New-business appointments fell by 18% year on year in 2022, according to AAR’s New Business Pulse data.
Advertising and integrated agency appointments declined the most dramatically, down 24%, while media planning and buying wins increased by 4% year on year.
However, AAR's analysis covering a two-year period showed that new-business appointments had grown overall, up 20%. CRM grew the most across this period, climbing 55% for new-business appointments, but digital declined by 4%.
Victoria Fox, chief executive of AAR, said: “We recognise that 2021 was a post-Covid bounce-back year for new-business activity, so it was unlikely this would continue at the same pace in 2022.
“However agencies can take encouragement from a two-year trend that is, overall, positive when looking at the health of the new-business market.”
The report also attributed the shrinking market to agencies’ resources and attention to staff wellbeing, which meant agencies turned down opportunities to pitch if they didn’t have a serious chance of winning.
AAR pulled data from completed reviews in four categories: advertising and integrated; CRM, CX, and performance; digital; and media.
Media appointments grew by 4% year on year and by 50% across a two-year period.
This category’s growth was attributed to the scrutiny placed on media agencies. The cost to clients of employing a media agency is higher than it is for most other agencies, and so such accounts are governed more scrupulously.
In 2021, global appointments made included Audible, BMW and Nike, while domestic appointments included Aldi, TfL and Virgin Media/O2.
CRM, CX, and performance
CRM trailed behind media appointments in the year-on-year figures, reporting a 6% downturn. However, across the two-year period the discipline reported the biggest growth, up 55%.
CRM appointments in 2022 included Waitrose, Samsung and Virgin Media/O2.
Digital was the only category to show a downturn in 2022, both year on year (-9%) and across the two-year period (-4%). Despite this seeming decline, AAR attributed it to brands grouping digital with all marketing activity, rather than reviewing it as an individual entity.
Advertising and integrated
Advertising and integrated account appointments were down the most in 2022 at -24%, but registered 12% growth across the two-year period.
Appointments included British Gas, Dreams and Morrisons.
The number of appointments made without a review was also down by 10% year on year.