Total billings for Canada’s major media agency groups grew 6.5% to $9.57 billion in 2018, according to the latest numbers from the Paris-based media agency research firm RECMA.
The annual report ranks the leading agency groups by overall activity, which blends traditional buying billings such as TV and outdoor with non-traditional billings—a broad subset that includes online direct response/affiliation, mobile, gaming, SEO, SEM, social, programmatic, data and analytics, branded content, marketing, consulting and bartering.
The latter grew 13.2% in 2018 according to RECMA, compared with growth of 2.7% for traditional media. Non-traditional billings now account for 44.1% of the market, up from 40.3% in 2017. (This year’s RECMA totals include Horizon Media, which opened its Toronto office in December 2017, though its billings were not provided.)
•Publicis Media led all agency groups in overall growth last year, with its total billings increasing 29% to $803 million—putting it in fifth spot in terms of total activity.
•Omnicom Media Group remains Canada’s largest agency group, with $2.5 billion in activity spread across its networks. That represents an increase of 2% from the previous year. Omnicom controls more than one-quarter (26%) of all activity in Canada.
•WPP’s GroupM is Canada’s second largest agency group, but was also the only agency group to experience a decline, with its total activity falling 8% from $2.2 to $1.9 billion—still representing about 20.7% of all activity in Canada.
•IPG’s Mediabrands is the country’s third largest agency group, with total activity of $1.8 billion across its UM, Media Experts and Initiative networks, a 7% increase from 2017. Mediabrands is responsible for an estimated 19.1% of total Canadian activity.
•Dentsu Aegis Network was second in terms of growth, with overall activity increasing 22% to $1.65 billion, good for fourth spot overall.
•Vision7 Media ranks sixth among agency groups, with activity increasing 15% to $669 million.
•Havas Media Group saw its activity grow 6% to $141 million.
The country’s major media agencies employed more than 3,200 people last year, led by Omnicom Media Group, with 899.