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Saatchi to emerge as biggest UK creative agency by billings

Does it matter which creative agency is biggest by media billings? Less so, obviously, since the separation of media departments into standalone (although mostly holding company-owned) agencies from the old full-service model, but it still gives a steer on who’s doing best even though a more accurate guide – income – is mostly unavailable.

In the UK Saatchi & Saatchi is set to be tops when the full Campaign/Nielsen numbers are announced this week, displacing last year’s winner VCCP which has seen its billings fall by 25%. Usually a supermarket is essential to be in the top few but the big gain for Saatchi seems to be EE, now including BT’s once big consumer mobile account. Some UK TV viewers may feel ‘battered by Bacon’ as the Hollywood star and EE ambassador Kevin chimes up again and again with EE’s special offers.

Saatchi now has John Lewis and Waitrose in its armoury although the two, while high profile, don’t spend nearly as much as the likes of Tesco (at BBH) and Sainsbury’s (New Commercial Arts.)

On balance, the new billings seem to show a fall from last year which may reflect a struggling UK economy and the further movement of ad funds to (mostly unmeasured) digital. All campaign’s reports are here.

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