BBDO notched up 135 points, six clear of TBWA, with the winner only determined by the last two eligible contests of the year - Golden Drum and the Campaign Poster Awards.
Saatchi & Saatchi took third spot, DDB Worldwide fourth with Leo Burnett coming in fifth. McCann-Erickson continued its positive trend by moving up a spot for the fifth consecutive year to take ninth.
According to The Gunn Report 2003, BBDO displayed more global depth by picking up points from 24 markets.
Peugeot 206's "the sculptor", by Euro RSCG Mezzano Costantini Mignani, was the most awarded commercial of the year, trouncing Ikea's "lamp" - the execution that beat it to the coveted Grand Prix at this year's Cannes Advertising Festival. "Lamp", by Crispin Porter & Bogusky, came in eighth.
Saatchi & Saatchi London's NSPCC "cartoon", which took a gold at Cannes in 2002, took second place.
TBWA\London's John Smith's campaign managed sixth, with Lowe's "Devil Island" spot for Stella Artois taking ninth.
Large Corp's Daniel Kleinman shared the title of most awarded director with Thanonchai Sornsrivichai of Thailand. Gorgeous' Frank Budgen took fourth spot while Jonathan Glazer, from Academy, managed 13th equal. The Scandinavian collective Traktor came in at 16th equal.
The most awarded agency in the world was Crispin Porter. Bartle Bogle Hegarty and TBWA\London tied equal fifth.
The top production company accolade went to Morton Jankel Zander of Los Angeles whose big winners included Ikea's "lamp". @radical.
media claimed the second spot. Spectre, which merged earlier this year with Stark and rebranded as Large Corp, took fourth. Gorgeous, behind Wieden & Kennedy London's Honda "cog", and Partizan tied for equal fifth.
TBWA\London was the only UK agency to secure a place in the top 20 in the most awarded print ads category, with its " Michael Jackson" campaign for the broadcaster five.
The category was won by BBH Singapore with an execution for Levi's Classic Men's 501's called "hugging".
Overall, the UK came runner-up to the US in the most awarded country category. It secured 165 points (114 television, 51 print) against the US's 299 (210 television, 89 print). The gap between the two is wider than in any previous report, with 2003 turning out to be Britain's lowest scoring year in five years.
The advertiser of the year category had its tightest ever finish with only three points separating the first three places. Volkswagen, top of the table in 1999, 2000 and 2001, pipped last year's winner, Nike, by one point with a total of 41 to take the title. Sony came third with 38 points.
For a copy of the report, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.