Ogilvy regains top spot
After seven years as the biggest, FCB is overtaken
OGILVY has reclaimed its position as South Africa’s biggest ad agency group, elbowing aside FCB, which has reigned supreme since 2000. The ranking is based on staff complements at year-end 2006.
Figures to be published in Tony Koenderman’s AdReview next week show Ogilvy now employs 651 people, compared with 644 at FCB. When based on revenue earned by the groups, indications are that Ogilvy may have gained the number one spot in 2005. However, as global agencies no longer disclose their financial results, it isn’t possible to be sure. But one thing they do disclose is their staffing level and by that measure, Ogilvy is now back to No 1.
US stock exchange-listed companies stopped disclosing breakdowns of agency financial results to comply with US legislation.
Ogilvy’s staffing level rose from 621 to 651 between 2005 and 2006, while FCB’s fell from 675 to 644. That was a response to R487m worth of new-business billings at Ogilvy last year, from new accounts that included SA Tourism, Castrol Global, Coca-Cola Africa, SA Airways retail, Port Ghalib Egypt, Exxaro, Sishen, Lindsay Saker, Cadbury’s, American Express and Media24.
FCB gained R195m in new billings, with blue chip accounts such as Game, Motorola and the 2011 Rugby World Cup bid. But towards year-end it lost Uthingo (the previous lottery contractor).
AdReview estimates that Ogilvy’s fee and commission income was R330m last year, and FCB’s R320m.
TBWA has held on to third position in the table, though its staffing fell from 540 to 500. Young & Rubicam is in fourth spot; but it’s with fifth-placed Jupiter Drawing Room that the real challenge lies. Having gained R1,2bn worth of new business last year, Jupiter raised its employment by 25% to 280 and is well placed for a challenge for a top-three spot within a year or two.
Jupiter’s fee and commission income rose 25% last year, but the big new accounts won’t contribute to its revenue until this year. Therefore, barring accidents, Jupiter stands to see an enormous jump during 2007.
The Ogilvy group also rose to the top of the creative league table, displacing TBWA with strong showings from its Johannesburg and Cape Town offices.
Full details will be published in AdReview, with the issue of Finweek dated April 26.