Tuesdata: The fifteen biggest billing media agencies
Comvergence exclusively shares its data on last year's biggest media agencies
Welcome to Tuesdata, where this week we reveal the results of the latest media agency billings data from Comvergence, covering 2021.
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Comvergence is one of a handful of businesses that monitor agency billings information around the world. Last week numbers for 2021 unofficially emerged from Comvergence’s French rival Recma, which later insisted they were not correct. A third player well placed to understand billings is Standard Media Index, which has direct access to agency billings systems although it does not publish a ranking.
To calculate its results - which are both a ranking and an estimate of spend - Comvergence bases its assessment on Australian clients whose ad budget is estimated at greater than $1m.
Comvergence does not disclose its exact methodology for ranking the agencies. It says it is based on its own system of monitoring digital spend, combined with Nielsen’s monitoring of above the line advertising and extrapolating that against rate card information.
Comvergence says it then cross-checks its calculations with the agencies which have the option of providing information from clients or the agency’s chief financial officer if there are discrepancies.
What does the Comvergence ranking tell us?
Below, we feature a ranking of the top 15 agencies and an overview of the top five. In alphabetical order, they are AKQA Media, Atomic 212, Carat, Hearts & Science, Initiative, Mediacom, Mindshare, Nunn Media, OMD, PHD, Spark Foundry, Starcom, UM, Wavemaker, Zenith
Before we get to the actual ranking, it’s worth noting that three of the top five agencies are run by women, which - thanks to OMD’s dual leadership - means four female CEOs.
With other major media agencies run by women, such as Initiative (Melissa Fein), Mindshare (although Katie Rigg-Smith is transitioning to a WPP network role) and Spark Foundry (Imogen Hewitt) among others, the media agency sector is arguably leading the way in terms of female leadership.
Let’s get to the ranking. The top agency leads by a long way.