Maria Iu
Sep 8, 2023

H1 2023 new-biz review: Creative landscape holds steady

Campaign rounds up the top-performing agencies and overall creative new-business activity in January-June.

H1 2023 new-biz review: Creative landscape holds steady

Global creative new-business billings in the first half of 2023 stayed at roughly the same level compared with a year earlier, according to data from Campaign Advertising Intelligence. 

Advertising Intelligence tracks global new business and works with COMvergence on media wins and R3 on creative wins.

Creative account moves were valued at $9.89 billion during January-June. This represented a 12% increase on $8.84 billion in the same period in 2022, but much of this year’s increase is attributed to the global $1.41 billion Pfizer review in May. Without that review, new-business billings in the period dropped 4% year on year.  

Separated into regions, North America was the most active in new business, with account moves valued at $3.8 billion. It was followed by Asia-Pacific at $3.38 billion. Europe saw billings worth $2 billion, or $2.07 billion when including Middle East and Africa.

Campaign has looked back on the top-performing creative agencies globally in the first half of the year, ranked by estimated gross new-business billings. A review of the media new-business landscape in H1 will be available next week.


The five agencies that won the most business in value terms were collectively responsible for almost 50% of total creative new-business activity in the first half of the year. 

Away from the top five based on gross new-business billings, two shops stood out for their sheer volume of activity: Dentsu Creative had 250 wins in January-June, while Ogilvy had 192.  

There may be a time lag between a win being reported and the account appearing in Advertising Intelligence due to the data verification process, and figures may also be amended at a later date if more accurate data is available. Some account names are not disclosed due to client confidentiality.

Saatchi & Saatchi X: Buoyed by huge Samsung win

With just one big win, Saatchi & Saatchi X was among the top five agencies generating the most new business in the first half of the year. 

The Publicis Groupe shopper agency picked up the $738.2 million US Samsung business at the start of the year, with the brief accounting for 7% of global creative new business in the period. 

Digitas: Strength in tech

In January-June, Digitas won business worth a combined $769.8 million from nine accounts. 

The Publicis shop has been commanding in the technology sector – its biggest win was a $485 million account in China for a tech giant, while it also snapped up a US brief in this sector worth $80 million. 

Other high-value accounts include an FMCG business worth $131.4 million in Colombia and a $65 million account for investment group T Rowe Price in the US. 

Thanks to its biggest win, Asia-Pacific proved to be the most lucrative for Digitas in the first half of 2023, followed by North America. 

Leo Burnett: UK goes from strength to strength

Leo Burnett had a flurry of wins in the first six months of the year, totalling $806.4 million in value. 

The agency’s three biggest wins were all confidential, but were collectively worth $580.7 million. The top win was a $350 million brief for a tech client in South Korea. This brief resulted in Asia-Pacific being Leo Burnett’s most active region in the first half of the year.  

Meanwhile, Leo Burnett also landed the $50 million business for retailer Bauhaus in Germany and part of the new UK National Lottery operator Allwyn’s ad business, with Leo Burnett’s remit valued at $40.7 million. 

Like its Publicis stablemate, Digitas, Leo Burnett was strongest in tech when it came to new business in January-June. FMCG was another significant sector. 

Leo Burnett has kept up its momentum built from 2022, with the shop named Campaign’s UK Creative Agency of the YearUK Creative Leader of the Year (Chaka Sobhani) and UK Strategic Leader of the Year (Josh Bullmore), as well as Best Network in Asia-Pacific.

Saatchi & Saatchi: Surpasses $1 billion with big-name wins

Saatchi & Saatchi is one of only two agencies in the first half of the year to have won businesses worth more than $1 billion. 

With 22 wins, Saatchi & Saatchi’s new-business billings stood at $1.07 billion in January-June. 

Its biggest wins were an FMCG account in China valued at $586.3 million and a telecoms brief in Germany worth $251.1 million. 

In fact, these two wins meant FMCG was Saatchi & Saatchi’s most active sector in new business, followed by telecoms.

In line with Publicis siblings Leo Burnett and Digitas, Asia-Pacific was its stronghold, with the shop generating new-business billings worth almost $600,000 in the region. 

That said, one of the agency’s key wins in the first half of the year was John Lewis Partnership – one of the UK’s most coveted creative accounts. The retailer left Adam & Eve/DDB after 14 years, with all eyes now on Saatchi & Saatchi’s offering at Christmas – arguably the UK’s most anticipated ad each year. 

With the John Lewis win and under new chief executive James Denton-Clark, alongside a new executive creative director in Raph Basckin, the London offshoot has had a good first half of the year. Other wins include Ovo Energy and financial group Alvarium Tiedemann (a global brief that is led by the London office). 

IPG Health: Pfizer reigns supreme

The agency that had the most successful new-business run in January-June was IPG Health, the healthcare shop of Interpublic, after it was named the global creative partner of Pfizer. 

With just one win that’s worth $1.41 billion, IPG Health was almost $340 million ahead of second-placed Saatchi & Saatchi in the first half of the year. The brief alone accounts for almost 15% of all global creative new business during this period. 

The global business covers close to 40 markets, with the US accounting for the biggest portion. More details on the Pfizer win can be found in the latest global new-biz round-up.


Campaign UK

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