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The 58th annual Advertising Age Agency Report includes five major agency rankings: the world's top 100 advertising organizations; the leading U.S. and world ad agency "brands;" the top U.S.-based consolidated agency networks; and the agency rankings within 124 countries.

Additionally, there are rankings of the leading PR and media specialist companies on a U.S. and worldwide basis, and rankings covering multicultural and healthcare specialty agencies.

Agencies with substantial marketing services (defined as direct marketing and sales promotion) but with less than 75% of returns attributed to those specialties are ranked in this report. Agencies drawing gross income of 75% or more from marketing services will be ranked in a DataCenter report on May 20. Additionally, interactive shops will be ranked in an AA Interactive report May 27.

Each agency ranking in the Agency Report is based on gross income-the sum of commissions on media billings, the markup on materials and services and fees.

Parent agencies or holding companies consolidate returns equal to a unit's percentage ownership (equity). Unless explained otherwise, acquisitions and divestitures are treated pro forma as if returns were on or off the books for two consecutive years at full-year returns.

World's top 100 ad organizations: An ad organization may be either an agency or agency holding company (see chart on Page S-10), but must own at least 50% of itself to be ranked.

U.S. ad agency brands: The ranking of 486 U.S. ad agencies (beginning on Page S-4) is for ad agencies, including healthcare and business-to-business shops. "Branding" identifies the core agency by stripping contributions from subsidiaries and specialty units. This is carried into the international arena with branding of the world's top 25 agency brands. (See chart above.)

Consolidated U.S. agency networks: This ranking of U.S.-based agencies reassembles the multi-tiered agencies unbundled for branding, although it excludes PR and research (see chart on Page S-10).

Rankings in 124 countries: This issue carries 1,575 agencies outside the U.S., each ranked by country by 100% of its gross income in U.S. dollars. (See charts beginning Page S-16.) Ad Age applies average annual exchange rates to all agencies listed. Multinationals are allowed to consolidate operations within a country for reporting purposes. Most do this.

Public relations rankings: The top 10 U.S. public relations firms are ranked by U.S. fee income and worldwide fee income. Data for the PR charts were provided by the Council of Public Relations Firms, whose methodology also treated acquisitions pro forma.

Staff for this report: R. Craig Endicott, DataCenter editor; Kevin Brown, group data manager; Scott MacDonald, research editor; Mark Schumann, research coordinator, and Philip Montgomery-Fleming, Julie A. Johnson and Jennie Sierra, special assistants; Rick Gordon, Viewpoint editor; Ken Wylie, writer and consultant, and Ilse Cermak, consultant.

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