- Advertising dollars have shifted toward digital.
- WPP, Omnicom, and Publicis Groupe are the leading advertising companies by revenue.
- Do you work in the Ecommerce and Retail industry? Get business insights on the latest tech innovations, market trends, and your competitors with data-driven research.
One of the pandemic’s overarching effects was accelerated digital transformation across the economy and society. A steep increase in the amount of retail sales transacted digitally buoyed digital ad spending last year and boosted digital advertising’s long-term prospects.
The shift in advertising dollars towards digital—including email marketing, social media, and programmatic ads—is giving rise to high growth digital marketing agencies; however there are still many traditional advertising and creative agencies adapting to the digitally focused landscape.
We looked at the top advertising agencies and marketing companies worldwide by revenue.
WPP – London, $16.9 billion
According to December 2020 data, WPP raked nearly $17 billion in revenue in 2019—solidifying its position as the top advertising competitor. Self described as a creative transformation company, WPP offers its clients communications, technology, and commerce services.
In 2021, the advertising giant announced that its majority-owned subsidiary, Finsbury Glover Hering Corporation and Sard Verbinnen & Co (“SVC”) have merged to offer more board-level strategic advice, especially in rapidly growing industries such as health, renewable energy, and DE&I.
Learn more about WPP.
Omnicom Group – New York, $15 billion
Omnicom Group earned $15 billion in revenue in 2019, taking the second place spot for top ad agency. This global leader in digital marketing serves over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.
Last year, Omnicom makes it to Fast Company’s 2021 Most Innovative Companies List as the only holding company to have three agencies (Goodby Silverstein & Partners, TBWA and BBDO) ranked in the top 10 in the Advertising sector.
Read more about Omnicom Group.
Publicis Groupe – Paris, $12.3 billion
Publicis Groupe saw $12.3 billion in revenue in 2019, and reports that its continued US growth is being fueled by increased digital media spending and the surprising success of its Epsilon data business. Amid the pandemic, Epsilon’s ability to help Publicis clients activate their first-party data proved to be invaluable.
And in 2021 Epsilon and The Trade Desk partnered to make their user identifier products interoperable. The partnership signals that Publicis has not given up on user-level cross domain tracking and sees value for its clients in engaging in such targeted advertising.
Learn more about Publicis Groupe.
Accenture Interactive – Dublin, $10.3 billion
This digital agency has been growing its marketing and advertising business, and reached $10.3 billion in revenue in 2019. It’s widely known for its ability to deliver experiences and realities by connecting business insight with potential technologies.
Throughout 2021, Accenture Interactive engaged in a series of acquisitions with an aim to build stronger commerce experiences and improved transformation services. Most recently, it acquired Japanese agency Tambourine—an ecommerce customer experience agency of around 70 employees, specializing in leveraging Salesforce’s cloud-based technology for enhanced digital services.
Learn more about Accenture Interactive.
Interpublic Group of Cos. – New York, $10.2 billion
Earning just over $10 billion in revenue in 2019, this US-based advertising company consists of five major networks: FCB, IPG Mediabrands, McCann Worldgroup, MullenLowe Group, and Marketing Specialists. These companies specialize in advertising, digital marketing, communications planning, media, public relations and specialty marketing.
In 2021, TikTok announced a three-year partnership with IPG Mediabrands to launch a “Creator Collective.” The program matches TikTok creators with IPG Mediabrands’ clients to provide feedback and guidance on campaign strategies—highlighting the importance of short-video marketing and mobile advertising.
Learn more about Interpublic Group of Companies.
Dentsu Inc. – Minato City, Tokyo, $9.6 billion
Dentsu Inc. is a Japanese international advertising and public relations company, which brought in $9.6 billion in revenue in 2019. Dentsu’a Network’s M1 solution, engineered by its Merkle division, contains a module for estimating reach across linear and CTV platforms.
The M1 system process starts with defining the consumer target, often sourced from advertiser-supplied first-party data, then modeled to identify other consumers who closely resemble the original customer list. Once alignment of target and data sets is achieved across platforms, various modules within the M1 system are used to estimate cross-platform reach.
Learn more about Dentsu.
Deloitte Digital – New York, $7.9 billion
Securing the 7th place spot on our list of top advertising companies, Deloitte Digital brought in nearly $8 billion in revenue in 2019. Deloitte Digital was launched in 2012 as Deloitte’s creative consulting unit.
Deloitte Digital has offices in more than 30 countries and works to help clients develop growth agendas by using human insight to deliver dynamic experiences. Deloitte Digital works to assist brands in finding customers and audiences, guiding them through to acquisition, retention, and loyalty.
Read more about Deloitte Digital.
PwC Digital Services – Hallandale Beach, $6.7 billion
PwC’s digital arm brought in $6.7 billion in revenue in 2019. The foundation of PwC Digital’s approach is its BXT (business, experience, technology) framework.
PwC Digital Services focuses on digital design and employee and user experience—empowering them to work better and smarter. From its digital marketing services, helping professionals modernize their marketing plans and cloud suites, and optimize processes for memorable CX.
Read more about PwC Digital Services.
IBM iX – Armonk, $5.6 million
IBM iX is a fierce competitor in the advertising space, bringing in $5.6 billion in revenue in 2019. It’s one of the largest digital and design consultancies in the world, with almost 60 studios and a global network of strategists, designers, developers and data architects.
IBM iX solutions include customer experience consulting, consulting across the customer lifecycle, ecommerce consulting, mobile app development, and customer service consulting. It can help identify new opportunities for clients and create a top-notch branding vision via the latest advertising and marketing technologies.
Read more about IBM iX.
BlueFocus Communication Group – Beijing, $4.1 billion
Closing out our list of top 10 advertising companies is BlueFocus Communication Group—which brought in $4.1 billion in revenue in 2019. This China-based ad agency focused on brand management became the first publicly listed Chinese company in the field.
Its more than 100 offices strategize on advertising, media, social, PR, design, branding, CRM, eCommerce, and mobile solutions for companies around the world.
Read more about BlueFocus.
Advertising Industry Trends & Analysis
Total digital ad spending will reach $571.16 billion this year, accounting for 65.9% of total media ad spending.
With many upstarts making their way into the market, dedicated to pushing unique digital channels, incumbents will need work quickly and efficiently to keep up with the changing landscape, evolving tech, and new trends.
Since the majority of this advertising growth is in digital, brands are ready to move forward on big projects to keep themselves competitive while readying for the “new normal.” Looking to the future, agencies are focused on becoming more productive, efficient, and profitable. They are also dedicated to attracting and retaining the right talent while evolving and maintaining a competitive offering.