Everyone thinks they know who the largest marketing companies in the world are, and I’m sure you know some of the famous agencies like BBDO, Havas or Grey. But would you be surprised if I told you those agencies don’t even crack our top 10?
The landscape of global agencies has become crowded and confusing over the last 10 years. While huge agency networks and holding companies are the vanguard, there has been a convergence of consulting firms and tech giants entering the frame to compete as well as in-house agencies. All of this continues to blur the line between what is considered an agency and who is best suited to help your global marketing, advertising, and digital initiatives.
To bring some clarity to the global agency marketplace, Agency Spotter has put together the 50 largest marketing agencies according to estimated yearly revenue. This list represents the 50 biggest agencies and not the agency networks or groups like WPP, Publicis Group, Dentsu Inc, Interpublic, and Omnicom Group.
Largest Marketing Companies in the World
Freeman, a family-owned brand experience agency, boast over 7,000 employees with 90+ location worldwide. The Dallas-based agency provides full-service marketing and design services to the world’s leading brand through memorable events. Freeman has worked with LG, Google, BMW, Cisco and many more.
Burson-Marsteller is a global public relations firm that is part of Young & Rubicam group, which is a subsidiary of WPP. Established in 1953 by Harold Burson and Bill Marsteller, the agency now has a worldwide network that consists of 77 offices and 85 affiliate offices and operates in 110 countries. Burson-Marsteller has worked with Ford, Thomson Reuters, Blueair and more.
With more than 90 years of success, Ketchum is one of the largest and most geographically diverse PR agencies in the world. They are also the recipient of five Campaign of the Year Awards by PRWeek, with the latest award coming in 2016. Ketchum is part of the Omnicom Group and operates in more than 70 countries across six continents.
Asatsu-DK is a Japanese advertising agency and the third largest agency in Japan after Dentsu and Hakuhodo. Established in 1956, the Consumer Activation Company has over 3,400 employees and more than 80 offices. Bain Capital, a private equity firm based in Boston, recently bought ADK for $1.4 billion.
Engine is a marketing company built on 14 agencies who work across the full spectrum of marketing disciplines. They have 30 locations around the world from New York to Shanghai, LA, Sydney and more. This new breed of marketing agency has worked with clients such as Unilever, Nestlé, American Express, Disney, Xbox and more.
Founded in 2008, Maxus is a global media agency part of WPP’s GroupM, the world’s largest media investment management group. Maxus is one of the fastest growing media agency for six consecutive years with over 3,000 employees, 70 offices in 55 countries. They are currently serving as media agency of record for Jet, OLX and Huawei. Maxus will be merging with fellow GroupM agency, MEC, to create a new agency called WAVEMAKER.
Universal McCann is a creative media agency who have a roster of clients including Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, The Hershey Company, CVS Health, ExxonMobil, BMW and Sony. They agency is part of the Interpublic network and a member of the IPG Mediabrands group with Initiative, Magna, Mediabrands Audience Platform and three other agencies. UM operates in over 100 countries and employees over 4,800 people.
Proximity Worldwide is a global digital agency that specializes in digital advertising, direct marketing and CRM. They are the most awarded digital, direct and CRM global agency for work with clients like Volkswagen, The Economist, Cochlear, Audi, Foxtel and others. Proximity is part of the Omnicom group of companies.
FleishmanHillard is one of the world’s three biggest PR firms and is a member of Omnicom Public Relations Group. Founded in 1946 by Alfred Fleishman and Bob Hillard, the St. Louis born agency provides reputation management, public affairs, brand marketing, digital strategy, social engagement and content strategy services. They currently serve as PR agency of record for Bose, GM, Russell Stover, Western Union and more.
PHD launched as the world’s first planning-led media agency back in 1990. Today the agency is one of the most awarded media agencies being named Media Network of the Year in 2016 and 2015 by Campaign and Global Media Agency of the Year 2016 by AdWeek. The global media agency has over 4,000 people in their 80+ offices worldwide and is part of the Omnicom Media Group. PHD is the media agency of record for HP, Delta, Carnival, Volkswagen and Converse.
mc Group is the largest independent PR and advertising agency in both, Germany and Europe. They have worked with big brands such as Visa, Vodafone, Gazprom, CNN and Real Madrid to name a few. With more than 80 offices worldwide, the German communications agency is the only agency to be present in all 28 EU Member States and the economic centers worldwide.
