Consumer goods, food, and beverage was the No. 1 or No. 2 spending ad category among the four major ad agency holding companies during 2022, according to an in-depth report on agency revenue trends released by Ad Age.
The category’s share of ad spend was highest at WPP, clocking in at 24% of revenues in 2022 or $3.50 billion, up slightly from 23% in 2021. Publicis Groupe, meanwhile, divides the large umbrella category into two groups – food and beverage, which brough in $1.59 billion (or 12% of ad spend) and non-food consumer products, which were good for $1.46 billion or 11% in 2022. Omnicom Group hauled in $2.0 billion in food and beverage (14%) and $1.14 billion from consumer products (8%). And Interpublic Group billed equal amounts for both sub-categories – $756 million apiece, amounting to 8% of ad spending with the agency holding company.
Technology, telecom, media came in second place at WPP, where tech and digital services were responsible for $2.77 billion or 19% of ad spend. That was more than twice as large as telecom and media for WPP ($1.0 billion or 7%). At Publicis Groupe, technology, telecom, and media was fourth, accounting for 13% of billings or $1.72 billion. The vertical was third at Omnicom Group, which attributes 10% of revenue to technology ($1.43 billion) and 4% to telecommunications ($572 million). At Interpublic Group, tech and telecom combined brought in 15% of receipts or $1.41 billion, good for third place.
Healthcare finished in a different position for each of the four major agency holding groups, although it ranked in the top four at each. The category was No. 1 at Interpublic Group, racking up 28% of revenue ($2.65 billion). It was No. 2 at Omnicom Group, with 16% or $2.29 billion; third at WPP (12%, $1.75 billion), and tied for fourth at Publicis Groupe (13%, $1.72 billion).
Offering hard numbers on the erosion of automotive spending, the vertical tied for second place at Publicis Groupe (15%, $2.0 billion), ranked fourth at Omnicom (10%, $1.43 billion) and at WPP (10%, $1.46 billion), and fifth at Interpublic (8%, $756 million).
Financial services was also a top category at the four agency holding giants, ranging from a second-place tie at Publicis Groupe (15%, $2.0 billion), fourth at Interpublic Group (13%, $1.23 billion), fifth place at Omnicom (8%, $1.14 billion), and seventh place at WPP (6%, $875 million).
While Ad Age says the agency business scored “solid growth” in 2022, revenue increases are expected to moderate this year. To offset the effects of a possible recession, agency companies are “banking on the burgeoning field of business transformation.”
U.S. revenue for agencies jumped 9.9% in 2022, falling short of the “rocketing revenue gain” of 13.5% in 2021, when agencies bounced back from the COVID-triggered ad pullbacks of 2020.
Read more from the Ad Age Agency Report 2023 HERE.