GroupM Takes Top Spot in India's 2023 Media Agency Billings Race

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GroupM Takes Top Spot in India's 2023 Media Agency Billings Race
03 Apr 2024
4 min read

News Synopsis

GroupM, the WPP-owned media agency network, has cemented its leadership position in the Indian advertising landscape. According to COMvergence's New Business Barometer 2023 report, GroupM secured the highest value of new business wins, exceeding a staggering $654 million. This achievement solidifies their dominance in the ever-evolving Indian media and advertising market.

Chasing the Leaders: IPG Mediabrands and Omnicom Media Group

While GroupM reigns supreme, the competition remains fierce. IPG Mediabrands secured the second position with over $200 million in new business value, followed by Omnicom Media Group at approximately $128 million. These top three media agency networks continue to be major players in attracting new clients and managing significant advertising budgets in India. 

 A Look at the Agency Landscape

Diving deeper, the report reveals the most successful individual agencies within the larger networks. Wavemaker (GroupM), Mindshare (GroupM), and Lodestar UM (IPG Mediabrands) emerged as the frontrunners in terms of new business wins. EssenceMediacom (WPP) and Havas Media (Havas Group) also secured notable wins, showcasing their expertise and capabilities. Interestingly, the 2022 rankings saw Zenith (Publicis Media) and Wavemaker leading the pack, highlighting the dynamic nature of the Indian advertising scene.

Maruti Suzuki to Jaguar Land Rover: Big Brands, Big Moves

The report sheds light on some of the key account movements and retentions that shaped the Indian advertising landscape in 2023. Major brands like Maruti Suzuki, Reckitt, PhonePe, Proctor & Gamble (digital), Swiggy, Pernod Ricard, Vivo Mobiles, Beiersdorf, Ferrero, Berger Paints, and Jaguar Land Rover were among those involved in media agency reviews or retentions. This diverse range of clients highlights the trust and value that leading media agencies bring to companies across various sectors.

Local vs. Global Focus: India Prioritizes Domestic Partnerships

The report also presents a fascinating insight into the geographical focus of media agency pitches in India. A remarkable 91% of all pitches conducted in 2023 were local, meaning they involved Indian brands seeking agencies within the country. This stands in stark contrast to the global average of 55%, indicating a strong preference for domestic expertise and market understanding among Indian advertisers.

Local Dominates, But Global Plays a Role

While local pitches were the clear favorite, the report acknowledges the presence of global and multi-market pitches as well. These 23 pitches contributed an estimated $132 million to India's advertising expenditure in 2023. This suggests that while Indian brands prioritize local agencies, there's still room for international expertise, particularly for companies with a global footprint.

Market Trends: Fewer Pitches, Stable Spends

The report notes a decrease in the total number of media agency account movements and retentions in 2023, with 215 compared to 246 in 2022.  However, this decline is offset by the fact that the total media spend remained consistent at approximately $1.4 billion for both years. This indicates a more strategic approach from brands, with fewer agency changes but larger budgets entrusted to chosen partners.

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