Breakthrough Agency of the Year: Troubled Brands Turning to Johannes Leonardo Is a Sign the Agency Has 'Come of Age'

The shop produced strong work for Volkswagen and Gap and doubled in size


It’s not every day that—in the midst of an unprecedented crisis—one of the world’s largest auto companies turns to a creative shop of around 100 that was launched a little over a decade ago.

When Volkswagen named Johannes Leonardo as its lead brand agency, it was a defining moment for client and agency alike. At the time, Volkswagen was still reeling from an emissions scandal, with consumer sentiment at an all-time low.

“When the world’s biggest car brand comes to an agency like us with such a huge problem, it’s really a sign for us that Johannes Leonardo has come of age,” observes co-founder and CCO Jan Jacobs.

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This story first appeared in the Dec. 2, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.