Wieden+Kennedy in Portland has been named as the North American agency of the decade by Cannes Lions, an honour that reflects a body of groundbreaking work delivered by the independent shop.

The rankings of the best North American agencies in the last ten years was announced during Lions Live, an online event held by Cannes Lions (a sister company of WARC) and recognised sustained success at the festival since 2010.

And Wieden+Kennedy in Portland occupied the top spot thanks to its on-going success over time, including numerous campaigns that have made a significant impact.

Examples of its work run from The Man Your Man Could Smell Like for male grooming line Old Spice to a series of ads where different celebrities play Colonel Sanders for quick-service chain KFC.

Another campaign with enduring relevance starred Colin Kaepernick, an NFL quarterback who struggled to find a team after taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racism in the US, made good for sporting giant Nike.

Second spot on the agency of the decade list went to BBDO New York, which claimed the runner-up position having finished in the top five on eight occasions – including a number one ranking in 2018.

This built on success for the Omnicom-owned agency earlier this week, when it received Agency of the Decade awards for Latin America and the Pacific.

Droga5’s office in New York was in third place in the rankings, having finished in the top ten for the last nine years, and in the top three on three occasions.

The much-lauded agency was purchased by Accenture (the consultancy) last year, with some estimates putting the price tag at $475 million.

The first Lion to be awarded to a North American recipient dates all the way back to 1956, and the region has since claimed 6,000 Lions overall – making it the most successful performer when broken out by geography.

More specifically, over 3,300 Lions have been received by North American honorees in the last decade, with 73 agencies featuring in the Cannes Lions rankings in this period.

Lions Live, by Cannes Lions, is a free digital event taking place all this week. You can read the agenda and access the live feed here.

Sourced from WARC