AMV tops Nielsen billings table

MediaCom heads buying league with £1 billion as 2008 creative and media agency billings tumble.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has retained its position as the UK's number one creative agency, despite recording an 8 per cent decline in billings during 2008.

The agency remained top of the pile after reporting billings of £363 million, keeping it ahead of McCann Erickson Advertising in second and JWT London in third, according to provisional figures from Nielsen Media Research.

Completing the top five were Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Euro RSCG London, which climbed three places on the back of wins in 2007 that included the mobile operator 3, an account it has subsequently lost.

Beattie McGuinness Bungay, the 23rd-ranked agency, recorded one of the most significant increases in billings among the top creative agencies, with a 66 per cent rise to £82.5 million. The increase was in part due to it winning the ING Direct account in February 2008.

Fallon, the agency behind award-winning work for Cadbury and Skoda in 2008, saw its billings rise by 6 per cent and leapt from 17th to 13th place in the rankings.

Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners broke into the top ten after recording a 6.6 per cent billings increase.

Notable fallers included WCRS, down from sixth to eighth place following a 21 per cent fall in billings, and DDB London, which dropped out of the top ten following an 18 per cent billings decrease. Publicis fell four places to 17th on the back of a 21 per cent decline in billings, while Lowe marked a difficult year by dropping out of the top 20, also recording a 21 per cent fall in billings.

In the media rankings, MediaCom held on to top spot and became the first UK media agency to officially bill more than £1 billion in a year.

OMD and Mindshare retained second and third spots respectively, while Carat leapfrogged Starcom UK to move into fourth place after posting a rise in billings of 6.5 per cent year on year.

Mediaedge:cia posted the second-largest billings increase among the top ten media agencies, showing a 4.9 per cent rise to £426.6 million. Initiative fell to ninth place on the back of a fall in billings of 21.6 per cent.

The Havas-owned MPG recorded the largest rise in billings among the top 20 media agencies, moving up to 13th place on the back of a 16.7 per cent rise in billings to £140 million.

For the full tables and School Reports, see the 27 February issue of Campaign.

TOP UK AGENCIES 2008
Rank Rank Agency Billings 2008 Year-on-year
2008 2007 (pounds m) % change
TOP FIVE CREATIVE AGENCIES
1 1 AMV BBDO 363.2 -8.37
2 2 McCann Erickson 265.6 -7.81
3 3 JWT London 246.3 -7.21
4 4 Bartle Bogle Hegarty 236.5 -9.21
5 8 Euro RSCG London 222.8 -4.24
TOP FIVE MEDIA AGENCIES
1 1 MediaCom 1,029.86 4.11
2 2 OMD 762.59 -10.34
3 3 Mindshare 719.83 0.03
4 5 Carat 694.24 6.47
5 4 Starcom UK Group 560.76 -15.50
Source: Nielsen Media Research.

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