IPA figures reveal true fallout from recession

The true impact of the worst advertising recession for a decade is reflected in new IPA figures showing substantial drops in the incomes of Britain's leading agencies.

The slashing of client ad budgets last year to protect balance sheets resulted in millions of pounds being lopped from agency income figures.

Even Saatchi & Saatchi, which has become the UK's top ranking agency group by income, did so on declared figures which were more than £4 million down on 2000.

It's a pattern repeated among most of the leading shops, which suffered as big-spending telecoms and IT companies trimmed their costs and dotcoms collapsed. Of the leading players, only Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO reveals an income figure largely unchanged between 2000 and last year.

But IPA executives, while acknowledging that agencies have been badly hit by the economic downturn, have warned against drawing too many stark conclusions at the differences in some of the figures.

A prime example is McCann-Erickson, whose income shows an apparent drop of £30 million from last year when it topped the rankings. However, the group's 2001 figures differ from those of the previous year by excluding contributions from its regional operations, which now appear in their own right.

"We've deliberately not compared agencies' income figures for 2001 to those of 2000, Ian Finlayson, the IPA's finance director, explained.

"It's a complex situation with some groups including their subsidiaries while others regard those subsidiaries as companies in their own right. It's not a problem as long as people understand that we're not comparing like with like."

The publication of the second annual income league tables is part of an ongoing effort by the IPA to convince its own members and outsiders that income rather than billings present the most accurate picture of the industry.

However, IPA chiefs recognise that many media specialists still need convincing that billings are not the best indicator of the scale of their activities. Zenith, Carat and CIA are among the major media players conspicuous by their absence from the latest tables in which MindShare tops the media rankings with an income of £24 million. WWAV Rapp Collins heads the direct marketing table with £29.4 million.

Bruce Haines, the IPA president, said: "While billings is still a valid measure for media agencies, it's important we also have a gross income ranking so that industry observers have a true sense of our size and income streams."

The IPA argues that billings are not an accurate picture of agencies because they don't include fee income from non-media related consultancy services. Returns filed at Companies House may be equally misleading because corporate structures, year- ends and reporting structures differ across the industry.

The figures for the income rankings include agency commission, service fees and other fees for 2001 from advertising, media, business to business, sales promotion, direct marketing and recruitment. Gross income from agency acquisitions during the year is included as if for a full year.

Rank    Agency                          Gross income 2001 (pounds)
1       Saatchi & Saatchi(1)                            52,750,000
2       Publicis(2)                                     47,798,000
3       McCann-Erickson Advertising                     44,061,322
4       J. Walter Thompson(3)                           40,053,000
5       Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO(4)                     37,509,292
6       Lowe                                            37,458,000
7       Ogilvy & Mather                                 36,313,000
8       M&C Saatchi                                     31,921,000
9       Leo Burnett(5)                                  31,200,000
10      BMP DDB                                         30,414,129
11      Grey Worldwide                                  29,625,000
12      WWAV Rapp Collins                               29,423,000
13      Bartle Bogle Hegarty                            28,461,691
14      TBWA/London                                     24,724,998
15      McCann-Erickson Manchester                      23,024,575
16      D'Arcy(6)                                       23,002,000
17      Bates UK(7)                                     22,652,000
18      RKCR/Y&R                                        21,700,481
19      Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper                           20,119,607
20      HHCL & Partners                                 18,706,848
21      OgilvyOne                                       17,770,000
22      WCRS(8)                                         17,257,100
23      Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB                        13,476,000
24      McCann-Erickson Central                         11,779,713
25      Partners BDDH                                    8,435,256
26      BDH/TBWA                                         8,092,674
27      DLKW                                             8,061,048
28      St Luke's                                        7,740,705
29      Burkitt DDB                                      6,889,473
30      Clark McKay & Walpole                            6,583,907

NOTES: 1 Includes Team Saatchi, Saatchi & Saatchi Vision; 2 Includes
Publicis Blueprint, Publicis Dialogue, Publicis Network,
Comma; 3 Includes Cheetham Bell/JWT; 4 Includes AMV Advance;
5 Includes Hard Reality, Leonardo London,The Lab, Stars Digital;
6 Includes D'Arcy, Masius, IMP; 7 Includes Atlas Advertising,
141 Communications; 8 Includes Galileo Brand Architects, Drury Lane
Films. Source: IPA

Rank    Agency                          Gross income 2001 (pounds)
1       MindShare Media UK                              24,085,771
2       MediaCom                                        21,040,276
3       OMD UK                                          16,353,517
4       Starcom Motive                                  16,141,408
5       Manning Gottlieb OMD(1)                         12,323,425
6       Optimedia                                       10,796,578
7       MediaVest                                        9,042,000
8       Poster Publicity                                 7,077,193
9       Portland Outdoor Advertising                     6,563,854
10      BLM Media(2)                                     3,917,335
11      Media Campaign Services                          3,440,000
12      John Ayling & Associates                         2,648,980
13      PHD Compass                                      2,341,918
14      BJK&E Media                                      2,306,107
15      AMS Media Group(3)                               2,154,484
16      International Poster Management                  1,898,000
17      Mediahead                                        1,732,239
18      Bygraves Bushell Valladares & Sheldon            1,527,000
19      MediaCom North                                   1,442,155
20      Austin West Media                                1,373,563
NOTES: 1 Includes The Almond Partnership; 2 Includes Clilverd Booth
Lockett Makin, Azure Media; 3 Includes AMS Direct.

Rank    Agency                          Gross income 2001 (pounds)
1       WWAV Rapp Collins                               29,423,000
2       OgilvyOne Worldwide                             17,770,000
3       Ellison Communications                           9,791,603
4       Clark McKay & Walpole                            6,583,907
5       Archibald Ingall Stretton                        4,289,000
6       Citigate SMARTS                                  2,865,446
7       RPM3                                             2,678,774
8       Hicklin Slade & Partners                         2,042,808
9       Rapier                                           1,970,727
10      Different Advertising, Design & Mktg             1,199,333


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