NEW YORK—Edelman’s impressive financial performance in 2010, with global fee income up by almost 20 percent to more than $530 million, was enough to catapult the independent firm to the number one spot in the Holmes Report 250 Global Ranking of PR Firms, ahead of publicly-traded rivals Weber Shandwick and Fleishman-Hillard.
While neither Interpublic nor Omnicom (parent companies of Weber Shandwick and FH respectively) permit their agencies to publicly disclose revenue information, both companies provide financial information about the divisions containing their PR operations, and based on those numbers and our own industry sources, The Holmes Report has estimated revenues for 2010 of more than $500 million for each firm.
Over the next week, the Holmes Report will reveal a range of information and survey results from its definitive 2011 Global Rankings report. The first phase of the report revealed that Edelman's 2010 performance outstripped growth at the PR operations of listed companies.
Edelman's ascent to the top spot reflected the generally stronger performance of independent firms, which outperformed their publicly-traded counterparts significantly, with average growth of 10 percent for the year, compared to around 6 percent for the multinational PR subsidiaries of holding companies such as IPG, Omnicom, WPP, Havas, Chime and Huntsworth.
Beyond Edelman claiming the number one spot, the remainder of the top 10 remained unchanged, except for Hill & Knowlton leap-frogging Ketchum to take the number six spot in the ranking, thanks to the midyear merger of H&K with WPP sister agency Public Strategies, Inc.
In addition to Edelman, other big gainers in the top 25 included Brunswick Group (up by about 20 percent in 2010), APCO Worldwide (fee income up 13 percent) and Chandler Chicco Companies (up 14 percent).