COMvergence: Global New Business Barometer for H1 2020 Reveals Top Media Agency Winners

GroupM’s Three Largest Media Agencies Dominate in Latest Report by COMvergence

FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 – According to the latest global media agency study “New Business Barometer for H2 2020” published by COMvergence, Mindshare came out as the top global media agency in new business results with a Total New Business Value of $1.1B (including $741M of retentions) during H1 2020. This is largely due to strong performances in China and North America. MediaCom and Wavemaker ranked joint second by scoring Total New Business Value of $831M (including $186M and $293M of retentions respectively).




GroupM landed the top spot among the top global media agency groups – $3B ahead of its closest pursuer. WPP media agency group’s showed positive overall results in most markets, with an impressive global retention rate of 73% (of $1.7B of reviewed billings). The group performed particularly strongly in China ($2B of new client wins & retentions), North America (+$700m of new client wins), India, and UK. Publicis Media ranked 2nd in terms of overall New Business Value during H1 2020 and Havas Media Group takes 3rd place. Although both groups had recorded nearly no incremental billings (overall losses offset by new client wins), they both managed to retain large accounts.

In H1 2020, COMvergence assessed 1,440 media account moves and retentions across 45 countries totaling ~$10.4B (1B lower than in H1 2019). The total represents about 5% of the global agency billings 2019 ($203B) studied by COMvergence.

China dominated the media pitch activity in H1 2020 in terms of spend volume ($3B), representing 29% of the total spend put in review. The US followed with $2.6B in concluded moves and pitches. Together, China and the US represent more than half of the total spend volume reviewed between January and June 2020.

The average retention rate is 31% (vs. 24% in H1 2109).


The 21 largest global and multi-country reviews resulted in $1.9B while while local reviews represented $8.2B (or 79% of the total). The 10 largest local pitches ($2.7B in total) were recorded either in China: Unilever, Master Kong, Shanghai GM, Daimler, Tencent IEG, SAIC VW/Skoda or the US: Novo Nordisk, RB (Reckitt Benckiser), Clorox, WW (Weight Watchers).

Of the total media spend reviewed in H1 2020, less than $1B (or 8%) went to independents or non-international network agencies. This includes Horizon Media ($210M) in the US; Madison Media ($128M) in India; Pilot ($111M) and MEDIA Central ($80M) in Germany, Heroiks Media Gr. ($52M) in France.


Information on account moves are derived from industry news websites and then validated by the agencies (all cooperating with COMvergence research). Offline media spend figures (deflated in most markets) are sourced from Kantar and Nielsen data where a strategic partnership with COMvergence exists – while non-captured digital media spend are estimated by COMvergence.

About COMvergence

COMvergence is the only independent and international research consultancy providing analysis and benchmarking studies of the advertising and media firms owned by the global marketing services groups, leading independent agencies, and management & IT consulting firms. Using quantitative and qualitative measurement metrics, COMvergence provides high-quality reference data, guidance and support for MarCom professionals across all levels and titles. Through our quarterly reports and continuously updated databases, COMvergence keeps members informed of key 1) Agency/advertiser relationships, and new business activity; 2) Media agency billings and market shares; 3) MarCom agency acquisitions; 4) Agency leadership and talent flows. COMvergence partners include the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), Nielsen and Kantar Media.