Edelman widens gap at top of the PR league table

Monday, 29 July 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  •  Edelman grows 8.2% to $ 666 m
  • Independents continue to outperform holding groups
Edelman has widened its lead as the largest PR firm in the world, a position the independent PR firm has now held for the past three years. The agency reported growth of 8.2% in 2012 to $ 666 m, while the Holmes Report estimates that its closest rival Weber Shandwick increased fee income by around 6.5%. Like many of the top 10 firms, Edelman’s growth slowed in 2012. Only two top ten agencies—Ketchum and MSLGroup—recorded double digit growth. Ketchum’s increase was enough for the Omnicom-owned agency to pass Hill+Knowlton Strategies and reach the number six spot on our list. The only other change in the top 10, meanwhile, saw FTI Consulting drop out at the expense of keen rival Brunswick. Fee income for nine of the top 10 firms is estimated by The Holmes Report based on published sources (including holding company revenues) and our own knowledge of the industry, with the majority of large holding companies continuing to use the Sarbanes-Oxley financial disclosure rules as an excuse not to publish numbers of individual businesses. Independent firms, meanwhile, continue to outperform the holding companies in terms of growth, with Edelman only the most prominent example. Overall, independent firms submitting information to the Holmes Report 250 experienced growth of better than 8%, compared to average growth of around 3% for the public relations operations of major holding companies. Outside the top 10, impressive growth at GolinHarris saw it climb one spot to 12th. Among independents, China’s Blue Focus was the biggest gainer—its 39% growth to $ 87.8 million was enough to lift it from 24th to 19th. Brazil’s FSB also impressed, growing 14% to more than $ 71 m. US-based W2O, meanwhile, entered the top 25 for the first time after better than 30% growth. The Global Rankings mark the first phase of the World PR Report, conducted in conjunction with ICCO, which will also include the results of a definitive survey of attitudes and trends among PR agencies worldwide.