Most typically, marketing services shops began as sales promotion agencies that increasingly crossed over into direct response, blurring their traditional lines. For this report, marketing services agencies carry this double specialty but may be fully sales promotion or direct response.
The marketing services chart (Page 21) ranks agencies by the sum of revenue from sales promotion and direct response.
Agencies with either or both of these specialties also appear in separate rankings (Page 22) isolating revenue from these two segments.
Direct response and sales promotion agencies are ranked by their total revenue on their respective charts if they generate at least 75% of their 1996 U.S. total revenue from their dominant specialty.
If less than 75%, the ranking is based only on the portion of revenue isolated as either direct or sales promotion.
However, these percentage stipulations do not apply to the chart's largest agencies, which are ranked by their actual returns from these two services.
Within the direct chart is a subranking (the third of three ranking columns) that re-sorts the main ranking by eliminating the portion of revenue coming from internal operations, such as printing, database and internal telemarketing.
Shops in the sales promotion ranking receive two rankings-one for overall revenue and the other for their ranking as either promotional marketing (PM) or promotional services (PS) agencies.
The former refers to those agencies that provide an array of services but are identified by their strength in the planning sequences-fee-based activity that must account for at least 30% of total revenue. The latter agencies pull most of their revenue from tactical and executional services, such as sweepstakes and games, merchandising, premiums/incentives or fulfillment.