'04 agency rankings show revenue increases for most of top 50 firms

NEW YORK: PRWeek's agency rankings include data from 203 US PR firms.

NEW YORK: PRWeek's agency rankings include data from 203 US PR firms. The tables are found in this issue's 2004 Agency Business Report. For the second straight year, agencies from the major holding companies, including WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic, Havas, Publicis Groupe, and Grey Global, declined to participate in industry rankings due to their interpretation of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Edelman tops the tables once again, with a 2% increase in US revenues over last year, to $138.4 million. CEO Richard Edelman said that the agency had won key accounts, including Veritas, Scotts, and Unilever's Dove.

Waggener Edstrom is second, with a 20% increase to $75.9 million in revenues. Incepta, Ruder Finn, and Campbell and Co. round out the top five agencies.

Only 13 of the top 50 firms in the tables reported declines, compared with about half last year, with the larger of these independent agencies, in particular, showing healthier results.

The numbers seem to show that midsize firms, which are well represented in the tables, and particularly the specialists, have been able to compete aggressively in the downturn. Healthcare shop Chandler Chicco, for example, grew 12% to $18 million. French/West/Vaughan jumped 7% to nearly $8 million.

This is the first year PRWeek has collected revenue data on the US PR industry independently. Previously, PRWeek ran data from the Council of Public Relations Firms.

  • Additional reporting by Sherri Deatherage Green.

    To download the entire report (PDF), click here.

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