Dong Draper nails US agency reputations in ‘Dong List’

Copywriter Sai He, alias Dong Draper on social media, has released the latest ‘Dong List,’ a crowd-sourced ranking of 40 US agencies.

Dong (left) sees this as an alternative to “pay-to-play industry rankings that only judge an agency’s own case study. And we all know case studies don’t exactly tell the whole story.” Quite.

So it’s Wieden+Kennedy top followed by Droga5, Mother, 72andSunny and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Not much to argue with there and a notable absence of big, holding company agencies although Droga5 is Accenture, 72andSunny MDC (now Stagwell) and GS&P Omnicom (which seems to stay out of the way.)

Mother, like W+K, remains proudly independent and it’s also, of course, British. Its fortunes in the US have revived after a period of ups and downs. It’s also been voted Ad Age’s International Agency of the Year twice in the past three years although it’s much smaller globally than most of its presumed rivals.

But Mother has an aura about it, as have the other topping Dong’s list. Indefinable really and certainly not defined by box-ticking exercises like most such awards. Eat your heart out holding companies (they’re mostly at the bottom of Dong’s list.).

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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.