Management Transition at AMVBBDO

LONDON, NOVEMBER 6, 2018 – BBDO Worldwide announced today that Dame Cilla Snowball, Group CEO and Group Chairman of AMVBBO, will be leaving the agency at the end of the year.  She will be succeeded by Sarah Douglas as CEO AMVBBDO and Justin Pahl as Group Chairman AMVBBDO effective January 1, 2019.

“About a year ago, Cilla told me she was giving me 12 months’ notice of her intention to leave her position and pursue a portfolio-based career, working on the boards and government initiatives that she is frequently approached for,” said Andrew Robertson, President and CEO, BBDO Worldwide.  “Since then, I have spent most of my time pretending the conversation never happened; and Cilla has spent hers tirelessly developing the agency’s business, reputation and leadership team.  As always though, Cilla meant what she said.  And now, after 26 years, that time has come.” 

He continued, “I want to thank Cilla for her extraordinary contributions to AMVBBDO and the network.  She has embodied all of our values, but no one – no one – has ever been loved more by clients.  Because no one – no one – has ever loved clients more.”

Dame Cilla Snowball joined AMVBBDO in 1992 as the agency’s first new business director, and has served as its Managing Director, Chairman, Group Chairman, and Chief Executive. The agency has held the UK’s number one billings position for 21 consecutive years, helped set the gold standard for UK creativity and, on multiple occasions, been named Agency of the Year for effectiveness, creativity, and marketing.  She has made a significant contribution to the industry as past Chairman of the Advertising Association and past President of WACL, MGGB and The Thirty Club of London.  In recognition of her contributions to advertising, diversity and equality, she was made a Dame last year – the first in advertising. 

“It’s very hard to leave a business I love, and work that I enjoy,” said Snowball.  “If you’ve worked as long as I have in a great job like mine, I think it’s best to go when people ask why, not when you are leaving.  I’m beyond grateful for the opportunities and support I have been given at AMVBBDO, surrounded by the best work, people and clients.  I’ve always loved doing portfolio work and I am excited about the next chapter.”

Sarah Douglas joined AMVBBDO 18 years ago and currently serves as its Chief Client Officer.  Justin Pahl is Managing Director and has worked at AMVBBDO for the past 10 years.

“Sarah has been associated with some of the agency’s most powerful work and has led many of its most important pitches as Chief Client Officer.  She is sharp, challenging, courageous, and knows how to get the best out of the agency,” said Robertson.  “Justin has led some of our most important client assignments and, most recently, led the European effort on Ford.  I congratulate Sarah and Justin and wish them every success as they transition into their new roles.”


AMVBBDO is the UK’s largest advertising agency and has been ranked the number one agency by Nielsen for the last 21 consecutive years.  AMVBBDO works with over 70 brands and has one simple aim with all of them – to create powerful brand platforms that propel them forward.  We firmly believe in the link between creativity and effectiveness.  Creativity is at the core of our DNA and we always operate with passion, integrity and civility.  In 2018, AMVBBDO was named Agency of the Year at Creative Circle, D&AD and Marketing Week Masters Awards, and it was the most awarded UK agency at ADC, Brand Film Festival, MAA Do Different Awards, Marketing Society, One Show and YouTube Works.  It was the #2 most successful agency in the world at Cannes.  AMVBBDO has been rated one of the Top 50 Best Companies to Work For.

AMVBBDO is part of BBDO Worldwide.


BBDO’s mantra is “The Work. The Work. The Work.”  Every day, BBDO people in 289 offices in 81 countries work day by day, job by job and client by client to create and deliver the world’s most compelling commercial content.  For 12 years in a row, BBDO has been ranked the most creative agency network in the world in The Gunn Report and for seven years, including 2018, BBDO has been named Network of the Year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – more than any other agency network.  For the past five years, BBDO has topped the WARC 100 as the world’s most strategic agency network.  BBDO has also been chosen Agency of the Year multiple times by the leading industry trade publications.

BBDO Worldwide is part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE-OMC) (, a leading global marketing and corporate communications company.