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UK media agency billings: OMD biggest in London but WPP/GroupM dominates with 43 per cent

We looked at the biggest UK creative agencies by Nielsen media billings yesterday, now it’s time for media agencies. These should be a more accurate guide to who’s winning and who’s not but, as usual, there are caveats.

In this list there’s no 7Stars or John Ayling Associates (respectively the fastest growing independent and, as the man himself might put it, a ‘legend’ of the media industry). There’s also no Initiative or UM, Interpublic’s two UK media agencies. These have had a torrid time recently, losing Tesco and Microsoft respectively, but it’s unlikely that they’ve disappeared entirely.

What else to note? Well the strength of the big agencies’ regional networks in the UK (if we may so style Scotland) is a bit of surprise: WPP’s MediaCom Manchester bills £184m, knocking on the door of the top ten.

Omnicom’s OMD tops the table with £994m, as its creative sibling AMV BBDO topped the creative billings table with £538m. But, whereas AMV is streets ahead, OMD would be second to MediaCom if it grouped all its billings together: £1252m.

UK Media agency billings

Grand Total £7.3bn

1/OMD £994m
2/MediaCom London £943m
3/Carat £706m
4/Mindshare £655m
5/MEC £623m
6/Zenithoptimedia £539m
7/Maxus £392m
8/Starcom Mediavest £375m
9/PHD £312m
10/Vizeum UK £246m
11/Havas Media £206m
12/Blue 449 £185m
13/MediaCom Manchester £184m
14/Carat Manchester £165m
15/All Response Media £115m
16/MEC Manchester £93m
17/M/six £92m
18/Rocket £80m
19/Arena Media £78m
20/M4C £46m
21/Carat Scotland £43m
22/MediaCom Leeds £39m
23/MediaCom Edinburgh £37m
24/KR MediaCom £27m
25/MediaCom Birmingham £22m

These days big media negotiations are carried out by holding company operations (GroupM in the case of WPP) and these combined billings make interesting reading (our steam calculator calculations, not Nielsen’s).

1/WPP/GroupM (MediaCom, MEC, Mindshare, Maxus, M/Six (51 per cent owned by CHI), M4C (the WPP unit which handled the COI before it went to Carat): £3153m

2/Omnicom (OMD, PHD, Rocket): £1386m

3/Dentsu (Carat, Vizeum): £1160

4/Publicis Groupe (Zenith, Starcom, Blue 449): £1099m.

Which gives respective market shares of:

1/WPP 43%

2/Omnicom 19%

3/Dentsu 16%

4/Publicis Groupe 15%

5/Havas 4%

Much as we were last year. But when you read about creative agencies forecasting a return to the good old days of ‘full service,’ forget it. These are the monsters of the UK (and, indeed, global) ad scene.

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