 on Ad Age's Agency A-List," Advertising Age 25 January 2010
  13. ^ Nielsen Wire 3 July 2008
  14. ^ "The Greatest Video Game Ad of the Year," Time.com 28 August 2008
  15. ^ "2011 Winners Announced for MI6 Game Marketing Awards!," MI6 Game Marketing 7 April 2011
  16. ^ "The Advertising Research Foundation Announces 2011 ARF David Ogilvy Awards Winners" 23 March 2011
  17. ^ " Draftfcb Year 2010 in Review", "Draftfcb.com" 27 April 2011
  18. ^ "CAANZ Awards 2011 Media Awards Winners" 6 February 2011
  19. ^ "DDB wins 2011 NZ Agency of the Year" 17 March 2011
  20. ^ "CREAM 2010 Winners Announced As Draftfcb And Carat Top The Tables!" ADOIMagazine.com
  21. ^ Medical Marketing & Media 15 December 2010
  22. ^ Mannyawards.com 29 April 2011
  23. ^ "Interpublic Group Honors Agencies and Individuals at Inclusion Awards" "Diversity Best Practices" 15 February 2011

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