Creative World Creative Rankings

World Creative Rankings: advertising's top agencies, networks and holding companies revealed


By Sam Bradley, Journalist

March 31, 2021 | 5 min read

Today, we can begin to reveal who has topped the World Creative Rankings – The Drum’s annual study of the brands, agencies and people behind the world’s very best creative work.


The Drum's World Creative Rankings are published from today

The World Creative Rankings benchmark the campaigns, creatives and companies that were most awarded in the ad industry's biggest global awards shows in the previous calendar year. The collective wisdom of the judging panels from all of these awards means that those recognized in the World Creative Rankings can be considered among the very best of the global advertising industry.

Today, we begin releasing our findings, beginning with publication of the top 100 most-awarded ad agencies worldwide and the most-awarded holding companies and networks. Further results from the World Creative Rankings – including the top global creatives, advertisers and campaigns, as well as regional results for agencies – will be released on over the next two weeks.

Which agencies ranked highest in the World Creative Rankings?

The World Creative Rankings reveal which ad agencies, agency networks and holding companies had the best creative performance in 2020.

What does the research cover?

  • The World Creative Rankings are determined by collating and analyzing all the winning work from 13 international industry awards shows. This is down on last year's 21 due to some shows, like Cannes Lions, not going ahead as planned because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • This year, that meant examining 1,768 campaigns from 1,295 clients working with 964 agencies composed of 387 chief creative officers, 483 executive creative directors, 1,319 creative directors, 1,061 copywriters and 1,222 art directors.

  • Schemes analyzed in the research included Adfest, Epica, The Loeries, The Drum Digital Advertising Awards, The Drum Social Buzz Awards, Danish Creative Circle, Cresta Awards, D&AD, The One Show, Guldagget Sweden Awards, ADC USA, The Drum Design Awards and the New York Advertising Awards.

  • Due the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, award entries hit a historic low in 2020 as both agencies and clients pulled back on spending. This year’s WCR sample is therefore lower than previous editions of the report, and some work that was awarded in 2019 was also successful in 2020 as some clients stuck with longer-term campaigns.

How are the rankings created?

  • Each of the awards schemes is weighted according to whether it is a domestic, continental or global event, with a grading of points then allocated to its results.

  • Points are given for Grand Prix/Best in Show, Gold, Silver, Bronze and shortlisted work, and in shows that do not adopt this prize structure scoring is adapted accordingly.

  • For each piece of work, points are allocated to the campaign, the agency, the client and the individuals involved in the creative process. This allows us to not only rank top campaigns but also agencies, agency networks, holding companies, clients and talent.

  • The Drum's rankings are reliant on the credits data supplied on each piece of submitted work. Therefore, we can only score the individuals and companies credited on winning entries.

If you’d like to get your hands on the full World Creative Rankings, order our PDF report now.

Creative World Creative Rankings

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