Gunn Awards Report for Media 2005: OMD Tops the List

Among Holding Companies, Publicis Groupe Networks Win Most Awards

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NEW YORK ( -- For the second straight year, Omnicom Group's OMD was the most awarded media agency in the world. When looked at from a holding-company perspective, however, Publicis Groupe media agency networks took home the most media prizes, according to this year's Gunn Report for Media.

Discovery Networks Europe was looking for sponsors for its flagship documentary 'Virtual History.' Media agency ZenithOptimedia UK got Hewlett Packard on board to provide its technology to create the computer-generated imaging used to blend the faces of historical figures onto the actors who played key roles. H-P was widely credited for its role, and a one hour show, 'The Making of Virtual History' showcased H-P even further.
This is the second time Donald Gunn's methodology for ranking agencies according their performance in award shows -- a crucial institution in the ad world -- has been applied to media shops.

U.S. is top country
The U.S. was the most-awarded country in 2005, beating out the U.K., last year's winner by geography and a country thought to be at the forefront of media experimentation. Zenith Optimedia UK's "Virtual History" work for Hewlett Packard and TBWA Japan's "Impossible Sprint" program for Adidas were tied for the most-awarded campaigns.

Among agencies, OMD and Publicis' Starcom MediaVest Group led the pack, with 161 and 150 points, respectively. The next closest was Publicis' ZenithOptimeda with 95 points.

Among holding companies, Publicis finished with 247 points, beating out WPP Group's Group M by 40 points. Omnicom, which usually dominates in the Gunn advertising study, came in third with 172.

Creative solutions
As the media landscape has become more fragmented, many agencies and marketers have sharpened their focus on developing creative solutions. OMD, which was formed out of Omnicom's ad agencies, centers its positioning on that creative heritage.

"Creativity -- and not for creativity's sake -- is as exciting as the new-business wins," said Page Thompson, CEO of OMD North America. "It's the foundation of where we come from."

The OMD network's local offices performed consistently, as the agency's campaigns were among the seven most awarded. However, OMD won three Cannes Lions out of 20, two by its Colombia office and one by its office in Poland. Its work for the ABC drama Lost picked up two Effies.

Renetta McCann, CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group, called her agency's performance a validation of its internal creative review process.

'Contact innovations'
"One of our key criteria in judging our own work is contact innovation, and we also celebrate work that clearly ties the media -- contact -- and creative -- content -- closely together," said Renetta McCann, CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group. "Clearly the most celebrated work in the world is that which marries the two."

When the Lichenstien Museum finished its restoration, museum officials wanted to attract tourists to its collection of baroque frescos on its ceilings. With all the prime billboard space regularly overbooked, agency Wien Nord Plaz sought out unusual locations to plaster replicas of the frescos. The inside of taxi's roofs, the arrivals hall in the Vienna airport, and even umbrellas were used to get out the message.
The most-awarded marketers were Hewlett Packard, Nike, Adidas, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. A surprise showing in the top 10 list of most-awarded marketers was the Liechtenstein Museum of Vienna, which tied for Vodafone for sixth place among advertisers.

Both this year's and last year's editions of the Gunn media report were sponsored by Procter & Gamble Co. Isabelle Musnik, an Advertising Age contributor, compiled the rankings. Ms. Musnik included the top 50 awards shows in her methodology -- about 20 more than last year -- but did not disclose the shows she considered.

"We know that the art of 'connection,' or contact, requires more insight and creativity than every before," wrote Bernhard Glock, P&G's manager-global media and communication, in the report's foreword. "Put simply, the innovation of our media plans must parallel that of our creative messages and content."

50 festivals included
For the inaugural report last year, about 30 ad festivals were included in determining which were the most awarded agencies and advertisers. For the 2005 report, the top 50 world contests were used. Because of the increased number of festivals, Ms. Musnik did not make comparisons year vs. year. Points are awarded on the same basis for every contest: 3 to 5 for a Best Show or Grand Prix; 2 to 3 for a winner or a gold; 1 to 2 for a silver or a bronze. Which value is assigned depends on the size and importance of the festival.

2005 Gunn Report for Media's Most-Awarded Advertising Agencies

  1. OMD, 161 points
  2. Starcom MediaVest, 150 points
  3. ZenithOptimedia, 95 points
  4. Mediacom, 80 points
  5. MindShare, 64 points
  6. Mediaedge:cia, 53 points
  7. Universal McCann, 36 points
  8. Carat, 35 points (tied with DDB)
  9. DDB, 35 points
  10. BBDO, 33 points
  11. MPG, 31 points

2005 Gunn Report for Media's Most-Awarded Global Media Agency Networks

  1. Publicis Groupe Media: Starcom MediaVest Group, Zenith Optimedia, 247 points
  2. WPP Group's Group M: MindShare, Mediaedge:cia, MediaCom, Maxus, 207 points
  3. Omnicom Media Group: OMD, 172 points
  4. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Magna Global, Universal McCann, Initiative, 67 points
  5. Aegis Group: Carat, Vizeum, 37 points
  6. Havas: MPG, 31 points
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