Adam&eveDDB chases down Omnicom rival AMV in UK billings league

The Campaign/Nielsen billings for UK creative agencies have emerged and, as suspected, AMV BBDO’s long term lead has been cut, Omnicom sibling adam&eveDDB narrowing the gap to £96m. AMV had its first full year without Sainsbury’s and the gap may narrow further next year, or even disappear, as A&E will have Camelot, won from AMV.

AMV is winning business too though and may confound A&E by also winning Asda.

Here are the top five with last year’s numbers.

1 (1) Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO 430.93m (520.51) -17.2 per cent

2 (3) Adam&eveDDB 334.18m (301.54) +10.8

3 (2) McCann Erickson 324.26m (392) -17.3

4 (5) Bartle Bogle Hegarty 322.36 (272.3) +18.4

5 (8) VCCP 280.33 (227.46) +23.3

BBH is clearly benefiting from its giant retailer, Tesco, while VCCP, now minority owned by WPP, shows the benefit of its consistently good new business performance. Elsewhere Ogilvy was WPP’s best wholly-owned performer with billings of £229m (up from £170m) courtesy of departed CEO Sir Martin Sorrell’s last bequests, Boots and Vodafone.

Karmarama appeared to enjoy a dividend from new owner Accenture Interactive as its billings increased a whopping 45 per cent to £179m.

Omnicom was clearly top holding company with AMV and A&E while its TBWA remains a player with billings of £179m and majority-owned Lucky Generals broke through £50m. BBH and Leo Burnett (in sixth on £242m) were the stand-outs for Publicis Groupe.

In terms of media agencies it’s much as you were; WPP’s MediaCom extending its lead with £1.3bn billings. WPP’s Wavemaker, the merger of MEC and Maxus, moving up to fourth.

Billings don’t tell the whole story, especially for creative agencies, but with the ad world speculating about a break-up of WPP in the wake of Sorrell’s departure it’s interesting to see how big the various bits of all the marcoms empires are. WPP’s JWT and Y&R have slipped in the UK (billings of £94m and £117m respectively).

WPP, though, remains by far the biggest owner of media agencies (it also owns Mindshare). Their fortunes and eventual fate are key for WPP.

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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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