An advertising agency works to promote and market the agenda of its client by creating, planning and handling the content on multiple fronts. An ad agency can specialize in a specific field of work or handle all the services related to advertising for the concerned client. The advertising agencies usually work on one of the three formats, Above the Line (ATL), Below the Line (BTL) or Through the Line (TTL). The ATL format focuses on working at a pan-nation and international level with suitable campaigns for the client. BTL handles placement of smaller media and TTL is a seamless blend of both the formats. Now that you know the basics of an advertising agency, let us look at the ‘Big Five’ in the field of advertising.
WPP Group, London
The WPP Group is the leading advertising and public relations company in the world with its head office in London and an executive office in Dublin, Ireland. With over 2,05,000 employees, WPP is the biggest ad agency in terms of the number of employees. WPP generated a revenue of $19.7 Billion in FY 2018, the most in this field. WPP controls quite many advertising, public relations and media research networks around the world. Grey, JWT, Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather are some of the biggest ad agencies owned by the WPP Group.
Founder – Martin Sorrel
Omnicom Group, New York City
Omnicom Group is the second largest advertising company in the world with over 75,000 employees and revenue generated close to $15 Billion during FY 2018. Omnicom Group was the leading agency in the world until WPP eclipsed them in 2008. You might have heard of BBDA Worldwide, DDB Worldwide or TBWA Worldwide for its unparalleled creative work but you would be surprised to know that all of them are subsidiaries of the same group, Omnicom. There is no doubt about the quality and creativity that the New York-based company provides, especially in the field of advertisements, CRM, public relations and specialty services.
President, CEO, and Chairman – John D. Wren
Publicis Groupe, Paris
Publicis Groupe is a France-based multinational and public relations company that excels in providing creative advertising and marketing services around the world. Publicis has the distinction of being the oldest advertising agency in the world, having being founded back in 1926. It operates in over 105 countries, making it one of the most widely connected companies in the world. Publicis and Omnicom Group were about to merge in 2014 to become the biggest advertising agency in the world but the idea did not materialize. Publicis generated close to $10 Billion at the end of FY 2018.
Founder – Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet
Interpublic Group, New York City
Another New York-based company, Interpublic Group, is the fourth biggest ad agency in the world. It went through a rough phase during the early 2000s but recovered well to hold relevance even today. McCann World Group, FCB, Lowe & Partners are the three biggest networks that are under the control of Interpublic Group. It has close to 50,000 employees in multiple cities around the world. It generated revenues close to $8 Billion during FY 2018.
Chairman, CEO, & President – Michael I. Roth
Dentsu has one of the world’s widest networks in the world with over 45,000 employees in over 145 countries around the world. Dentsu has dominated the Japanese market in such a way that no other advertisement company even comes close to their levels of reputation and revenue. Dentsu, initially limited to providing services in Asia, spread its wings after a tie-up with Facebook in 2011. Dentsu helps in developing pages and ads on Facebook and thus getting premium advertising space for themselves on the biggest social media platform in the world.
Founder and First president – Hoshiro Mitsunaga