The 2020 global pitch league - Advertising agency new business down 5.8%

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 3 February 2021

Global advertising revenue for new business in 2020 fell by 5.8%, according to data from independent marketing consultancy R3.

Media agency new business revenue for the 12 months to December increased by 6.9%, making up for a 12.6% fall in the creative market.

WPP outperformed the holding groups, winning double the revenue and number of new business wins than its closest contender Publicis Groupe.

Globally, MediaCom led media agency new business wins, followed closely by Initiative, Wavemaker, Starcom and OMD. 

Havas Worldwide was the top performing agency globally in creative new business, moving up from third place the previous year. Droga5, VMLY&R, Isobar, and Ogilvy follow, making up the top five. 

Droga5 moved ten places in R3's new business league in the past twelve months, winning global accounts for Airbnb and Huggies.

VMLY&R leapt from twentieth spot to third. 

"The numbers tells us something deeper than a desire for greater efficiency," says Greg Paull, co-founder and principal at R3.

"Technology has made media a key driver of marketing. Being at the right place, at the right time, at the right price makes a
significant impact when it comes to conversion.

"Creative is reliant on media for form, visibility, and engagement. Marketers recognize the shift and are looking for partners who can lead." 


r3 creative 2020

Revenue from wins for the top five media agencies fell by 27% compared to the previous year.

MediaCom was the only agency to maintain a top five position from the previous year.

"Like its revamped agency proposition which focuses on systems thinking and business performance, MediaCom is using language that resonates with clients," says Paull.

"Marketers expect data expertise and capability from all their partners. Media agencies need to continue to adjust their offering to really understand their clients." 

r3 media agencies 2020

Among holding groups, WPP's direction, more aligned to the fast-digitalising marketplace,  enabled it to surpass its previous year's creative revenue by 134% and media revenue by 161%.

Publicis, Interpublic, Omnicom, and dentsu round up the top five performers. Dentsu ranks second in total number of wins.

r3 holding companies 2020

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