AMV widens gap at top as ad industry booms

Britain’s leading agencies are confounding fears about a return to recession in the latest MMS ranking table, which reveals massive billings growth across the board.

Britain’s leading agencies are confounding fears about a return to

recession in the latest MMS ranking table, which reveals massive

billings growth across the board.



Only Saatchi & Saatchi and Ogilvy & Mather, which recorded billings

drops of 5 and 2 per cent respectively, bucked the upward trend for the

year to March.



Even so, their collective losses, which include the National Lottery,

Schweppes, Guinness and Ford, seem to have been cushioned by healthy

organic growth.



Indeed, Saatchis, O&M and Bartle Bogle Hegarty are the only agencies

among the top 24 to see their billings fall.



For the rest, the story is one of unremitting expansion with four of the

top six and 19 of the top 30 players chalking up double-digit growth in

billings figures.



The picture mirrors the latest Advertising Association figures which

show an all-time record adspend last year of pounds 14.3 billion and a

rise in advertising’s share of the gross domestic product that tops the

pre-recessionary peak of 1989.



Equally relentless is the rise of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, under the

leadership of its chief executive, Michael Baulk. Its domination of the

ranking exceeds even the Saatchis at their most barnstorming - even

though the brothers, through M&C Saatchi, have recorded the highest

billings growth of any top ten shop with 43 per cent.



More than pounds 100 million worth of billings separates AMV from its

closest rival in Charlotte Street, although AMV’s loss of some pounds 20

million worth of Sainsbury’s TV business has yet to kick in.



Among the smaller hotshops, the billings growth figures are even more

remarkable. HHCL & Partners recorded an astonishing 53 per cent

increase, while Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe and Leagas Delaney each

delivered a rise of 34 per cent. A notable exception was St Luke’s,

which marked an indifferent year with a 12 per cent billings drop, while

BBH - which lost its NatWest business last summer - had 2 per cent

clipped off its billings.



CIA Medianetwork UK bears the legacy of a nightmare year, in which the

departures of BT, Somerfield and Lloyds-TSB resulted in a 19 per cent

billings slump. MediaVest also capped a disappointing year in which it

lost Dixons and KFC by slipping down the rankings from fourth to

seventh.



Universal McCann, Initiative Media and New PHD are the major

counterbalances in the top ten, with billings growth of 32, 40 and 49

per cent respectively.



Manning Gottlieb Media, whose billings incorporate those of the BT pitch

winner, the Allmond Partnership, enjoyed the largest rise of all in the

top 30.



Perspective, p18



Agencies

Rank     Agency                         Billings      Billings   Yr on

99   98                              year ending   year ending      yr

                                        March 99      March 98  % chge

                                      (pounds m)    (pounds m)

1    1   Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO         388.11        336.57      15

2    2   Saatchi & Saatchi                272.22        287.60      -5

3    5   BMP DDB                          266.72        229.19      16

4    4   J. Walter Thompson               265.61        233.76      13

5    3   Ogilvy & Mather                  240.77        246.98      -2

6    7   Publicis                         236.17        208.20      13

7    6   TBWA GGT Simons Palmer           217.71        208.80       4

8    11  McCann-Erickson                  207.45        171.56      20

9    14  M&C Saatchi                      204.35        142.82      43

10   12  Lowe Howard-Spink                196.10        154.33      27

11   13  Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper            176.01        143.42      22

12   8   Grey                             175.83        176.43       -

13   10  Bates Dorland                    174.83        172.78       1

14   9   DMB&B                            174.68        176.22       -

15   16  Ammirati Puris Lintas            142.16        126.93      11

16   19  WCRS                             141.57        105.94      33

17   17  Leo Burnett                      138.63        118.38      17

18   18  Young & Rubicam                  134.07        106.82      25

19   15  Bartle Bogle Hegarty             125.40        129.01      -2

20   20  Banks Hoggins O’Shea/FCB         101.26         78.38      29

21   23   HHCL & Partners                  71.27         46.35      53

22   22  Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe      67.61         50.18      34

23   25  Leagas Delaney                    60.23         44.74      34

24   37  BDH TBWA                          59.96         22.80     162

25   21  CDP                               52.47         58.92     -10

26   24  Delaney Fletcher Bozell           50.04         45.97       8

27   27  FCA!                              49.58         43.46      14

28   26  McCann-Erickson M’chester         41.50         44.17      -6

29   28  St Luke’s                         37.01         42.26     -12

30   45  Citigate Albert Frank             35.91         19.16      87

Source: MMS

Media agencies

Rank     Agency                         Billings      Billings   Yr on

99   98                              year ending   year ending      yr

                                        March 99      March 98  % chge

                                      (pounds m)    (pounds m)

1    1   Zenith Media                     541.52        535.09       1

2    2   Carat                            503.88        440.55      14

3    7   MindShare                        356.75        310.87      14

4    6   BMP OMD                          351.86        315.16      11

5    5   MediaCom TMB                     339.24        338.84       -

6    8   Universal McCann                 323.85        245.05      32

7    4   MediaVest UK                     323.49        341.96      -5

8    9   Initiative Media                 316.38        225.77      40

9    11  New PHD                          294.46        197.28      49

10   3   CIA Medianetwork                 294.33        367.43     -19

11   14  BBJ                              208.61        145.42      43

12   10  Mediapolis                       203.72        214.69      -5

13   12  Optimedia                        202.60        158.29      27

14   15  Western International Media      163.35        134.13      21

15   13  Leo Burnett                      149.86        153.49      -2

16   18  Manning Gottlieb Media           144.62         82.82      74

17   16  Motive Communications            135.75        119.10      13

18   -   Walker Media                      86.42          -          -

19   17   Saatchi & Saatchi                79.40         92.01     -13

20   21  CDP Media                         67.13         53.92      24

21   22  MBS Group                         64.20         48.54      32

22   23  WIRR Feather Brooksbank           60.07         42.03      42

23   19  John Ayling & Associates          57.82         65.97     -12

24   20  Universal McCann M’chester        52.70         57.23      -7

25   24  WWAV Rapp Collins Media           47.66         35.70      33

26   28  MediaVest Manchester              42.53         27.70      53

27   26  Media Campaign Services           39.21         33.52      16

28   27  New PHD Compass                   35.66         31.25      14

29   25  BJK&E Media                       32.90         35.08      -6

30   30  Booth Lockett Makin               29.64         23.59      25

Source: MMS



Topics