INTERNATIONAL: Shandwick slips down 1998 US rankings table

NEW YORK: Porter Novelli International has overtaken Shandwick in the 1998 US PR league table published last week by O’Dwyer’s.

NEW YORK: Porter Novelli International has overtaken Shandwick in

the 1998 US PR league table published last week by O’Dwyer’s.

Burson-Marsteller topped the table for the second year running, with an

annual fee income of over pounds 161 million, up four per cent on last


According to O’Dwyer’s directory of PR firms, Porter Novelli’s US fee

income grew by more than 23 per cent from 1997 to 1998. Shandwick

registered a seven per cent fee rise in 1998.

Shandwick slipped from second position in the 1997 table to fourth in

1998 after a year which saw US firm Interpublic buy out the agency, and

a decision to relocate its headquarters from London to New York

Shandwick’s slip down the table was accentuated by the presence of Hill

and Knowlton, which did not enter last year.

Last week also saw the publication of the Council of PR Firm’s industry

rankings, similarly topped by B-M. The council included advertising

commission and research within fee income, as opposed to O’Dwyer’s

which, like PR Week’s annual UK Top 150 rankings, excluded them.

Every top 50 firm in O’Dwyer’s table, except for Rowland PR Worldwide,

billed increased fees last year. The total billed by the firms rose

pounds 343 million to pounds 1.41 billion, although only 35 agencies

reported double-digit growth, compared to 39 last year.

BSMG Worldwide, which recently acquired financial PR agency Financial

Relations Board, was the fastest growing top 20 US agency, registering a

93 per cent year-on-year increase in fees. Edelman PR Worldwide is the

only top ten ranking agency to remain independently owned.

O’Dwyer’s top ten agencies

Firm                       Net fees   Staff   % change

                       (dollars US)           from ’97

1. Burson Marsteller        258,417   1,765       +4.2

2. Hill and Knowlton        206,000   1,570       +8.9

3. Porter Novelli Int       183,050   1,822      +23.6

4. Shandwick                170,300   1,731       +7.3

5. Fleishman-Hillard        160,692   1,231      +19.1

6. Edelman PR Worldwide     157,841   1,636      +18.1

7. Ketchum                  125,248   1,032      +29.6

8. BSMG Worldwide           118,963     913      +93

9. Weber PR Worldwide        83,166     648      +36.2

10. GCI/APCO                 79,667     763      +28.4

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