Y&R remains number-one ad agency

Despite the doom and gloom prevalent in the marketplace, the UK marketing services sector continues to be profitable and well run, according to Kingston Smith W1's annual survey on financial performance, published in Campaign next week.

Young & Rubicam Group again heads the table as the largest UK advertising agency, while M&C Saatchi retains its second place. New entrants this year include The Red Brick Road, Lawton Communications Group and Beattie McGuinness Bungay. Digital Marketing Group is the largest digital business, Aegis Media heads up the media independents' table and Proximity is the largest direct marketing/sales promotion specialist.

WPP is the largest UK-listed group by some margin. Sir Martin Sorrell again earned the most at the listed groups, taking home £3.97 million, according to the accounts filed.

Meanwhile the highest-paid director at an independent agency earned £649,000, at Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

This year's survey, due to be unveiled at KSW's annual seminar next Tuesday, highlights marked differences between group-owned and independently owned agencies. The 21 independents in the Top 50 were better than the group-owned businesses at generating income growth.

Advertising is one of the more profitable marketing disciplines: compared with the Top 50 independent marketing services groups in all disciplines, ad agencies had higher productivity and margins.

Rank Rank Agency Latest Change
latest previous (£000s) (%)
1 1 Young & Rubicam Group 110,093 2.53
2 2 M&C Saatchi 87,620 15.45
3 3 Ogilvy & Mather Group (Holdings)1 68,198 -0.96
4 4 Bartle Bogle Hegarty 60,995 7.03
5 6 McCann Erickson Advertising 49,295 9.76
6 9 DDB UK2 46,707 10.39
7 5 J Walter Thompson Group 46,085 -7.02
8 7 Saatchi & Saatchi Group 45,434 -5.24
9 8 Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO 43,342 1.57
10 10 Publicis 35,428 -1.06
Source: Kingston Smith W1.
Notes: 1 previously The Ogilvy Group (Holdings) 2 previously BMP DDB.