F-H grabs top spot in agency rankings

NEW YORK: Fleishman-Hillard - once an eight-person St. Louis outfit - is now the leading PR firm in the US by far, according to rankings released by the Council of Public Relations Firms last week.

NEW YORK: Fleishman-Hillard - once an eight-person St. Louis outfit - is now the leading PR firm in the US by far, according to rankings released by the Council of Public Relations Firms last week.

NEW YORK: Fleishman-Hillard - once an eight-person St. Louis outfit

- is now the leading PR firm in the US by far, according to rankings

released by the Council of Public Relations Firms last week.



With a 32.9% increase to dollars 181.2 million in 1999, Fleishman shot

above perennial number one Burson-Marsteller to claim the top slot. As

expected (PRWeek, March 6), Burson’s slower growth - it was up 16.1% to

dollars 164.9 million - caused it to relinquish its crown.



’It’s been a very strong year,’ said Fleishman CEO John Graham, fresh

off a trip to Asia, where income was up 42% last year. Graham pointed to

Fleishman’s hi-tech practice, which brought in roughly one- third of its

US income, as a catalyst for growth.



Total US income for the top 50 firms was just over dollars 2 billion, up

28.5% from last year (two firms did not give figures for 1998). And 48

of the top 50 firms increased their US income, with only The Kamber

Group and KVO PR posting declines.



The top 10 firms accounted for the lion’s share of industry revenues -

at dollars 1.28 billion, they generated over half (52%) of the revenue

of the 202 agencies ranked. Other players in the top ten included

Shandwick, up a whopping 67.7% to dollars 153.4 million; Ogilvy, where

income soared 69.3% to dollars 92.2 million; and GCI Group/APCO, up

47.1% to dollars 65.5 million.



Burson maintained its number-one ranking worldwide but was the only

top-10 firm not to post double-digit gains in worldwide income.



The Council defines income to include corporate and issues advertising,

mark-ups from collateral activities, research in support of PR programs

and Web consulting.





- PRWeek will publish its rankings on May 29. See ad on p25.





MOVERS AND SHAKERS: 1999 Council top 10

No.   Agency                 US revenue ’99   US revenue ’98  % increase

1     Fleishman-Hillard         181,152,000      136,272,000        32.9

2     Burson-Marsteller         164,850,000      141,996,000        16.1

3     Shandwick                 153,429,000       91,485,000        67.7

4     Hill & Knowlton           138,140,000      113,000,000        22.2

5     Edelman PR Worldwide      128,174,736      105,377,523        21.6

6     Ketchum                   123,630,000      101,485,000        21.8

7     BSMG Worldwide            122,062,000      109,537,000        11.4

8     Porter Novelli            106,606,000       85,235,570        25.1

9     Ogilvy PR Worldwide        92,220,200       54,458,001        69.3

10    GCI Group/APCO             65,511,850       44,539,245        47.1

Source: Council of Public Relations Firms.



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