15 Largest Marketing Companies In The World

By Chris Kolmar - Mar. 16, 2021

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The marketing and public relations industry was worth $543 billion in 2019. $325 billion of this total spending came exclusively from digital advertising.

Although the industry saw a small drop in 2020 due to coronavirus-related market issues, experts still expect it to reach $769.9 billion by 2024.

Much of this growth is driven by continued advancements in artificial intelligence that allow advertising agencies to better leverage consumer data.

To get a better idea of where the industry currently is, it’s useful to take a look at its current top players.

Here are the 15 largest advertising agencies in the world as of February 2021:

  1. WPP plc. England, United Kingdom

    Stock Ticker: NYSE: WPP
    Market Cap: $14.58 billion
    2019 Revenue: $18.522 billion
    2019 Net Income: $989 million

    WPP plc is the largest advertising company in the world in terms of revenue, number of clients, and employees. It’s a multinational conglomerate that also operates in related industries such as public relations, communication, and commerce.

    The company was originally formed under the name Wire and Plastic Products plc in 1971 to produce wire shopping baskets.

    Throughout the 80s and 90s, it expanded into the advertising and digital media industries through strategic acquisitions of over a hundred different companies, such as the famous branding agency Lambie-Nairn.

    As of early 2021, WPP plc employs over 130,000 workers and owns a large portfolio of businesses spanning 100 countries.

    Many of the company’s subsidiaries are large and well-known marketing consultancies in their own right, such as VMLY&R, Wunderman Thompson, and Ogilvy.

    These subsidiaries specialize in a broad variety of marketing fields, such as:

    • Digital marketing

    • Healthcare advertising

    • Data management

    • Shopper marketing promotions

    • Sports marketing

  2. Omnicom New York City, New York

    Stock Ticker: NYSE: OMC
    Market Cap: $13.39 billion
    2019 Revenue: $14.29 billion
    2019 Net Income: $1.339 billion

    Omnicom is a multinational corporate communications conglomerate whose subsidiaries provide four main services:

    1. Advertising

    2. Public relations

    3. Customer relationship management

    4. Specialty services

    The company is the second-largest advertising agency in the world by revenue and employs more than 77,000 workers across 100 countries.

    Omnicom was formed in 1986 through a three-way merger between marketing & communications giants Needham Harper Worldwide, Doyle Dane Bernbach, and BBDO Worldwide.

    These three companies, along with TBWA Worldwide and Omnicom Marketing Group, make up Omnicom’s five major agency networks. Collectively, they oversee over 1,500 independent agencies that all operate under the Omnicom umbrella.

    More specifically, these five subsidiaries focus on the following industries:

    1. Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB). DDB owns Grupo ABC, the largest advertising agency in Brazil.

      The company also operates healthcare and medical marketing agencies, as well as reputable firms such as TracyLocke and Roberts + Langer.

    2. Omnicom Marketing Group. Omnicom Marketing Group is the media arm of Omnicom group. The company frequently competes against BBDO Worldwide, another Omnicom subsidiary, for the Network of the Year award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

    3. TBWA Worldwide. TBWA Worldwide operates reputable agency networks such as Media Arts Labs and Designory.

    4. BBDO Worldwide. BBDO is a digitally focused marketing agency that consistently wins numerous reputable creative marketing awards year after year.

      For example, the firm has won the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity’s Network of the Year six times.

    5. Needham Harper Worldwide. Needham Harper operates over a hundred smaller companies focused on healthcare, vehicle testing, and events.

  3. Publicis Groupe. Paris, France

    Stock Ticker: EURONEXT: PUB
    Market Cap: $14.58 billion
    2019 Revenue: $13.24 billion
    2019 Net Income: $3.45 billion

    Publicis Groupe is a global public relations and advertising agency founded in 1926.

    The firm existed solely in Paris until 1945 when it grew rapidly into one of the largest marketing companies in the world.

    As of early 2021, Publicis operates in 202 countries across 105 countries, providing services such as:

    • Digital and traditional advertising

    • Media services and marketing services (SAMS)

    • Public relations

    The company is organized into four separate divisions:

    1. Communications. This branch owns well-known creative networks such as Leo Burnett, Nurun, and Saatchi & Saatchi.

    2. Sapient. Owns subsidiaries such as Razorfish and DigitasLBi

    3. Healthcare. Operates Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness and MORE.

    4. Media. Operates in partnership with Starcom Mediavest Group.

  4. The Interpublic Group of Companies. New York City, New York

    Stock Ticker: NYSE: IPG
    Market Cap: $10.47 billion
    2019 Revenue: $8.63 billion
    2019 Net Income: $656 million

    Often called IPG, The Interpublic Group of Companies is a multinational marketing conglomerate consisting of five major advertising networks:

    1. IPG Mediabrands. IPG Mediabrands is IPG’s media buying and data management division.

      The company includes well-known creative agencies such as Healix, ID Media, and Ensemble Worldwide.

