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Campaign/Nielsen 2013 agency rankings show famous names under pressure

Unknown-2One of the more valuable services Campaign magazine provides is its agency rankings, based on figures supplied by Nielsen, and it’s just produced 2013.

This isn’t as much fun as it used to be. Back in the day agencies supplied their own billings (media equivalent) estimates and some of the more fanciful computations – such as those emerging from Charlotte Street – made assembling these lists rather trying, to put it mildly.

You could argue that billings, for creative agencies, are pretty meaningless today anyway – income would be much more reliable. Campaign includes such in its School Reports section from the agencies that choose to supply them.

Anyway, I’ve shamelessly pinched some of the creative table and here it is, from 20 down to one. The first number is the agency’s 2013 ranking followed by 2012 then 2013 billings followed by 2012 with the percentage billings change up or down.

Interestingly most are down – you would have thought 2013 would have been a better year for the top agencies than 2012.

20  21  Krow Communications 114.13 109.31 4.4
19  15  Saatchi & Saatchi 117.73 162.03 -27.3
18  18  Ogilvy & Mather 124.18 131.08 -5.3
17  16  JWT London 141.2 153.14 -7.8
16  12  Havas Worldwide London 144.91  176.16  -17.7
15  17  Grey London 145.21  136.62  6.3
14  13  DLKW Lowe 147.84  175.65  -15.8
13  20  Wieden & Kennedy 148.04  117.98  25.5
12  14  Mother 165.04  165.19  -0.1
11  10  CHI & Partners 169.76  182.26  -6.9
10  8  M&C Saatchi 187.56  201.8  -7.1
9  7  VCCP 189.43  203.42  -6.9
8  11  Leo Burnett 204.39  177.39  15.2
7  9  WCRS 210.15  198.09  6.1
6  6  Publicis 214.72  214.42  0.1
5  4  Adam & Eve/DDB  218.05  256.09  -14.9
4 3  Bartle Bogle Hegarty 229.98  259.17  -11.3
3 5  Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/y&r 254.45  255.47  -0.4
2 2  McCann Erickson 264.75  273.69  -3.3
1 1  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO 451.79  470.58  -4

So what else do we learn? AMV/BBDO rules the roost in terms of size as it has for donkeys years (so well done them); Wieden+Kennedy and Leo Burnett are big risers, which presumably testifies to the power of retail, from clients Tesco and the Co-op respectively (nice to see that the Co-op is doing somebody some good) and some famous names (Saatchi & Saatchi, JWT and Ogilvy) are only just hanging in there. TBWA has dropped out of the top 20.

Production agency Tag is just outside this group too, on £80m. Which says something about how the industry is developing. Maybe some of Tesco’s billings have gone to Tag. Looks to me as though McCann (in second place) includes Manchester billings as Aldi is named as a client. Next year we might see a big jump from VCCP as its Asda billings kick in and a further rise from WCRS, now armed with B&Q and Santander – retail again.

Anyway, that’s enough from me. Buying the magazine is well worth the (rather cheeky) £10 or so price tag.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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