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WPP’s GroupM closes on half of all UK media spend

RECMA has revealed its UK media agency billings computations for 2013 and WPP/GroupM’s Mediacom was the biggest with billings of £2.65bn followed by Dentsu’s Carat with £1.96bn and another GroupM agency Mindshare with £1.84bn.

in all the big networks accounted for £16.3bn with the biggest independent – The 7Stars – on just £162m. These billings may well be highly profitable of course as The7Stars doesn’t have to take on any business it doesn’t want for network reasons.

UnknownBut the really interesting pointer to come out of the research are the market shares of the big groups. And here we see that WPP/GroupM (GroupM, headed by Nick Theakstone (left), negotiates main media prices for all WPP media agencies in the UK) controls 43.3 per cent of the UK market.

Furthermore, it is rapidly closing on 50 per cent or more as its other two contenders – MEC in fifth place and Maxus at eight are the two fastest-growing among the biggies – at 18 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. The figures won’t reflect fully Maxus’ win of the humungous £135m L’Oreal UK media account either.

Publicis Groupe’s ZenithOptimedia and StarcomMediaVest come next with 16.4 per cent, Dentsu’s duo of Carat and Vizeum have 15.7 per cent and Omnicom’s OMD and PHD just 15 per cent. PHD, for all its reputation as a creative media pioneer, really isn’t that big any more.

GroupM, of course, is and its size and influence already worries media owners. Channel 5 owner Richard Desmond (he still hasn’t completed his sale to Viacom) complained noisily about GroupM’s heft a year or so ago and lots of others no doubt do so in private.

In any other market such dominance would have already attracted the attention of the competition authorities. They can hardly continue to ignore this one if GroupM, as it surely will when 2014 figures are revealed, reaches 50 per cent.

 

 

 
Rank 2013 Industry Shares 2013 Media Networks incl agency brands and other media entities Overall activity 2013 rounded £bn Overall activity 2012 rounded £bn Growth rate yoy %
1 16.2% MediaCom / Group M 2 655 2 505 6%
2 12.0% Carat / Dentsu Aegis 1 964 1 945 1%
3 11.3% Mindshare (inc M/Six)/Group M 1 843 1 757 5%
4 11.2% OMD / OMG 1 835 1 731 6%
5 11.2% MEC / Group M 1 828 1 549 18%
6 10.5% ZenithOptimedia / Publicis 1 723 1 831 -6%
7 5.9% StarcomMediaVes t/ Publicis 972 838 16%
8 4.6% Maxus/ Group M 758 632 20%
9= 3.8% PHD (inc Rocket) / OMG 624 589 6%
9= 3.8% Havas Media (inc Arena) / Havas 624 679 -8%
11 3.7% Vizeum / Dentsu Aegis 602 533 13%
12 3.4% UM/ Mediabrands 548 468 17%
13 2.3% Initiative / Mediabrands 368 341 8%
100% Total Neworks studied by RECMA 16 345 15 398 6%
The 7stars (affil BPN)/ Independent 162 121 34%

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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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