WPP has topped the Effie Index as the most effective agency holding group globally for the fourth year in a row, as Omnicom's BBDO is named the most effective ad network.
The Coca-Cola Company toppled Unilever from the top spot to be named the highest ranked marketing company. Coca-Cola was also the most effective brand, a title it has now held for three consecutive years.
Carolyn Everson, the chair of the board of directors, Effie Worldwide, and vice president, global marketing solutions, Facebook, said: "Effie Worldwide’s annual Effie Index recognizes the exceptional ideas that delivered results and made a difference for businesses globally.
"The Index is distinctively comprehensive in that it shines a light on the incredible ideas that worked around the globe, from local to international campaigns, and from both multi-nationals and independent brands.
"This year’s honorees have set the bar higher for the industry and proven that great creative combined with thoughtful strategy equates to successful marketing initiatives."
The Effie Index Worldwide is compiled from more than 3,000 finalists and winners from its 43 Effie effectiveness competitions around the world.
Each Grand Effie gets 12 points, gold Effies receive eight points, six points are given to silvers, bronzes winners get four and finalists are awarded two points.
WPP topped the global holding company rankings for the fourth time, keeping Omnicom in second place. Interpublic was ranked third, Publicis Groupe fourth and Havas was listed in fifth place.
Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, said: "Some people talk about the importance of effectiveness to the marketing services industry. That’s like saying goals are important to football, or speed is important to Formula One. It’s not merely important – it’s the point of what we do.
"Strategy, data, insights and, of course, outstanding creativity are the ingredients WPP agencies use to deliver their mission: results for clients. Or, to put it another way, creative effectiveness."
BBDO has been named the most effective network in three of the five times the Effie Index has been published. In the other two lists it was runner up.
Andrew Robertson, the global chief executive of BBDO, said the Effie Index is a "really important reference point for the world" and a way networks can measure how they are doing in a "global context."
Robertson said: "I think that you look at this thing in the round. To [top the network ranking] this consistently is testament to the efficacy of the network.
"We can do it once, and that’s really good; to do it three out of five times and be runner up in the other two is a source of pride. Day in, day out, we are committed to producing work that works."
Within the BBDO network the Columbian agency Sancho BBDO was named the most effective individual agency office for the second year in a row.
Robertson said as an agency Sancho BBDO has "such a strong effectiveness culture."
He said: "The way they operate, they write the Effie paper for each campaign when it’s finished. That’s the mindset."
Of the other ad networks McCann Worldgroup took the second spot, Ogilvy & Mather was named third most effective, Lowe & Partners was listed in fourth, and Young & Rubicam completed the top five in fifth place. In Europe, however, McCann Worldgroup was listed as the most effective network.
Underneath The Coca-Cola Company the next most effective marketers are, in descending order, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Mondelez and PepsiCo.
This article first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.