VCCP tops AAR’s new business table as AMV waits to see if a Sainsbury’s-free year narrows the billings gap

The AAR (Advertising Agency Register as was) has ranked VCCP as its top new business agency for the seventh straight year. VCCP, now affiliated to the WPP empire, won 21 pieces of business from all sources in 2017 including Britvic, Burton, Cadbury and Domino’s. VCCP (left) calls itself the “challenger agency for challenger brands.”

Next came M&C Saatchi with 17, JWT with 14, Leagas Delaney (which also won Royal British Legion this week) with 12 and adam&eveDDB with 11.

VCCP also appeared on the most pitch lists while Ogilvy received the most “roster” opportunities (largely courtesy of WPP) and Engine and Snap had the best pitch conversion rates (87.5 per cent) from eight pitches each.

Interestingly The&Partnership, making waves at the moment, doesn’t appear on any of the lists although when you’re adjusting to life with £200m Toyota Europe it maybe doesn’t matter that much. This year’s biggest UK pitch to date has probably been Camelot (£42m) which moved to A&E from AMV BBDO. AMV has been much more active in pitches this year than last, winning Virgin Atlantic from A&E.

Soon we’ll be getting the Campaign/Neilsen 2017 rankings by billings for both creative and media agencies. They’re a more accurate reflection of the latter of course but still count for creative agencies in the absence of income numbers for all of them.

AMV can expect its traditional big lead to be cut sharply as it had a whole year without Sainsbury’s and the big retailers are still the biggest billing single brands after Sky, which uses a number of agencies. McCann is usually second, helped by its regional outposts and A&E, whose Waitrose is not a huge spender, will probably narrow the gap too. VCCP should be up there by rights as well, if all these account wins are real bits of business.

Sainsbury’s at Wieden+Kennedy and Tesco at BBH will shoot both agencies up the ranking tables.

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