GroupM’s Wavemaker is the top-ranked global media agency network in net new business for the first quarter of the year, according to an assessment by agency research firm COMvergence. (The net figures factor in wins, retentions and losses).
The agency generated net new business value (annualized billings) of $802 million, including $564 million in retentions (Huawei China and Adobe U.S. among them) and new account wins totaling $317 million. Losses totaled $79 million.
Omnicom Media Group’s Hearts & Science ranked second with a total of $531 million including the global wins of Versuni ($175 million) and Jaguar & Land Rover ($275 million).
OMG’s OMD ranked third ($208 million), followed closely by Publicis Media’s Spark Foundry ($202 million).
GroupM’s EssenceMediacom rounded out the top 5 with $119 million in net new business for the quarter.
At the Group level the net totals were:
GroupM, $1 billion
IPG Mediabrands, $915 million
OMG, $711 million
Publicis Media, $609 million
Havas Media, $96 million
For the period COMvergence assessed 510 media account moves and retentions (350 advertisers in total) across 47 countries totaling $5.3 billion, up 15% compared to the first quarter of 2022.
The U.S. accounted for 42% of the total spend reviewed globally.
Olivier Gauthier, CEO at COMvergence points out that “local pitches continue to represent a major part of the total reviewed spend, amounting to $3.9 billion. That figure represents 73% of the total, which is up from 57% in the year ago period.
“Global and multi-country reviews concluded in Q1 2023 resulted in a total of $1.45 billion.”
The average retention rate dropped to 25% (vs. 30% in Q1 2022). Spark Foundry and Wavemaker were best at retaining their client relationships in competitive pitches (98% and 88% respectively), while Publicis Media scored the best retention rate among the “Big 6” groups (76%).