57th Annual Agency Report

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U.S. agencies stretched agency gross income 12.4% to $32.57 billion worldwide on billings of $259.25 billion, as the globe's three largest ad organizations claimed a 38.6% share of the world market, according to Advertising Age's 57th annual Agency Report.

Ad monoliths Omnicom Group, WPP Group and Interpublic Group of Cos., amassed 40.4% of U.S. gross income of $18.94 billion, up 14.6%, on $150.64 billion in billings-the second best year for U.S. agencies in the past decade.

WPP supplanted Omnicom in 2000 as the world's largest ad organization, based on total gross income of $7.97 billion to Omnicom's $6.99 billion. WPP got the push it needed from its acquisition of Young & Rubicam, the seventh largest ad organization in 1999. Interpublic, third at $6.6 billion, is likely to surpass them both soon, should its deal go through to buy True North Communications, the world's ninth largest ad organization. True North's 3.4% world share would elevate Interpublic's to 15.7%.

Shares are based on $40.46 billion in gross income from advertising and marketing services generated by 497 U.S. agencies and 1,588 from 124 other countries in the report, which follows on Page 26.

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