McCann-Erickson has emerged as Britain's top ranking group by
income - despite a billings figure which puts it ninth in the most
recent Campaign table.
At the same time, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, which has long claimed the
highest billings of any UK shop, drops to fifth in the first income
league table to be published by the IPA.
The league table is the culmination of a long-running attempt by the
trade body to persuade agencies to release income figures and allow
their performances to be assessed more accurately as the commission
system declines and billings become irrelevant.
McCann dominates the income table with a figure of pounds 74 million for
last year, putting it substantially ahead of its nearest rival, Saatchi
& Saatchi, with pounds 56.9 million. However, the McCann income figure
incorporates its regional subsidiaries.
AMV had billings of pounds 410 million, according to figures supplied to
Campaign by MMS, but reported an income of pounds 37.4 million - just
over half the McCann total.
Income rather than billings favour the ranking of TBWA/ London, which
jumps from 12th to fourth place. Similarly, Leo Burnett rises from 18th
to tenth place.
Two major direct agency groups - WWAV Rapp Collins and OgilvyOne
Worldwide - both gain top 30 ranking on the incomes table although
neither achieve similar status in the billings league.
The income table, to be published annually, is based on figures derived
from actual revenues, including media commissions and fees received from
IPA member agencies with annual incomes of more than pounds 500,000
during 2000 and on which their IPA subscriptions are based.
The IPA claims billings are not a true representation of the actual
income agencies receive. Nor do they include fee income from non-media
related consultancy services.
Agencies have traditionally been reluctant to divulge what they earn,
arguing that billings more accurately reflect the scale of their
influence on the advertising scene.
But Rupert Howell, the IPA president, claimed publication of the table
'puts the leading agencies in our industry in context for the first
Meanwhile Ted Goater, the IPA's treasurer, dismissed claims that the
income table might be distorted by agencies massaging their figures to
avoid increased IPA subscriptions. An agency with a pounds 35 million
annual income can pay about pounds 59,000 in annual fees.
But Goater said: 'All agencies have their finances handled by
accountants who are thoroughly professional and want to do things
For a full ranking of IPA member agencies by income, go to
Ranking by income 2000
Saatchi & Saatchi 56.9
J.Walter Thompson 44.1
TBWA Group 37.6
AMV BBDO 37.4
BMP DDB 35.5
Ogilvy & Mather 34.8
M&C Saatchi 34.7
Lowe Lintas 31.3
Leo Burnett 30.8
Ranking by billings 2000
AMV BBDO 410.0
BMP DDB 288.0
J.Walter Thompson 282.6
M&C Saatchi 237.0
Saatchi & Saatchi 223.5
Ogilvy & Mather 219.7
Lowe Lintas 207.6