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This time, we have decided to learn a little more about the history of the six digital advertising agencies that lead the worldwide revenue numbers thanks to their work in digital marketing, social media, email marketing, and others. These are, listed by their revenue volume:

  1. WPP
  2. Omnicom
  3. Publicis
  4. Accenture
  5. Dentsu
  6. Interpublic

1.WPP

Interestingly, WPP did not start as an advertising agency, but as a majority stake in a small British manufacturer of wire baskets and teapots called Wire and Plastic Products, which was acquired by Martin Sorrell. Years later, it changed its name to WPP and began to form an international group of advertising and marketing services. WPP was founded in 1971 in London, United Kingdom.

Since its creation, it has been acquiring other important advertising companies in the sector to expand, after its main headquarters was established in the United Kingdom. Today, it is made up of companies recognized worldwide such as AKQA, BCW, CMI Media Group, Choreograph, Essence, FGS Global, GREY, GroupM, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Hogarth, Kantar, Landor and Fitch, MediaCom, Mindshare, Ogilvy, Superunion, VMLY&R, Wavemaker, WPP Government & Public Sector Practice, Wunderman Thompson and Xaxis.

Currently, it is the world’s largest advertising company with a revenue of 14.8 billion pounds and approximately 114,000 employees distributed in 3,000 offices in over 100 countries, and its main clients are multinational companies.

2.Publicis

This agency has seen advertising evolve over the decades. Its popularity intensified three years after its founding, when it began to acquire a large number of clients, thanks to being pioneers in using radio as an advertising medium.

After World War II, the advertising agency had to start almost from scratch, as it had to cease operations. By 1957, it was the first French agency to have international expansion, and by the 70s, it positioned itself as the largest agency in all of Europe.

Today, it is one of the most important agencies in the world, with a turnover of $14,8 billion during 2023. The advertising agency also has a wide portfolio of clients, including André Shoes, Banania, Max Factor, Monsavon, Rivoire et Carret, Maison du Blanc, Grosfillex, Renault, Whirlpool, SFR, L’Oréal, Boursin, Tesco and Nescafé.

3.Omnicom

This company was born from the merger of two advertising agencies,BBDO and DDB, after becoming aware of the growth of their biggest competitor, WPP. This merge happened in New York in 1986. Today, the agency TBWA is also included. TBWA has worked with top brands such as Nike, McDonald’s and Pfizer.

In 2021, they created the Communications Consultancy Network (CCN), formed by Omnicom Public Relations Group, with agencies such as FleishmanHillard, Ketchum, Marina Maher Communications and Porter Novelli, among others. DAS Group of Companies, on the other hand, is a division of Omnicom and a global group of marketing services companies comprised of: Health Group, Precision Marketing Group, Commerce Group and Advertising Collective.

Currently, Omnicom is a globally interconnected network of leading marketing communications companies with a portfolio of over 5,000 clients and a presence in over 70 countries. In addition, it has achieved a revenue of $14.6 billion.

One of the most famous campaings of this group, done by TBWA, was “The Ad you stay in” with Paris Hilton for Hilton Hotels, which achieved 6.5 million minutes of viewing with a 10-minute TikTok.

@hilton Unexpected & amazing things can happen when you stay, and we want you to stay with us for 10 minutes. Yup, we made a 10-minute TikTok AND we’re giving away 10M Hilton Honors Points + more. #HiltonStayFor10 #HiltonForTheStay ♬ Hilton’s 10-Minute Stay – Hilton

 

4. Accenture

This company was born as a division of the company Arthur Andersen, dedicated to business and technology consulting, However, by August 2000, the ties were broken and it was renamed as Accenture. It was founded in 1950 in Dublin.

In this case, its strengths have been in the areas of consulting (management consulting), operations (business operations outsourcing, IT, application development and maintenance), digital and technology (technological skills), and strategy (action plan design, digital transformation, and corporate strategy).

The company has achieved various success stories including Avianca, Radisson, and Seat. Today, they have more than 9,000 clients worldwide and a total revenue of $64.1 billion. However, it should be noted that Accenture not only does advertising, it is also involved in other industries such as healthcare, energy, software… For the Communications, media and technology department, Accenture had a net income of $11,45 billion.

5. Dentsu

This Japanese company specializes in advertising and public relations on an international level and has 11,000 clients in 145 countries. It was founded by Mitsunaga Hoshirō under the name Nihon Kōkoku and merged with Japan Telegraphic Communication to create advertising and communications operations.

By 1946, they had acquired 16 companies to expand their operations to Osaka, Nagoya, and Kyūshū. Later, in 1955, the company’s name was changed to Dentsu. In 2011, they managed to create an association with Facebook, and in 2018, they were selected to commercialize the rights of the 2019 Copa America to be held in Brazil. Today, it has a revenue of $8.9 billion.

6. Interpublic

It is a group of companies that began in the 1930s in New York. It is currently made up of FCB, IPG Mediabrands, McCann Worldgroup, and MullenLowe Group, which together offer services in public relations, sports marketing, and talent representation.

For 2021, the IPG group won 7 Creative Excellence Awards and 5 Media Excellence Awards in the annual Campaign US BIG awards for distinguishing itself as one of the industry’s leaders in creativity and media innovation. They currently maintain a turnover of $4 billion.

One of his most recent (and viral) advertisements was “Snoop Dogg gives up smoke“. This statement by the artist went around the world, but it was not cannabis smoke that he was going to leave, but the smoke from the bonfire. It was all part of a campaign in favor of Solo Stove, a company that manufactures smoke-free fire pits, camp stoves, grills and other products.

Image: GPT4

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