Advertising Age today introduces its first roster of "Interactive 100 Marketing Service Providers," a comprehensive list of interactive agencies, consultants and professional services companies that develop Internet advertising, Web sites and interactive marketing strategies.
The Interactive 100 generated $1.28 billion in revenue in 1998. That's a fraction of the $15 billion brought in last year by the nation's 500 largest ad agencies. But interactive is a young field poised for growth -- and consolidation.
The list includes a number of publicly traded players -- USWeb/CKS, AppNet, Sapient -- that have rolled up acquisitions under the parent's brand. Clarant Worldwide Corp., footnoted in the chart (see chart Pages S-4, S-10), soon will join them.
The common element on the "Interactive 100" list is diversity. The list ranges from tech-savvy consultants to independents to divisions of the biggest traditional agencies. Services vary from designing banner ads to reconstructing brands for the Internet.
No. 1 on the list, USWeb/CKS, had estimated interactive revenue 68 times those of No. 100, Ingalls Interactive. Contrast that to the general ad agency field, where the biggest U.S. agency, Grey Advertising, was 12 times the size of the No. 100 agency. Translation: Look for more consolidation on the interactive roster.
We've ranked companies on revenue, not quality. But we like the concept -- espoused by Ogilvy Interactive, USWeb/CKS and others -- that interactive marketing must tie in to the rest of the marketing and ad plan.
"Forget your Internet advertising program," says Mark Kvamme, the K in