Creative World Creative Rankings WPP

‘Investment in creativity paying off,’ says Read as WPP tops World Creative Rankings

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By Sam Bradley, Senior Reporter

February 27, 2024 | 4 min read

The Drum’s World Creative Rankings find WPP and its networks top of the company rankings once again.

Mark Read

WPP CEO Mark Read says overhaul of Ogilvy and VML is having positive results

Creatives within the British agency holding company WPP produced the best advertising creative in the industry last year, according to the most comprehensive creative rankings ever that benchmark campaigns, companies and creatives.

Analysis of hundreds of industry awards handed out in the last year indicates that WPP-owned Ogilvy, David and VML were among the most awarded agency networks in the world. When considered as a collective entity, WPP was the highest-ranked holding company worldwide.

According to chief executive officer Mark Read, the performance shows that the British group’s long-term overhaul of its integrated agency groups Ogilvy and VML is having positive results.

“Our investment in creativity really is paying off and you see it in the work that we produce for clients,” he says. “As we tried to highlight in our recent Capital Markets Day, creativity is what makes WPP special and why clients come to us.”

The World Creative Rankings are an annual research project conducted by The Drum. Based on an analysis of every creative industry gong granted by awards juries during the last year, the rankings cover 2,263 campaigns from 1,535 advertisers working with 1,135 agencies. The rankings provide a proxy measure of the advertising sector’s own judgment of the work of agencies and advertisers. WPP has been top of the rankings for the last three years.

Omnicom, the holding company behind DDB and TBWA, ranked second, while McCann owner Interpublic Group (IPG) came third. DDB ranked as the best-performing creative agency network worldwide, while sister firms McCann and FCB also ranked highly.

Read says that, despite the disruptions of the pandemic and tough trading conditions in recent months, WPP agencies have improved their creative capabilities.

“I don’t think that’s where we would have been five years ago,” he says.

The top three chief creative officers in the world all belonged to WPP agencies. Debbi Vandeven of VML, Ogilvy’s Liz Taylor and David CCO Pancho Cassis ranked first, second and third, respectively.

Read paid tribute to the trio and to global chief creative officer Rob Reilly. “[He] has made a big difference, as have Liz Taylor at Ogilvy and Debbi Vandeven at VML,” he says.

Flagship Ogilvy, in particular, capped a year of conspicuous commercial success with its creative endeavors. The agency was picked out by Read at last week’s full-year results presentation as an example of a WPP agency performing as designed. “Ogilvy has been a standout performer,” he adds.

Among British and Irish agencies, Ogilvy’s London office ranked highest; it ranked second across the whole of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Ogilvy’s Thai business ranked fourth in Asia Pacific, while its New York agency ranked 13th in the US.

Fittingly for an agency named after the most famous adman of all, David – a boutique creative agency created by WPP in 2012, has become one of the holding company’s creative standard bearers. This year, its Madrid office ranked 13th worldwide and 8th in Europe – the network, which includes offices in Bogotá, Buenos Aires and Miami, ranked ahead of WPP stablemate Grey and indie darling Wieden+Kennedy.

Cassis tells The Drum: ”It’s an honor for the entire David team to be part of such prestigious rankings. Thanks to all of our teams for the great work they do and to our partners for the great work they buy. This is the result of that One Team spirit and generous approach to always trying to do the best work possible.”

Creative World Creative Rankings WPP

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