    2. FCB. FCB is a global network that provides advertising and public relations services in the fields of healthcare, digital marketing, and sports marketing.

    3. McCann Worldgroup. McCann Worldgroup employs over 24,000 workers across its 100 subsidiary advertising agencies.

      These include well-known names such as Fitzco, Avrett Free Ginsburg, and PMK*BMC.

    4. MullenLowe Groupe. MullenLowe Group was formed in 2015 through a merger between Mullen and Lowe & Partners.

      The company specializes in providing brand strategy and communications planning services.

    5. Marketing Specialists. Marketing Specialists offers a broad range of marketing services such as content development, public relations, and digital marketing.

  5. Dentsu. Tokyo, Japan

    Stock Ticker: TYO: 4324
    Market Cap: $35.02 billion
    2018 Revenue: ¥1.018 trillion
    2018 Net Income: ¥61.4 billion

    Originally founded as Japan Advertising Ltd. in 1901, Dentsu is a global public relations and advertising firm that employs over 62,000 workers.

    Within Japan, the company operates through five regional divisions based mainly in Tokyo and Osaka.

    Internationally, Dentsu owns and operates well-known marketing agencies such as Geneon Entertainment in North America and Aegis Group in the United Kingdom.

    Aegis Group specializes in CRM, creative, and media services. In addition to the United Kingdom, the company also operates in 120 other countries.

    The company organizes itself under four different advertising business segments:

    1. National advertising

    2. Advertising-related services

    3. Foreign market advertising

    4. New market advertising

  6. Hakuhodo. Tokyo, Japan

    Stock Ticker: TYO: 2433
    Market Cap: ¥713 billion
    2019 Revenue: ¥1.466 trillion
    2019 Net Income: ¥34 billion

    Hakuhodo is the second-largest advertising agency by revenue based in Japan.

    The company is a member of the DAC Consortium, one of the largest consolidated groups of global media players in Japan.

    While Hakuhodo operates primarily in Japan, it also provides its services in:

    • The United States. Hakuhodo operates via a partnership with the United States public relations company Ketchum.

    • India. Hakuhodo-Percept is a joint-venture advertising firm between Hakuhodo and the Indian marketing agency Percept.

    • Canada. Hakuhodo operates in Canada through its Montreal-based subsidiary Sid Lee.

  7. Accenture Interactive. New York City, New York

    Stock Ticker: N/A
    Market Cap: N/A
    2019 Revenue: $5.7 billion
    2019 Net Income: N/A

    Accenture Interactive is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Accenture, one of the largest professional services firms in the world.

    Employing over 18,000 individuals across 40 international offices, the company provides digital marketing services such as digital strategy, content management, and advertising.

    As of early 2021, Accenture Interactive is one of Accenture’s fastest-growing divisions and generates approximately 13% of its parent companies revenue.

  8. PwC Digital Services. Hallandale Beach, Florida

    Stock Ticker: N/A
    Market Cap: N/A
    2019 Revenue: $3.3 billion
    2019 Net Income: N/A

    PwC Digital Services is the digital advertising division of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the largest networks of accounting and consultancy firms in the world.

    The company employs over 10,000 workers across 50 countries worldwide. It specializes in the digital advertising fields of innovation, analytics, and mobile marketing.

  9. Havas. Paris, France

    Stock Ticker: OTCMKTS: HAVSF
    Market Cap: $4.568 billion
    2019 Revenue: $2.6 billion
    2019 Net Income: $244 million

    Havas is a global public relations and advertising company that operates in over 100 countries.

    The company consists of three primary operational segments:

    1. Havas Creative Group. Havas Creative Group focuses on innovation consulting, design, and sports marketing. Its portfolio of subsidiaries includes well-known advertising agencies such as Arnold Worldwide.

    2. Havas Media Group. Havas Media Group specializes in media planning and buying, multimedia interactive services, and sales promotion.

      This segment owns Havas Media and Arena Media.

    3. Health & You. Includes well-known companies such as Health Plus that specialize in providing healthcare communications services.

