Publicis versus WPP: Publicis Groupe tops 2023 global new business with $700 million

Publicis Groupe leads the 2023 global New Business League holding group rankings, with its win of Pfizer pushing it past WPP; its closest competitor for the last eight years.

By  Storyboard18Feb 16, 2024 10:55 AM
Publicis versus WPP: Publicis Groupe tops 2023 global new business with $700 million
According to the R3 report, the value of Creative accounts globally increased in 2023 by 8.4 percent across a 13.7 percent decrease on volume. Holding companies accounted for most of those wins, with Publicis Groupe, WPP, and Interpublic Group leading in that order. Three independent agencies (Wieden+Kennedy, M&C Saatchi Group, and Mother) rounded the top 20 in the Creative New Business League. (Image source: Facebook and X)

After WPP's years of dominance, the French ad holding company Publicis Groupe took the lead two years ago. Now, it looks hard to overturn for WPP, say experts, as the gap between the two increases. The $25 billion Publicis, led by Arthur Sadoun, is growing faster than its $11 billion UK rival, WPP which is run by CEO Mark Read.

Publicis Groupe leads R3 Consultancy's 2023 New Business League holding group rankings, with its win of Pfizer pushing it past WPP; its closest competitor for the last eight years.

New Business League 2023 (Estimated overall YTD revenue, USD)

Publicis Groupe - $700 million

WPP - $525.5 million

IPG - 396.9 million

Omnicom - $376.2 million

Dentsu - $162.3 million

Havas - $133.8 million

Accenture - $15.5 million

Stagwell - $4.6 million

The global creative and media new business landscape for 2023 proved to be relatively muted despite major accounts including Pfizer, Uber, and Kimberly-Clark put under review, as per R3. The number of total accounts awarded decreased 2.9 percent year-on-year while overall value increased 5.3 percent, according to new figures from consultancy R3.

According to the R3 report, the value of Creative accounts globally increased in 2023 by 8.4 percent across a 13.7 percent decrease on volume. Holding companies accounted for most of those wins, with Publicis Groupe, WPP, and Interpublic Group leading in that order. Three independent agencies (Wieden+Kennedy, M&C Saatchi Group, and Mother) rounded the top 20 in the Creative New Business League.

Media contributed less to revenue, with 17.1 percent more accounts awarded on a value that increased only 0.4 percent on the previous year. Starcom, Zenith, and Carat led in Media wins, and Publicis Groupe, Omnicom, and WPP took the top three places for Media in the holding company rankings.

The global trend of higher-value Creative accounts is best witnessed in the US (+28.9 percent). In Europe, Asia Pacific, and China, Creative new business recovery was slow with companies putting fewer accounts into review and allocating smaller budgets.

The inverse can be said for Media. The US registered a 187 percent increase in number of media reviews at a 14.5 percent decrease in overall value. China’s Media landscape remained strong with fewer accounts competing for 38 percent more Media revenue.

“It’s becoming clearer where marketers prioritize Creative and Media,” says Greg Paull, Principal and Co-founder at R3. “In the US and Europe, there’s growing interest in the impact of creative effectiveness on overall business growth and cultural relevance; placing a premium on impactful and innovative creative work.”

“In regions where connected platforms are more critical to customer engagement and conversion, media is more important. Particularly with partners that can offer CRM and data solutions. China and Asia-Pacific are two examples where media revenue is strong, and less investment finds its way to creative partnerships.”

First Published on Feb 16, 2024 10:19 AM

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