Current State of the Biggest Advertising Agencies in the World
Global advertising spending last year was over USD 563 billion and this spending has greatly benefited the financial outlook of the top 10 largest advertising agencies in the world and the industry as a whole. The global advertising market size is estimated at USD 532.5 billion, with growth stemming from worldwide economic prosperity and the demand for the digital transformation of brands. The largest advertising agency in the world by revenue is WPP plc, generating USD 17.34 billion last year. The top advertising agencies are rounded out by Omnicom Group, and Publicis. This fact sheet is to breakdown who the top 10 largest advertising agencies worldwide by revenues; and also to provide insight on the biggest factors and trends driving growth in the market. This post will cover the following:
- Who are the big five advertising agencies?
- Who are the top advertising agencies by revenue?
- How much is the global advertising industry worth?
- Where is advertising spent and who spends that money?
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Global Advertising Industry Stats and Trends
- The big five advertising agencies consist of WPP plc, Omnicom Group, Publicis, The Interpublic Group of Companies, and Dentsu.
- Global advertising spending in 2019 was over USD 563 billion.
- North America is the region that invests most in the sector, followed by Asia and Western Europe. The Middle East and Africa as well as Central and Eastern Europe spend the least.
- Social media advertising budgets have doubled worldwide, from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016.
- Average advertising costs for small business operations that use Google Ads as part of their online advertising strategy are between $9,000 and $10,000 per month.
- 84% of people expect brands to create content. About 45% of B2C marketers believe visual content is their most important type of content, while 88% of B2B marketers agree that creating content makes their audience view the organization as a credible and trusted resource.
- Google and Facebook hold the largest share of total U.S. digital ad spending, with 37.2% and 19.6% respectively.
Top 10 Largest Advertising Agencies Worldwide by Revenue 2020
Which companies are leading the way for the top advertising agencies in the world? This is BizVibe’s complete list of the top 10 largest advertising agencies worldwide by revenue in 2020.
Advertising Agency Name
Revenue (USD billions)
|1||WPP plc||17.34||London, UK||130,000|
|2||Omnicom Group||15.29||New York, USA||79,500|
|4||The Interpublic Group of Companies||9.71||New York, USA||54,000|
|8||Dentsu Aegis Network||1.48||London, United Kingdom||35,000|
|9||MDC Partners||1.33||New York, USA||5,690|
|10||Publicis Sapient||1.31||Massachusetts, USA||20,000|
1. WPP plc
Ranking number 1 on this list of the top 10 largest advertising agencies worldwide by revenue is WPP plc, British multinational communication, advertising, public relations, technology, and commerce holding company headquartered in London, England. WPP plc is the world’s largest advertising agency by revenue, generating USD 17.34 billion last year and is considered one of the big five advertising agencies in the world along with Dentsu, Publicis, Interpublic Group of Companies and Omnicom. WPP plc owns many companies including advertising, public relations, media, and market research networks such as AKQA, BCW, Essence Global, Finsbury, Grey, GroupM, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Kantar Group, Mindshare, Ogilvy, Wavemaker, Wunderman Thompson, and VMLY&R.
Headquartered in London, UK, WPP focuses on communications, experience, commerce, and technology. WPP plc is known for investing in creativity, technology, and talent to drive sustainable top-line growth.
- Founded: 1971
- WPP plc Revenue: USD 17.34 billion
- WPP plc Headquarters: London, UK
- WPP plc Number of employees: 130,000
WPP plc Subsidiaries
- Essence Global
- Hill+Knowlton Strategies
- Kantar Group
- UWG Inc.
- Wunderman Thompson
WPP plc Advertising Products & Services
- Integrated networks
- data and insights
- Public relations
- Public affairs
- Brand consulting
- Health and wellness
Ranking 2nd on this list of the top 10 largest advertising agencies in the world by revenue is Omnicom Group, an American global media, marketing, and corporate communications holding company, headquartered in New York City. Omnicom Group generated revenues of USD 15.29 billion last year — making it one of the top advertising agencies in the world by revenue. Another one of the big five advertising agencies, Omnicom Group employs more than 79,500 employees and operates in over 100 countries worldwide. Notable advertising companies under Omnicom Group are BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide, DAS Group of Companies, Omnicom Media Group, and TBWA Worldwide. Omnicom is composed of five major agency networks including Media One Marketing Group that oversee 1500+ agencies as parent companies. The networks are BBDO Worldwide, Diversified Agency Services (DAS), DDB Worldwide, Omnicom Media Group (OMG), and TBWA Worldwide.