    One of the firm’s main current initiatives is to expand heavily into the cryptocurrency advertising industry. To this end, Havas created Havas Blockchain to provide blockchain and ICO marketing services.

  10. Deloitte Digital. New York City, New York

    Stock Ticker: N/A
    Market Cap: N/A
    2019 Revenue: $2.6 billion
    2019 Net Income: N/A

    Deloitte Digital is the digital advertising arm of Deloitte, one of the world’s largest consulting and professional services firms by revenue.

    The company is more multifaceted than most other advertising subsidiaries on this list, providing a wide range of services such as:

    • Logistics

    • Branding strategy

    • Cybersecurity

    • Data warehousing

    Founded relatively recently in 2012, Deloitte Digital already ranks among the largest digital advertising firms in the world.

    A large reason for this rapid growth is the quantity and quality of the acquisitions it has been able to make due to capital provided by its parent company.

    For example, Deloitte Digital owns the advertising agency Heat, which is best known for creating the Hotwire, EA Sports, and Madden NFL websites.

  11. Epsilon. Irving, Texas

    Stock Ticker: N/A
    Market Cap: N/A
    2019 Revenue: $2.2 billion
    2019 Net Income: N/A

    Epsilon is a fully-owned subsidiary of Alliance Data Systems Corp, a logistics and analytics service provider. The company specializes in the marketing fields of digital strategy, customer insights, and customer loyalty.

    It employs over 8,000 people across 70 worldwide. Epsilon has won many industry awards, such as Ad Age’s top spots for World CRM/Direct Marketing Network and Largest U.S. Mobile Marketing Agency.

  12. Bluefocus Communication Group. Beijing, China

    Stock Ticker: SHE: 300058
    Market Cap: $15.44 billion
    2019 Revenue: $1.9 billion
    2019 Net Income: $212 million

    Bluefocus Communication Group, often simply called Bluefocus, is one the largest branding and marketing agencies in China.

    The company was formed in 1996 and has since expanded into 100 offices across 10 countries that employ over 6,000 workers.

    Since 2014, Bluefocus’s main initiative has been to expand its international presence.

    The company acquired a majority stake in Fuseproject in 2014 to offer advertising and design services in the United States.

    Its notable clients include companies such as Lenovo, Tencent, and Samsung.

  13. Dentsu International.London, United Kingdom

    Stock Ticker: N/A
    Market Cap: N/A
    2019 Revenue: $1.48 billion
    2019 Net Income: $174 million

    Although Dentsu International, formerly known as Dentsu Aegis Network, was already mentioned on this list as a subsidiary of Dentsu, it deserves its spot because it operates largely independently from its parent corporation.

    The company provides digital marketing and marketing analytics services in over 145 countries and employs nearly 70,000 workers.

    Dentsu International operates in different countries through the following subsidiaries:

    • Grip Limited. A Canadian firm that specializes in TV sports advertising, branding strategy, and design.

    • Gravity Media. Gravity Media is a New York City-based full-service ad agency with established production and broadcast facilities.

    • Global Mind. An interactive and digital marketing agency based in Argentina.

    • M8. M8 is a Miami-based performance and digital marketing firm.

  14. MDC Partners. New York City, New York City

    Stock Ticker: NASDAQ: MDCA
    Market Cap: $238.26 million
    2019 Revenue: $1.42 billion
    2019 Net Income: $16.4 million

    MDC Partners is a marketing and advertising holding company that employs over 7,000 workers across 50 different partner firms.

    The company operates under a partnership model, in which it acquires a majority stake in partner agencies but allows them to run themselves largely independently.

    MDC Partners typically invests in small to mid-sized creative and digital firms. The majority of these are based in the United States, where MDC generates approximately 91% of its total revenue.

    MDC’s partner firms specialize in a wide variety of different advertising industries such as media management, technology, and analytics.

    A few notable examples of these companies include 6 Degrees, Albion, and Bruce Mau Design.

  15. Publicis Sapient. Boston, Massachusetts

    Stock Ticker: N/A
    Market Cap: N/A
    2019 Revenue: $1.31 billion
    2019 Net Income: $122 million

    Publicis Sapient is a fully-owned subsidiary of Publicis, an earlier entry on this list.

    The company markets itself as a digital business marketing firm, specializing in the fields of experiential marketing and innovation consulting.

    Publicis Sapient employs over 20,000 workers around the world. The majority of its sales are generated in the United States, as well as India, where the company heavily expanded its presence in the early 2000s.

    The company differentiates itself from its competitors by using a fixed-price, fixed-term model to price its products.

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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