JWT closes on AMV in Nielsen billings league

J. Walter Thompson is closing the gap on Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO at the top of the agency billings league.

The WPP agency added 16 per cent to its billings across the year ending 31 July 2004, according to new figures from Nielsen Media Research.

AMV managed to hold on to the top spot after a small increase in billings resulting from the capture of the Camelot and Norwich Union accounts.

Peter Cowie, the business development director at JWT, said: "The biggest new- business opportunities that came through were not conflicted with our accounts. B&Q and HSBC came into play and we were able to win them."

JWT claimed that its position would be even stronger once billings for HSBC kick in. However, its loss of the Boots account to Mother will also begin to show in the second half of the year.

There was not much change in the positions of the top ten agencies over the year-long period.

Lowe continued its fall from grace with a 12 per cent decline in billings and lost its seventh spot to Euro RSCG London.

TBWA\London moved into the top ten from 11th, but it experienced a rollercoaster year; it was seventh in billings at the end of 2003 before it lost the 3 account to WCRS.

DDB London halted its long decline by moving up one spot and adding 9 per cent to its billings.

A second tier of agencies in the top 20 showed the most dynamic growth.

The independent agencies Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, Mother and Clemmow Hornby Inge all had healthy increases in billings.

BBH added 52 per cent to its billings and DLKW 26 per cent. Mother moved up three places in the table with a 67 per cent growth in billings, while CHI was the fastest-growing agency in the top 30 with a 120 per cent billings growth, leaping seven places to enter the top 20 at 19th. Its new client British Gas and increased spend from The Daily Telegraph and Carphone Warehouse were partly responsible for this.

Mortimer Whittaker O'Sullivan was hit by the loss of its AOL account to Grey and fell down the table from 19th to 25th. The loss of its Direct Line business will have a further impact on its position going forward.

TOP 30 AD AGENCY BILLINGS YEAR-END 31 JULY 2004

Rank Rank Agency Year to 31 July 2004 Year to 31 July 2003

2004 2003 (pounds ) (pounds )

1 1 AMV BBDO 357,346,404 345,248,683

2 2 JWT 341,496,816 294,948,581

3 3 McCann Erickson 308,571,067 294,744,579

4 4 Publicis 281,586,945 280,799,959

5 5 Ogilvy & Mather 251,124,673 258,254,676

6 6 M&C Saatchi 241,409,973 257,683,201

7 8 Euro RSCG London 227,429,713 238,191,929

8 7 Lowe 221,054,007 250,426,470

9 10 Saatchi & Saatchi 215,459,197 218,120,893

10 11 TBWA\London 204,213,198 203,401,947

11 12 DDB London 198,791,426 182,406,460

12 9 Leo Burnett 198,124,477 218,642,982

13 14 Grey Worldwide 195,313,959 162,172,077

14 13 RKCR/Y&R 186,451,872 180,413,958

15 16 BBH 178,464,609 117,373,416

16 15 WCRS 125,377,040 146,626,456

17 17 DLKW 106,221,388 83,887,299

18 21 Mother 105,582,868 63,037,095

19 26 CHI 81,640,025 37,011,266

20 18 FCB London 76,000,371 76,911,366

21 20 HHCL/Red Cell 70,664,646 67,979,853

22 24 VCCP 57,793,043 38,780,234

23 22 CheethamBellJWT 57,107,089 40,303,599

24 28 PWLC 52,953,890 34,085,648

25 19 MWO 50,791,206 69,481,332

26 29 BDH\TBWA 49,846,051 33,476,046

27 30 St Luke's 49,565,497 32,997,095

28 23 MCBD 45,140,470 38,888,048

29 27 Leith Agency 43,518,503 36,215,374

30 25 Publicity Bureau 37,733,832 38,271,948

Source: Nielsen Media Research.

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