AMV BBDO heads billings list with ZenithOptimedia

LONDON - Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and McCann-Erickson remain the largest agencies in the UK, despite a fall in billings at AMV.

However, Lowe, the agency that occupied third place at the end of 2002, has dropped down the table following the impact of the loss of Orange, according to the billings figures from Nielsen Media

Research for the year to the end of June 2003.

J Walter Thompson jumped from eighth place to third after bringing in significant billings from Vodafone. TBWA\London moved into the top ten for the first time with a 31% increase in billings.

M&C Saatchi showed the biggest percentage increase among the top ten creative agencies. This was on the back of wins including the AA and increased spend from clients such as Fosters and NatWest.

Nick Hurrell, the joint chief executive of M&C Saatchi, said: "Our clients have been investing in work that works. The work that we have been running has been providing a real return on investment to clients."

The merged Leo Burnett and D'Arcy experienced a loss of 19 per cent based on their combined billings. The agencies would have achieved a combined placing of third a year ago but this year dropped to eighth. Saatchi & Saatchi lost 11 per cent of its billings after a downturn in spend from clients and the loss of the Sony account.

Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest entered the top 30 for the first time after building on its capture of the O2 business with clients including ING Barings and Appletiser.

MediaCom, which was the UK's largest media agency at the end of 2002, has been leapfrogged after the merger of ZenithOptimedia. However, it posted an impressive 23 per cent rise after new-business wins including Shell, Wrigley and Courts.

Stephen Allan, the chief executive of MediaCom, said: "I'd love to say that this is because the economy has bounced back and that clients are spending more but the truth is they weren't. Spend was fairly flat so the only way forward for agencies was bringing in new business."

OMD UK, Starcom Motive and Universal McCann also posted impressive increases.

Top 30 ad agencies ranked by billings June 03

1 Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO £345.05m -7.89%

2 McCann-Erickson £301.16m 2.96%

3 J Walter Thompson London £284.59m 25.68%

4 Publicis £276.32m 21.54%

5 Ogilvy & Mather £263.62m -0.05%

6 M&C Saatchi £259.08m 29.60%

7 Lowe £247.34m -4.51%

8 Leo Burnett £217.05m -19.14%

9 Saatchi & Saatchi £211.03m -11.68%

10 TBWA\London £210.25m 31.13%

Source: Nielsen Media Research

Top 30 media agencies ranked by billings June 03

1 ZenithOptimedia £644.84m -3.00%

2 MediaCom £601.43 22.96%

3 Carat £541.52m -2.79%

4 MindShare £511.84m 9.15%

5 OMD UK £435.28m 39.19%

6 Starcom Motive £391.17m 20.83%

7 Initiative Media £387.94m 18.53%

8 Universal McCann £314.34m 22.06%

9 PHD £282.64m 2.83%

10 Starcom MediaVest £254.23m -6.45%

Source: Nielsen Media Research

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