R3: global new business reviews increase 53.5% in 2021 – Havas makes biggest gains, WPP leads overall

New business reviews bounced back globally in 2021, increasing by 53.5% on the back of major creative and media reviews from clients including Coca-Cola, Unilever and Mercedes-Benz. According to new business data from independent marketing consultancy, R3. Growth was strongest inin Europe (60.7%), and Asia Pacific (44.1%) while less revenue was on the table in the US (21.2%).

While the number of reviews increased, the total revenue from reviews increased only 9%, reflecting more and more ‘snack sized’ opportunities. “Increasingly, the AOR is dying and the smartest agencies are pivoting their services and their talent mix to reflect this,” says R3 principal Greg Paull. “For every consolidation to a holding company, there are another four or five other clients looking to build a more flexible roster and bring new agencies into the tent.”

WPP wins on volume, Havas makes the biggest gains

Thanks to the estimated $600m+ new business windfall that WPP secured with the role as Coca-Cola’s global marketing partner, the holding company almost tripled its year-on-year revenue growth in 2021. However, the leader in growth for 2021 was Havas, who increased its year-on-year revenue by 11.4% as a result of wins from Unilever, De Beers, and Dolce & Gabbana. Publicis Groupe (5.4%) and the newly formed Stagwell Group (5.3%) followed in third and fourth place.

“New business in 2021 was characterized by a few massive accounts, which can only be served by agencies big enough to flex and customize their offerings,” says. Paull. Clients are looking for more bespoke solutions, and the better an agency is able to adapt, the better chance they have of taking the business home.”

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