Agency new business revenue increases by 7.5%

Publicis Groupe and WPP led the charge in 2018.

Global new business revenue grew by 7.5 percent in 2018, according to a recent report by independent consulting firm R3.

Based on their analysis of 7,000 agency new business wins, global new business revenue increased from $2.9 billion in 2017 to $3.1 billion in 2018.

The growth is attributed to agency business being put into review.  

"In this moment of truth around media ROI and transparency, marketers are putting accounts up for review to leverage compliance and start taking a more rigorous business approach to re-addressing contracts," said Greg Paull, principal and co-founder of R3.

Despite an increase in overall global revenue, the number of wins decreased 5.5 percent year-on-year, according to the research. This is mirrored on the creative side, which experienced a 2.4 percent increase in new business revenue in 2018 on 10 percent fewer wins.

However, on the media side, new business revenue increased 18.4 percent ($931 million in 2017 and $1.1 billion in 2018) on a 2.3 percent increase in number of wins.

This rise in media wins was driven by the U.S., where revenue was up 49.2 percent year-on-year. In this market, BBDO and Starcom led the way, winning creative for Ford and media for Fiat Chrysler respectively.

Five out of the top ten global wins for creative agencies were in the U.S. in 2018, while for media agencies the number is four out of 10. In terms of number of wins in the U.S. alone, total creative wins are down 0.6 percent and media wins are up 12.1 percent year-on-year.

"The generally healthy U.S. economy is encouraging marketers to innovate and optimize their budgets," added Paull.

"They’re doing it by moving towards new and hybrid agency models that allow for more flexibility in media and production costs."

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