Merkle is a global performance marketing agency with over 25 years of experience. Headquartered in Maryland, Merkle has offices in Shanghai, London, Barcelona, Chicago, Atlanta plus 20 other locations throughout the world. Merkle was recently acquires by the Dentsu Aegis Network, and the agency delivers data-driven, technology-enabled marketing solutions to large corporations.
Isobar is the full-service digital agency that was created in 2000. Part of the Dentsu Aegis Network, the digital agency is united in the belief “Ideas Without Limits” and continue to transform brands with digital technology and creative strategy. Isobar has over 6,000 employees in 85 locations around the world.
Starting as a start-up advertising agency in 1970s London, Saatchi & Saatchi has grown to a global communications agency with 114 offices in 67 countries. While still the smallest of the three main advertising agencies within the Publicis Groupe network, the agency still works with six of the top 10 global advertisers.
Foote, Cone & Belding rebranded from Draftfcb in 2014 after Draft Worldwide and FCB merged in 2006. Now as FCB, the agency is a global, fully integrated marketing communications company that aims to change consumer behavior to the benefit of its clients, its people and society. Owned by Interpublic Group, FCB has worked with Clorox, Levi’s, Dockers, Michelob ULTRA and more.
RAPP is the CRM experts of the Omnicom Group. They have offices in Dallas, LA, London, Berlin, Dubai and eight other locations. Rapp’s client list includes Remington, Toyota, Ruffles, Fiat, Virgin Media and more.
Weber Shandwick is a leading global PR company and a unit of Interpublic’s McCann Worldgroup. The agency was the only public relations agency included on Ad Age’s Agency A-list in 2014 and 2015 and the only PR firm designated an A-List Agency Standout in 2017. They have 77 cities across 31 countries and serve as agency of record for Sealed Air Corporation, American Cancer Society, Covered California, the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaboration, Excedrin and Ragu.
DigitasLBi was formed in 2013 when Publicis Groupe merged LBi, a marketing technology agency, and Digitas to create a digital agency that blends data with great storytelling. With a strong presence in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, DigitasLBi has produced award winning work for Disney, Playstation, Dunkin’ Donuts, Whirlpool and more.
Grey is one of the top advertising agencies in the world and serves one-fifth of the FORTUNE 500 companies. The agency is the smallest of the “Big Four” advertising networks within WPP but worked hard to be named Adweek’s Global Agency of the Year in 2013 and 2015. Grey has over 6,500 employees in 432 offices around the globe.
Edelman is the world’s biggest independent PR agency that helped define modern public relations. The agency continues to push the boundaries of what PR can do and partners with 2,000 of the world’s leading businesses, helping them evolve, promote and protect their brand and reputation. Edelman consists of 65 offices and 5,000 employees.
South Korea’s largest advertising agency, Cheil Worldwide is more than three times the size by billings of its nearest domestic rival. The agency boast 53 offices in 43 countries with 6,200 employees worldwide. Owned by the Samsung Group, Cheil major client list includes Adidas, GE, Coca-Cola, Lego, Microsoft, Shell and more.
Acxiom is an agency that is not as famous as the other agencies on this list, but the people-based marketing agency is a quiet giant of the industry. The agency has been leveraging technology and data for over 45 years to help clients and partners get results. Acxiom is headquartered in Conway, Arkansas with additional locations around the United States, Europe and Asia.
Part of Publicis Media, Zenith is the ROI agency with 5,000 specialists across 95 markets. The agency specializes in communications planning, media, value optimization, technology, and data & analytics. Zenith has worked with companies like Aviva, 21st Century Fox, Mercedes, BMW and more.
Starcom is one of the most renowned media agencies in the world and a member of Publicis Media. They call themselves the Human Experience Company because they believe the alchemy of people and technology creates experiences people love and actions brands need. Starcom is trusted by the leading brands, serving as media agency of record for Lionsgate, Lowe’s, Visa, Kraft Heinz, Wingstop and The NBA.
The 4th biggest agency under WPP’s GroupM, MEC is a leading media agency with clients like Vodafone, Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Marriott, Chanel, GE and Xerox. The agency has over 5,000 highly talented specialists in 90 countries around the world. MEC and Maxus (number 45 of the list) will soon merge to make a new agency called WAVEMAKER.
