Ad Expenditure: US$12.06bn 2017 GroupM Forecast This Year Next Year Dec 2016

Advertising Agencies

Australia's Top Advertising Agencies

There is no readily available ranking of the leading advertising agencies in Australia by billings. Key agencies in alphabetical order include

AJF Partnership BMF
AJF Partnership BMF Advertising

AJF Partnership is a leading independent which, since 2014, has also represented the local interests of Interpublic's FCB network. (FCB's own offices were closed following a series of account losses). It manages a small collection of important clients, not least GM's Holden auto business.

BMF is one Australia's most admired creative agencies, and still a subsidiary of what is now Enero. There are offices in Sydney and Melbourne. The agency has enjoyed spectacular success over the past few years, and was named as Australia's Ad Agency of the Decade at the end of 2009 by local trade magazine B&T.

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BWM Dentsu Clemenger BBDO
BWM Belgiovane Williams Mackay Clemenger BBDO

Belgiovane Williams Mackay was also previously a subsidiary of Enero. However its three founders reacquired Enero's shareholding in 2012, before selling it on to Dentsu in 2015. The agency has offices in Sydney and Melbourne as well as an international office in Dubai.

Clemenger BBDO is the Australian arm of the BBDO network, and the lead brand within Clemenger Group. In addition to the local arms of BBDO and Proximity in Australasia, Clemenger also manages a sizeable portfolio of separately branded specialised agencies.

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DDB Australia Y&R
DDB Australia George Patterson Y&R

DDB Worldwide operates advertising agencies in Sydney and Melbourne as well as a portfolio of satellite agencies including local outposts of Tribal DDB, Rapp and Interbrand, specialised healthcare and shopper marketing agencies and corporate communications unit Mango.

In its heyday, "Patts" was Australia's most celebrated agency and among its original pioneers. Its star faded after it was absorbed into first Bates' and then Y&R, but it remains one of the local leaders, with offices in five of the country's biggest cities. The Patterson banner was dropped in 2017.

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Grey Australia Havas Australia
Grey Australia Havas Worldwide Australia

Grey has a strong presence in Australia, with offices in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. The latter outpost was for a while branded as JayGrey after ECD Jay Furby. It dropped that branding after Furby left. There are also local outposts of satellites G2 and Grey Healthcare Group.

Havas is represented in Australia by a local outpost of what was previously the Euro RSCG network, now Havas Worldwide Australia, and also by what is now Arnold Furnace and creative boutique Host. The main Havas Worldwide agency has outposts in Sydney, Melbourne and also Brisbane from 2012.

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JWT Australia Leo Burnett
JWT Australia Leo Burnett Australia

Although it is a full-fledged member of the JWT global network, the Australian agency was until recently a joint venture with local company STW, founded by advertising legend John Singleton. WPP took full control in 2016 to create WPP AUNZ, which owns a collection of other units including media buyer Ikon.

The local outpost of Leo Burnett is one of Australia's leading creative agencies, and in 2011 became the first Australian agency ever to feature among the Gunn Report's annual top ten of the world's most awarded advertising agencies. There are full-service offices in both Sydney and Melbourne.

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303 Mullen Lowe M&C Saatchi
M&C Saatchi Australia

303 Mullen Lowe is the local outpost of the Mullen Lowe worldwide network, operating offices in Sydney and Perth. It was formed in 2011 from the merger of the former Lowe Hunt agency - which had struggled recent years - with independent shop 303 Advertising, under the latter's management team.

The Australian outpost of M&C Saatchi is one of that network's strongest offices after the flagship agency in London. Since its launch in 1995 it has established a position as one of Australia's biggest agencies. Performance wobbled a bit in 2011, but the agency was firmly on track again by mid 2012.

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McCann Australia O&M Australia
McCann Australia Ogilvy & Mather Australia

Performance at the local outpost of McCann Erickson had grown stale until it was merged with independent shop Smart under the latter's senior management team. After that it became the country's (and the world's) most awarded agency as a result of the huge global success of its Dumb Ways To Die ad for Melbourne Metro.

Like sister JWT, the Australian office of Ogilvy & Mather was for many years a joint venture with local group STW. That bond was first forged in 1998 when the local Ogilvy agency merged with home-grown independent John Singleton Advertising to create what was then Singleton Ogilvy & Mather.

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Publicis Mojo Saatchi & Saatchi
Publicis Mojo Saatchi & Saatchi Australia

The local outpost of Publicis, known as Publicis Mojo, has a reputation as one of the strongest creative agencies in that network after the Paris flagship, mainly as a result of the input of local chairman & chief creative officer Craig Davis. There are offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (as well as in Auckland, New Zealand).

The local outpost of Saatchi & Saatchi is one of Australia's best-known creative agencies. Trade magazine Creative Brief named it the country's Agency of the Decade in 2009, but performance has slipped a little since then, resulting in the loss of several important accounts. A new management team was appointed in 2011.

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SapientNitro The Monkeys
SapientNitro Australia The Monkeys

Australia was the spiritual home of the original Nitro advertising business founded by Chris Clarke. It acquired local advertising agency Cummins & Partners in 2007 before itself being swallowed up by American-owned digital network Sapient, now part of Publicis Groupe. There are offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The Monkeys is one of Australia's most admired agencies, winner of numerous local Agency of the Year awards. It dropped its previous name of Three Drunk Monkeys in 2011 following pressure from client Diageo. In a startling escalation of moves by consultancies into marketing it was acquired in 2017 by Accenture.

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Whybin TBWA

The local outpost of TBWA, known as Whybin\TBWA, maintains offices in Melbourne and Sydney, under the management of local chairman & ECD Scott Whybin. Below-the-line shop Tequila was absorbed into the main agency in 2011, but satellites include PR agency Eleven and shopper marketing specialist Integer.

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Campaign Palace
The Campaign Palace

The Campaign Palace was at one time widely regarded as Australia's top agency in terms of creative excellence. However, performance declined steadily during the late 1990s and 2000s after its sale to what is now GPY&R. Following a string of account losses, the agency finally closed its doors in 2012.

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Dentsu Mitchell
Dentsu Mitchell

Mitchell & Partners was Australia's biggest media shop for more than a decade, and the first to top A$1bn in billings. It was finally acquired by Aegis in 2010, and joined Dentsu's portfolio in 2012. Since then, several clients have been shifted to sister agency Carat.

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Australia's most creative agencies in 2014 by awards were:

Leo Burnett GPY&R
Clemenger BBDO M&C Saatchi
TBWA\Whybin Grey
DDB Group Finch
McCann BMF
Saatchi & Saatchi Joy
JWT (STW) Mitchell & Partners
Ogilvy (STW) MercerBell
VML Innocean
Havas Iris

Source: The Big Won

Australia's leading media agencies by billings in 2014 were:

OMD Australia A$1.33bn MEC A$619m
Carat Australia A$1.30bn Mindshare A$605m
MediaCom A$1.23bn Ikon Communications (STW) A$495m
UM A$1.05bn PHD A$481m
Dentsu Mitchells A$816m Initiative A$416m
Starcom MediaVest A$688m Maxus Australia A$386m
ZenithOptimedia A$624m Vizeum A$126m

Source: RECMA


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