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The following methodology pertains to the separate rankings of direct response and sales promotion agencies:

Direct Response

To be ranked on this chart by "total" revenue, an independent agency or agency division must generate at least 75% of its 1993 U.S. total from direct response. Total revenue may and generally does include minor contributions from other specialties.

When direct response activity falls below 75% of returns, the ranking is based only on revenue isolated as direct response.

Within the chart is a subranking (the third of three ranking columns) that in effect re-sorts the main ranking by eliminating the portion of revenue coming from internal operations such as printing, database and internal telemarketing. This column is for 1993 only. AA also does not capitalize internal operations when providing a capitalized billings (i.e. volume) equivalent to revenue.

Because many agencies charted are involved in non-direct response activities, that activity is accounted for in a column identifying total agency U.S. revenue. For agency divisions, this column represents totals for the division if it bears a name distinct from the agency. Otherwise, the larger agency totals are shown.

AA previously ranked direct response agencies by volume (capitalized billings) but switched to revenue this year to keep sales promotion and direct response returns uniform. A separate column shows the volume equivalent to revenue in case readers need to refer to previous rankings.

Many ad agencies have direct response revenue but didn't make the ranking because revenue from the specialty wasn't larger than $100,000, cutoff for the list.

Because some of the top U.S.-based direct response agencies have foreign returns, AA has prepared a separate chart ranking the top 10 U.S.-based direct response agencies by worldwide revenue.

Sales Promotion

An agency is ranked on this chart by its "total" returns if sales promotion represents 75% or more of its 1993 U.S. revenue. If less than 75%, an agency is shown only by its returns from sales promotion.

The shops are further delineated as either promotional marketing or promotional service agencies and ranked within these two promotional camps.

Promotional marketing agencies provide an array of services but are identified by the strength in strategic consulting, a fee-based activity that must account for at least 30% of total revenue.

Promotional services agencies pull most of their revenue from tactical and executional services, such as sweepstakes and games, merchandising, premiums/incentives or fulfillment.

Direct response returns at sales promotion agencies are presented as a percent of total agency revenue in a column on the sales promotion chart. It is the sales promotion shop that has stimulated much of the cross-over activity.

Ad agencies with sales promotion returns no larger than $100,000 weren't included on the list.

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