Advertising agencies in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

Advertising in the United States is a multi-billion dollar industry. In 2015, advertising expenditures reached 173 billion U.S. dollars, and they were projected to further grow to 183.5 billion by 2017. In the same period, the country’s media owners’ ad revenue was forecast to grow from 168 billion to 183 billion U.S. dollars. It comes as no surprise that the number of ad agencies in the United States has been steadily growing over the past years. In 2015, there were more than 13.3 thousand such establishments in the entire United States. At the same time, there were close to 189 thousand people working in advertising agencies in the country. In total, U.S. ad agencies are expected to generate over 45 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2020, a 5.5 billion dollar increase over 2015 results.


Based on revenue rankings in 2016, the leading advertising and marketing agency in the United States was Epsilon, owned by Alliance Data Systems Corporation. Its revenue that year reached nearly 1.86 billion U.S. dollars. The second-ranked Accenture Interactive generated 1.74 billion U.S. dollars in the same period. Closing the list of top three market leaders was Deloitte Digital, having recorded 1.38 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2016. Globally, Publicis, who owns two out of the ten highest grossing agencies in the U.S., earned roughly 10.65 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, while Omnicom, the parent of BBDO, generated 15.13 billion U.S. dollars in global revenue in the same period. WPP made 12.14 billion British pounds (approximately 15.5 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue in 2015. Two of the ten highest grossing digital ad agencies in the U.S. in 2016 belong to WPP.

From the customer point of view, one of the leading challenges to working with advertising agencies in the U.S. in 2016 was communication, followed by limited understanding of company’s strategy and history. Yet, at the same time, the majority of U.S. businesses hired two to three marketing or ad agencies, while nine percent admitted to seeking out advertising services from more than six specialized firms. Among the leading in-demand services in 2016 were TV, print and social media advertising as well as web design and development.



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