SMG Remains World's Largest Media Agency Net, Combined Aegis/Dentsu Ranks No. 3

Publicis’ Starcom MediaVest Group once again is the world’s largest global media services network, but Omnicom’s OMD unit is nipping at its heels, according to new estimates by Paris-based RECMA. Both agency networks tied with a 10.7% share each of the global media agency network marketplace, as defined by RECMA.

Publicis’ ZenithOptimedia Group ranked third with 10% share of the marketplace, but actually had a higher rate of growth in 2011 -- increasing its billings to $31,896 billion, an 11.1% increase over 2010.

SMG’s billings grew 9% to $34,288 billion, while OMD’s rose 9.8% to $34,111.

ZenithOptimedia was one of four networks to expand at double-digit rates in 2011. The other three were WPP’s Maxus, which soared 43.6% to $6.875 billion, Omnicom’s PHD (+17.5% to $10.658 billion), and Aegis’ (now Dentsu’s) Carat (+10.1%).

“As the undisputable industry leader, GroupM showed a below-the-average growth rate with uneven performances across the regions,” RECMA said upon releasing the report, adding, “low billings increase in the U.S. (+5% vs. +10% on average) but high in Asia-Pacific (+$2.3 billion).”



RECMA noted that the “internal hierarchy” of WPP’s four media networks -- Mindshare, MediaCom, MEC and Maxus -- “remains unchanged,” even though Maxus soared in large part due to strong performances in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

RECMA also noted that Dentsu’s acquisition of Aegis, the parent of Carat, “is a perfect geographical fit and does not have any impact in the billings tables.

“However, the addition of Dentsu Media Japan to Aegis Media’ global billings would allow this [combined] group to reach the third rank ahead of Omnicom Media Group.

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