Xaxis is The Outcome Media Company that combines advanced artificial intelligence with data and proven expertise to optimize programmatic media investments. With 1,800 programmatic experts, Xaxis has over 3,000 clients in 47 markets across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East. Xaxis is a member of WPP’s GroupM.
Wunderman is a global digital agency that is “Creatively Driven. Data Inspired.” A member of WPP, Wunderman was named a leader in marketing database operations and customer engagement strategy by Forrester Research for their outstanding work for clients like Microsoft, Fifa, Pantene, Nestle and more.
Founded in 1923, Y&R is a leading global marketing communications company within the WPP network. The agency operates as a global boutique agency, connecting deep insights from local business needs and consumers united by a global team. Y&R’s client list includes RockEd, Dell, Xerox, Burger King and Movistar.
Leo Burnett is one of the most recognized and well-known advertising agencies in the world for their long history advertising excellence. The agency was known for creating brand mascots like Uncle Ben, the Jolly Green Giant, Tony the Tiger, the Pillsbury Dough-Boy and the Marlboro Man. Today, Leo Burnett is still known as a leaders in advertising with 85 offices, more than 8,000 employees and a member of Publicis.
Carat is a full-service media buying and planning agency that is trying to redefine media for today’s most innovative clients. The agency is consistently at the top of RECMA’s Global Qualitative Evaluation Ranking, and they service clients in 150 countries with more than 10,000 talented staff. Carat is are also the biggest agency in the Dentsu Aegis Network in terms of yearly revenue.
J. Walter Thompson is the world’s best-known marketing agency and has been building creative solutions that make enduring brands for more than 150 years. A true global agency, JWT has more than 200 offices in over 90 countries with nearly 10,000 employees. The WPP agency is agency of record for Church’s Chicken, U.S. Marine Corps, Subway and KPMG to name a few.
Mediacom with one of the world’s leading media company with 7,000 employees in 125 offices in 100 countries around the world. They were originally the media arm for Grey but broke off to focus on media full-time and work with companies like Mars, P&G, AB InBev, GSK and Sony. Mediacom is is part of GroupM and a member of WPP.
OMD Worldwide is a global media agency that continues to receive praise from many publications. The agency was named “2017 Media Network of the Year” at Cannes, acknowledged as “Most Creative Media Agency” by The Gunn Report 11 years in a row, and “Global Agency of the Year 2014 & 2013” by Adweek. OMD Worldwide is a member of Omnicom Group and over 140 offices with more than 11,000 employees.
Created in 1997, Mindshare is one of the best media buying and planning agencies in the world. The agency is part of WPP’s GroupM and consists of 116 offices in 86 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Mindshare serves as media agency of record for Pandora Jewelry, TJX, and Tyson Foods.
Publicis Worldwide is the biggest advertising agency within the Publicis Groupe network. With offices in more than 80 countries, the advertising agency has produced great work for the likes of Cartier, Citi, Heineken, L’Oreal, Nestle, P&G and more.
McCann is a global advertising agency that has created some of the best-known and most iconic advertising campaigns of the last century. From Coke’s “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” to Mastercard’s “Priceless” slogan, McCann continues to helps brands engage with consumers in their daily lives. Part of Interpublic Group, the agency’s client list includes GM, Aldi, Cigna, Microsoft, Verizon and more.
TBWA is global advertising company that uses Disruption® methodologies to develop business-changing and culture-defining ideas for brands. The youngest of the three global advertising networks within the Omnicom, TBWA has 11,300 employees across 305 offices in 98 countries and has served as agency of record for Miller Lite, Airbnb, Accenture and GoDaddy.
Hakuhodo is the second biggest agency in Japan behind Dentsu but is also the oldest agency. With over 120 years of advertising and PR experience, Hakuhodo has worked with Yahoo!, Lotte, Nissan, Tiffany & Co. and more. Hakuhodo has offices in 17 countries with over 3,000 employees working in Japan and over 2,500 overseas.
Until Vivendi, a French mass media conglomerate, acquired Havas in 2017, the agency was one of the largest independent advertising agencies in the world. Headquartered in New York, the network brings together 11,000 experts in 76 countries and is the largest unit of the Havas Group. The agency’s client list is extensive with partners such as Air France, Pernod Ricard, Lacoste, Jack Daniel’s, Ubisoft, IBM and more.