- Founded: 1986
- Omnicom Group Revenue: USD 15.29 billion
- Omnicom Group Headquarters: New York City, New York, United States
- Omnicom Group Number of employees: 79,500
Omnicom Group Advertising Products & Services
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Digital Marketing
- Direct and Promotional Marketing
- Experiential Marketing
- Healthcare Marketing
- Interactive Marketing
- Public Relations
- Strategic Media Planning and Buying
Publicis ranks 3rd on our list of the biggest advertising agencies in the world. Publicis Groupe is a French multinational advertising and public relations company, and is the oldest and one of the largest marketing and communications companies in the world, by revenue, headquartered in Paris. Along with WPP plc, Omnicom Group, The Interpublic Group of Companies, and Dentsu, Publicis is considered one of the big five advertising agencies in the world. Last year Publicis generated USD 11.39 billion in revenues, making it one of the largest ad agencies in the world in terms of revenue. Publicis owns several full-service advertising groups that undertake a range of media activities: mobile and interactive online communication, television, magazines & newspapers, cinema and radio, outdoor.
- Founded: 1926
- Publicis Revenue: USD 11.39 billion
- Publicis Headquarters: Paris, France
- Publicis Number of employees: 75,588
Publicis Advertising Products & Services
- Branding & identity
- Market research
- Public relations
Ranking 4th on this list of the top 10 largest advertising agencies worldwide is The Interpublic Group of Companies, an American publicly traded advertising company. IPG’s consists of five major networks: FCB, IPG Mediabrands, McCann Worldgroup, MullenLowe Group, and Marketing Specialists, as well as several independent specialty agencies in the areas of public relations, sports marketing, talent representation, and healthcare. Headquartered in New York City, IPG generated USD 9.71 billion in revenues last year — making it one of the top advertising agencies in the world by revenue. IPG consists of many businesses organized into six groups. Three of the groups are global networks: Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB); McCann Worldgroup; and MullenLowe; a media services company, IPG Mediabrands; a marketing services group, Marketing Specialists; and several independent domestic digital agencies.
- Founded: 1930
- IPG Revenue: USD 9.71 billion
- IPG Headquarters: New York City, New York, United States
- IPG Number of employees: 54,000
Ranking 5th on this list of top advertising agencies in the world in by revenue in 2020 is Dentsu, a Japanese international advertising and public relations joint stock company headquartered in Tokyo. Dentsu was founded 119 years about is among the most notable advertising companies of all-time. In 2012 Dentsu bought Aegis to form the Dentsu Aegis Network. The Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of 10 global network brands—Carat, Dentsu, Dentsu media, iProspect, Isobar, Accordant, mcgarrybowen, Merkle, Fountainhead MKTG, Posterscope, and Vizeum and supported by its specialist/multi-market brands. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, last year Dentsu generated USD 9.6 billion — making it one of the largest advertising agencies in the world by revenue.
- Founded: 1901
- Dentsu Revenue: USD 9.6 billion
- Dentsu Headquarters: Minato, Tokyo, Japan
- Dentsu Number of employees: 62,608
Ranking 6th on this list of the top 10 largest advertising agencies worldwide is Hakuhodo, a Japanese advertising, and public relations company. It is headquartered at Akasaka Biz Tower in Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo. After Dentsu, Hakuhodo is the largest advertising agency in Japan. Hakuhodo has a large international footprint with offices in many major cities across Asia, Europe & the Americas In Japan and offices around the world. Last year Hakuhodo generated USD 3.06 billion in revenues — making it one of the top advertising companies in the world.
