Byravee Iyer
Oct 3, 2013

RECMA changes 2012 billings for Australia after controversy, multiple revisions

ASIA-PACIFIC - Following multiple revisions, GroupM’s Mediacom, OMD and Mitchells & Partners now share the top spot in the RECMA (Research Company Evaluating the Media Agency Industry) ranking of Australian billings for 2012.

Mediacom, OMD and Mitchell & Partners lead Australia billings
Mediacom, OMD and Mitchell & Partners lead Australia billings

With US$1.265 billion in billings, Mitchells & Partners, part of the Dentsu Aegis Media Network, led total billings despite negative growth. Mediacom posted 11 per cent growth over 2011 to take its total billings to $1.263 billion. OMD was a shade behind Mediacom as it posted 6 per cent growth in billings worth $1.262 billion. It was followed by UM, which posted 20 per cent growth and billings worth $852 million.

RECMA has had to correct some inaccuracies after the July 2012 publication due to an unexpected and necessary change of methodology for this year’s compilation, it said in a statement. “The new ranking now shows that the top three agencies of the market in volume are Mediacom, OMD and Mitchells, and they are very close and became ex aequo,” it added.

In August, RECMA had issued a statement confirming inaccuracies in its annual report for 2012, released on 10 July. The 10 July report showed Mediacom in first place followed by OMD and Mitchells & Partners.

RECMA claimed it had overestimated Mediacom billings and underestimated a number of other agency billings including OMD and Mitchells & Partners, the statement said. The revised report put OMD and Mitchells and Partners as joint lead billing agencies in Australia, and Mediacom dropped to third place.

According to AdNews, RECMA revised its figures following complaints by certain agencies that the change in methodology had omitted key data. It is said that the final rankings did not account for some Nielsen data included in previous assessments.

AdNews had reported on 28 August that Mediacom was unhappy with the revision and its Australiasia CEO Marc Pejic had questioned RECMA on the issue. A source at Mediacom confirmed that the agency had lobbied to have the rankings revised. 

The fastest-growing agencies in 2012 were Aegis brands Carat and Vizeum, posting growth of 82 per cent and 100 per cent, respectively. PHD and GroupM’s Maxus also fared well, growing 36 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.

RECMA also published its new Qualitative Evaluation report, which puts Mediacom, OMD and UM as the top three agencies in Australia. The RECMA qualitative evalutation covers 18 criteria to determine the agencies’ performance based on competiveness, momentum, resources and client profile.

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