SapientRazorfish was created in 2016 when Publicis Groupe merged SapientNitro and Razorfish, creating a new breed of agency that leverages digital, marketing, strategy and technology to help their partners reimagine their business. They also take advantage of other agencies in the SapientRazorfish ecosystem like SecondStory, Emerging Experiences, Campfire and The Community to further help their clients. SapientRazorfish has more than 12,000 employees in 70 offices around the globe.
In 1949, Bill Bernbach, Ned Doyle and Maxwell Dane started advertising giant DDB. DDB is one of the most highly regarded advertising agency and are regular recipients of awards and accolades. While they keep a lower profile than other big agencies, DDB is still working with the top brands from Heineken to Ubisoft and Volkswagen, while serving as agency of record for McDonald’s, Jeep and more. DDB is part of Omnicom.
BBDO is the biggest of the three main advertising agencies in Omnicom Group’s portfolio. They are considered the world’s most awarded and effective advertising agency with 15,000 employees in 289 offices across 81 countries. BBDO’s reputation domestically is well documented but their international offices are also strong examples in their local market. The agency’s list of clients include Macy’s, Visa, GE, Mountain Dew, Airbnb, Ebay, Samsung, HP and much much more.
Bluefocus is China-based branding and marketing agency that was founded in 1996. The agency has grown to a 6,000 person agency with 100 offices in 10 countries. Bluefocus is working with leading multinational companies including Samsung, BMW, Lenovo, Tencent, P&G, Toshiba and more.
Ogilvy is one of the largest advertising agencies around the world. Started in 1948 by David Ogilvy with no clients and a staff of two, the agency has grown to 450 offices in 169 cities. Ogilvy is part of the WPP Group and provides a comprehensive range of marketing services including: advertising, PR, public affairs, branding, shopper marketing, healthcare communications, and digital marketing. The advertising giants is agency of record for Nationwide, Motorola, KFC, Bacardi-Martini, Amazon and more.
For over 40 years, Epsilon has helped drive business growth for brands. The global marketing company employs over 8,000 people in 70 offices worldwide and is a subsidiary of Alliance Data Systems Corp, a loyalty and marketing services company. Epsilon specializes in data, customer insights, loyalty, email, CRM and digital strategy. Ad Age recognized the agency as the #1 World CRM/Direct Marketing Network, #1 U.S. Agency from All Disciplines and #1 Largest U.S. Mobile Marketing Agency.
Dentsu is the largest advertising agency in Japan. The agency provides a wide range of services in eight business domains including marketing, digital, creative sphere, promotions, media, content, PR and global business. Dentsu was founded in 1901 and works with global brands like Facebook.
Dentsu is part of Dentsu Inc. agency network, which became the big agency we know today with the acquisition of British-based Aegis Group to form Dentsu Aegis Network. Dentsu Inc. is currently the 5th largest agency network in terms of worldwide revenue.
Deloitte Digital is a digital advertising agency within the Deloitte Consulting umbrella. Only six years old, the digital agency has been turning the traditional agency model on its head.
With the ability to provide everything from strategy to logistics plus branding and cybersecurity, more and more companies are choosing to work with the multifaceted agency. Deloitte Digital is just scratching the surface of their capabilities, and the agency continues to buy talent recently acquiring San Francisco-based creative shop, Heat, and Swedish agency, Acne.
With over 15,000 employees and 37 studios around the world, IBM iX is serving as their clients global business design partner. The agency uses IBM Design Thinking principles to deliver progressive ideas not just for design but for the solving of business problems. IBM iX calls the Atlanta Falcons, Migros, Knorr, Purina, DWS and 1-800-Flowers their clients.
PwC Digital Services is the agency arm for PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational consulting firm. With over 10,000 team members around the world, the digital agency provides services in innovation, strategy, experience, technology, insights and branding.
Adage named PwC Digital Services as one of the world’s largest digital agencies and the world’s largest mobile marketing agency in 2015.
Accenture Interactive is the world’s largest agency based on revenue and has over 18,000 employees in 40 offices around the globe. The digital agency is a subsidiary of management consultancy, Accenture, and make up around 13% of its parent company’s total revenue.
Accenture Interactive was recently named global experience agency of record for Maserati and will handle digital strategy, advertising, content and programmatic.