Which ad agency leader gets paid the most?

Kingston Smith's latest report reveals pay for agency chiefs last year.

Visa: created by Saatchi & Saatchi
Visa: created by Saatchi & Saatchi

The leader of Saatchi & Saatchi Group was the highest-paid agency director in adland last year, with a salary of £967,000 – although this was a 13.35% decrease on the top salary in 2016.

The highest-paid director at Ogilvy earned £828,000 in 2017, but this was nearly 49% less than the highest-paid director the previous year.

The next highest-paid directors were at Leo Burnett (£625,000), Grey (£482,000) and Publicis (£437,000).

Highest-paid directors

  Company name Year end Latest Previous Change
£000s £000s %
1 Saatchi & Saatchi Group Ltd 31/12/2017  967  1,116 (13.35)
2 Ogilvy & Mather Group (Holdings) Limited 31/12/2017  828  1,621 (48.92)
3 Leo Burnett Limited 31/12/2017  625  611 2.29
4 Grey Advertising Limited 31/12/2017  482  772 (37.56)
5 Publicis Limited 31/12/2017  437  508 (13.98)
6 J. Walter Thompson Group Limited 31/12/2017  435  602 (27.74)
7 Mother London Limited 31/12/2017  419  362 15.75
8 Spark44 Limited 31/03/2018  386  245 57.55
9 AKA Promotions Limited 25/03/2017  357  285 25.26
10 FCB Inferno Limited 31/12/2017  337  334 0.90

Meanwhile, among those running UK listed ad agency groups, unsurprisingly it was still Sir Martin Sorrell who took home the biggest pay packet at £13,930,000, followed by Paul Taffe from Huntsworth with £1,463,000 and Alex Batchelor from System1 Group with £1,462,569.

UK quoted highest-paid directors

  Group Director Latest Previous Change (%)
1 WPP Group Plc Sir Martin Sorrell  13,930,000  48,148,000 (71.07)
2 Huntsworth Plc Paul Taaffe  1,463,000  869,000  68.35
3 System1 Group plc Alex Batchelor  1,462,569  581,687  151.44
4 Next Fifteen Communications Group Plc Tim Dyson  1,063,000  1,072,000 (0.84)
5 Cello Group Plc Mark Scott  803,000  1,167,000 (31.19)

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