The 60th annual Advertising Age Agency Report includes four primary agency rankings: the world's top 25 marketing organizations; the leading U.S. and world ad agency "brands" and the top media specialist companies.
Other rankings include the top 25 U.S. independent agencies by worldwide revenue, the 25 top U.S. healthcare marketing agencies, leading U.S. multicultural agencies (Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American), and a list of the world's independent agency networks with worldwide revenue.
All agency rankings, except for media specialist companies, are based on revenue--the sum of commissions on media billings, markup on materials and services, and agency fees. Most agencies submitted revenue and other data on an Ad Age questionnaire. The questionnaire is found at AdAge.com/arq.
Most publicly held marketing organizations for the second consecutive year did not supply revenue for their various agency groups. They noted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prevents such disclosure. The act, passed by Congress in July 2002, is designed to tighten rules on disclosure and make the books more transparent. Ad Age used its own calculations to estimate revenue for the agency brands of these large marketing organizations.
Agency brands exclude marketing services specialties, healthcare and subsidiary shops. Marketing services shops will be ranked by three specialties--direct marketing, sales promotion and interactive--in a Special Report, May 17.
Healthcare agencies are excluded from the main ranking in this report, although a top 25 rendering of these shops is included. Billings are the ranking metric for media specialist companies. Recma Institute, Paris, supplied the rankings for these companies on a worldwide, non-U.S. and U.S. basis.
Ad Age does not show billings for agency brands ranked 1 through 25. All but three are owned by marketing organizations, and their revenue estimates do not include a contribution from media billings.
Ad Age applies average annual exchange rates to foreign currencies. Those exchange rates are posted on AdAge.com. Ad Age's historic treatment of currencies leaves each year with its own set of exchange rates.