- Founded: 1895
- Hakuhodo Revenue: USD 3.06 billion
- Hakuhodo Headquarters: Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
- Hakuhodo Number of employees: 3,107
Hakuhodo Advertising Products & Services
- Branding & identity
- Consumer insights
- Market research
- Media planning and buying
- Public relations
- Relationship marketing
Ranking 7th on our list of the top 10 largest advertising agencies in the world is Havas, a French multinational advertising and public relations company, headquartered in Paris, France. Havas operates in more than 100 countries and is one of the largest global advertising and communications groups in the world. Havas operations are split up among 3 networks including Havas Creative Group, Havas Media Group, and Havas Health & You. Havas offers a broad range of communications services, including digital, advertising, direct marketing, media planning, and buying, corporate communications, sales promotion, design, human resources, sports marketing, multimedia interactive communications, public relations, and innovation consulting (Havas Blockchain). Last year Havas generated USD 1.71 billion in revenues — making it one of the biggest advertising agencies in the world by revenue.
- Founded: 1968
- Havas Revenue: USD 1.71 billion
- Havas Headquarters: Paris, France
- Havas Number of employees: 17,500
Havas Advertising Products & Services
Dentsu Aegis Network ranks 8th on this list of the top 10 advertising agencies in the world by revenue in 2020. Dentsu Aegis Network is a multinational media and digital marketing communications company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japanese advertising and public relations firm Dentsu — one of the big five advertising agencies in the world. Dentsu Aegis Network’s principal services are communications strategy through digital creative execution, media planning and buying, sports marketing and content creation, brand tracking, and marketing analytics. Dentsu Aegis Network manages all the Dentsu inc. owned businesses outside the Japanese market, which includes the former Aegis Group business from its acquisition. It also includes 360i, Amplifi, Amnet, BJL, Grip Limited, The StoryLab, Data2Decisions, Mitchell Communications, Cardinal Path, and psLIVE. Dentsu Aegis Network generated USD 1.48 billion last year.
- Founded: 2013
- Dentsu Aegis Network Revenue: USD 1.48 billion
- Dentsu Aegis Network Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
- Dentsu Aegis Network Number of employees: 35,000
Dentsu Aegis Network Subsidiaries
- Cardinal Path
- Dentsu Media
- Grip Limited
- Fountainhead MKTG
- Story Lab
9. MDC Partners
MDC Partners ranks 9th on this list of the top 10 largest advertising companies in the world in 2020 by revenue. MDC Partners is an advertising and marketing holding company based in New York City. MDC Partners has over 50 partners worldwide and is known as a global advertising holding company that invests in agency partners in the areas of advertising, marketing, media management, technology, analytics and consumer insights, direct marketing, and strategic consulting. Some of the most notable parent companies under MDC partners include 6 Degrees, 72andSunny, Albion, Albion Drive, Allison+Partners, Anomaly, and many more. Last year MDC Partners generated USD 1.33 billion in revenues — making it one of the largest marketing firms in the world.
- Founded: 1986
- MDC Partners Revenue: USD 1.33 billion
- MDC Partners Headquarters: New York City, USA
- MDC Partners Number of employees: 5,690
10. Publicis Sapient
Rounding out BizVibe’s list of the top 10 largest advertising agencies in the world is Publicis Sapient, a digital business transformation company. Publicis Sapient is known to help established companies and the public sector increase their customer value, drive operational effectiveness, and thrive in an evolving world. Last year Publicis Sapient generated USD 1.31 billion in revenues — making it one of the top advertising agencies in the world by revenue.
- Founded: 1990
- Publicis Sapient Revenue: USD 1.31 billion
- Publicis Sapient Headquarters: Massachusetts, USA
- Publicis Sapient Number of employees: 20,000
This is BizVibe’s list of the top 10 largest advertising companies worldwide ranked by revenue. Keep track of and gain a competitive advantage by keeping track of what these leading top advertising agencies are up to on BizVibe.
The Future of the Global Advertising Industry
It’s not a kept secret that global advertising changes as technology changes. Videos are shared 1,200% more than text and links combined. So will it be in videos? 84% of people expect brands to create content. As long as consumer demand is there, expect business for the top 10 largest advertising agencies and their contemporaries to go nowhere.