French research company Recma, which evaluates media agencies, says that Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) was the big winner in new business in 2017 with a closing net new business balance of $2.34bn (£1.68bn).
Surprisingly its Vizeum network was the top agency performer with a balance of $1bn, mainly through AB InBev. Which presumably means it didn’t lose much. DAN’s Carat and Dentsu X were also among the top performers.
There were question marks over Vizeum’s future a few years ago but it seems to have benefited from an association with big DAN acquisition performance marketing agency Merkle (left).
WPP/GroupM’s Mediacom won the most new business with $2.6bn but client losses reduced its balance to $433m. Publicis’ Starcom added $756m.
Among the holding companies Publicis Media was second with a net new business balance of $376m, Havas Media third with $315m and GroupM fourth with $58m. One holding company, which Recma doesn’t disclose to spare its blushes (presumably either Omnicom or IPG Mediabrands) had a net business loss of $1.6bn.
There’s an element of swings and roundabouts about these computations but DAN seems to have invested wisely in Merkle and done well in the Far East with Dentsu X, Publicis Media seems on the way back after a torrid time in the US a couple of years ago while GroupM, the biggest operator, still seems to be suffering from the fall-out over the over the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) report into media transparency. GroupM’s Xaxis data operation is also an energetic digital inventory trader.