OMD retains top global media agency title for 2019

Agency will have billed estimated $19.6bn by close of year.

OMD: Manning Gottlieb OMD handles media for John Lewis Partnership
OMD: Manning Gottlieb OMD handles media for John Lewis Partnership

OMD has retained its title as the world's biggest media agency, securing the top spot by projected billings in the COMvergence 2019 global billings rankings report.

The study estimates that OMD, which has seen a boost in fortunes under new chief executive Florian Adamski after it lost Carlsberg and Groupe PSA in 2017, will have billings totalling $19.6bn (£14.8bn) in 2019 and a growth rate of 6.1% compared with 2018.

Group M’s Mindshare is second in the ranking, with annual estimated billings totalling $17.9bn, up 1%. Carat, with estimated billings of $16.1bn, up 5.5.%, is third.

Of the six largest media agency networks, four saw year-on-year growth in billings this year.

MediaCom, the fourth largest network, is up an estimated 6.8% but Wavemaker, in fifth, and Starcom, in sixth, are estimated to show declines of 1.3% and 4.2% respectively.

COMvergence, which ranks media agency networks and owner groups based on figures across 41 countries, placed WPP’s Group M in the top spot on a group level, with an industry market share of 17.2% and global projected billings of $50.05bn.

Publicis Media, in second place, has projected billings of $33.78bn and 11.6% market share. Omnicom Media Group follows with $31.37bn in projected billings and 10.8% market share.

Total billings handled by media agency networks are forecast to reach $166bn in 2019, COMvergence said, representing 57% of global media spend. The remaining 43% is attributed to independent agencies and in-house activity by advertisers.

At a group level, five of the big six posted growth. Only Omnicom Media Group showed a decline, of 3.5%, compared with 2018.

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