The ranking of agencies by revenue had become a key plank of the council’s marketing drive, but the directors decided to drop it because it was no longer possible to produce accurate figures.
‘The rankings were taken on a couple of years after the founding of the council so that consistent numbers would be put out,’ said council president Kathy Cripps. ‘Now we feel the original objective cannot be fulfilled.’
Citing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a number of top marketing holding companies, such as Interpublic Group, Omnicom and WPP, withheld information about revenues for their operating companies in 2002, a list including 18 of the top 20 PR firms. When the council included alphabetical listings of those firms, Ruder Finn, one of the world’s largest independent agencies, left the council.
The council is to produce a new programme to promote members, based on the quality of its membership.