The Platinum Egg 2016: Björn Engström.

Björn Engström was born in Tyringe in 1956. Unhappy in his little spa town in northern Skåne and unhappy at school, he ended up dropping out of upper-secondary school. Instead he studied journalism at a folk high school and got involved in a theatre collective with far-left politics. One of Björn’s jobs was to attract more audience members to their shows. He did it just a little too well. Björn was accused of being commercial and told he “could just as well go work at a bloody ad agency”.... Which was an idea, come to think of it, and he did. Björn started at Grey but quickly tired of the stuffy environment, resigning and taking a job crewing a boat in the Mediterranean. Advertising? No, thanks! But in 1983 Tore Claesson managed to talk him back into the advertising world to help start Claesson & Co. Then came two years at Hall & Cederquist in Stockholm, until he was recruited back home to Gothenburg again. Staffan Forsman, Sven-Olof Bodenfors and Mikko Timonen – whom Björn came to know when they were working on anti-nuclear campaigns before the nuclear power referendum in 1980 – had just founded Forsman & Bodenfors, and they wanted Björn to come in as a fourth owner. Against the best advice of friends and colleagues, he took the risky step of quitting Hall & Cederqvist to start at a new advertising agency in city widely regarded as a creative desert. It was a solid decision. After just three years, the agency won more Golden Eggs than any other, and Björn ended up staying for over thirty years. As the years went by, he won more awards than most and produced much memorable work for clients including Volvo Trucks (the “Live Test Series”, including “Epic Split”), Arla (“Milk builds strong children”), the Swedish Sea Rescue Society and Sveriges Television (“Free Television”, which led to a major diplomatic kerfuffle when Berlusconi began grumbling about it). Björn retired from Forsman & Bodenfors in 2022 but continues serving on various boards of directors with a focus on sustainability.


More projects that Björn Engström contributed to.