CHI, Burnett and WCRS top new-business tables

Agencies pitch conversion rates are also on the rise, according to AAR findings.

Clemmow Hornby Inge, Leo Burnett and WCRS were the most successful agencies in new-business terms in 2006, according to new research from the AAR.

The research, compiled from new-business activity in 2006 among the London-based agencies, revealed a broad selection of shops, which displayed key strengths in a number of different areas.

CHI picked up 11 pieces of new business, and leads the conversion rate table by winning 83.3 per cent of its pitches.

WCRS also acquired 11 pieces of new business, but only managed a 76.9 per cent conversion rate from competitive pitches.

Leo Burnett secured 11 pieces of business. It was also the top agency at attracting business from its existing clients, with nine new-busi-ness opportunities generated through rosters. It could only boast a 45.4 per cent pitch conversion rate, however.

Wieden & Kennedy boasted an 83.3 per cent conversion rate for its pitches. While it did convert seven wins, W&K did not pitch for as much business as other agencies.

The AAR research revealed that overall agency conversion rates were up on previous years and two-thirds of agencies recorded conversion rates of more than 50 per cent.

Martin Jones, the director of advertising at the AAR, said agencies had improved their pitch and conversion ratios: "Agencies are getting better at converting these wins.

"The ideal amount of pitches an agency should be going for is ten a year, which allows agencies to keep a hand in the new-business market, but not get too swamped with lots of pitches. Agencies should be going for one a month to make sure they are putting their best foot forward."

When it came to picking up new business without pitches, M&C Saatchi and VCCP came out on top, both winning five new-business wins without entering a formal pitch process.

Bill Muirhead, the joint founder of M&C Saatchi, said that the agency did prefer to win new business without having to pitch, which can be expensive and time consuming, but he did also add that M&C Saatchi does compete in formal pitches where necessary.

He said: "Over the years, the best ads we've produced have been for clients that did not ask us to pitch.

"I think that new business is an important part of the game, and agencies live and die by new business.

"You have to be smart about the way you approach it. The minute you stop being aggressive, you will wilt and die."

Jones said that agencies such as Karmarama, Ogilvy & Mather and McCann Erickson had performed well across the various pitching criteria.

- Perspective, page 21.

AGENCIES WITH MOST WINS FROM ANY SOURCE
RANK AGENCY TOTAL
1= Clemmow Hornby Inge 11
1= Leo Burnett 11
1= WCRS 11
4= Karmarama 10
4= M&C Saatchi 10
4= Mother 10
7 VCCP 9
8= Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO 8
8= McCann Erickson 8
8= Ogilvy & Mather 8

BEST COMPETITIVE PITCH CONVERSION RATES
RANK AGENCY %
1= Clemmow Hornby Inge 83.3
1= Wieden & Kennedy 83.3
3 Krow 80.0
4 Farm 77.8
5 WCRS 76.9
6 Karmarama 70.0
7 Leagas Delaney 66.6
8= McCann Erickson 62.5
8= Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R 62.5
10= Euro RSCG London 60.0
10= TBWA\London 60.0

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