GroupM's Wavemaker Takes H1 Global New Biz Crown

Wavemaker is the top global media agency network in new business results for the first half of the year, according to a new assessment by agency research firm COMvergence.  

The GroupM agency had net new business (based on estimated annualized billings) of $1.2 billion, including $818 million in retentions from Huawei China ($315 million) and Adobe US ($140 million) among others. The net figure factors in $216 million in lost accounts.  



Zenith ranked second with a net tally of $581 million, including the multi-market win of Adobe ($150 million) and the retention of L’Oréal in Iberia ($130 million). Initiative is third-ranked ($555 million), mostly due to its Constellation Brands win in the US (534 million). Omnicom Media Group’s media networks, Hearts & Science and OMD, follow very closely behind the top three.  

COMvergence CEO Olivier Gauthier notes that excluding retentions and just looking at incremental net new business, Initiative was first ($538 million), followed by OMG’s Hearts & Science ($510 million) and Wavemaker ($392 million).   

At the group level Publicis Media ranks first with $3.3 billion in net new business with wins including Pfizer ($1.5 billion), LVMH in N.A. ($360 million), and Signet Jewelers and Walgreens in the US.   

Interpublic’s Mediabrands is second with a net billings gain of $1.7 billion. GroupM is third, largely due to retained billings of $1.1 billion.   

COMvergence assessed 1,771 media account moves and retentions (1,200 advertisers in total) across 46 countries totaling $14.4 billion, which was up 10% versus the first half of 2022.   

The US accounts for 45% of the total spend reviewed.   

Gauthier noted that local pitches represented 66% of total reviewed spending, or $9.5 billion. And the rate of retention dropped to 21% (vs. 27% in H1 2022), the lowest since 2016.  



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