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Accounts in Review 

The Accounts In Review Analysis

The 4A's maintains a cumulative analysis of published agency review/search activity. The Accounts in Review analysis includes:

  • The account in review, winner (if known), incumbent & finalists;
  • The nature of agency services that were reviewed;
  • Approximate billings and/or approximate agency revenue/gross income, where known (12 ranges are specified at the end of the report);
  • If a search consultant was involved the consultant is noted; and
  • The marketer's business sector, designated into 34 categories.

The analysis is provided on a spreadsheet so members can readily sort the information.

If you have review activity that you want to include in the 4A's Accounts in Review Analysis please send the details to Helen Miranda, helen@aaaa.org.

 

Accounts in Review: 2016 First Quarter

The 4A's provides major consultants with the opportunity to provide input for the 4A's year in review report.  It should be noted that consultant information may be under-reported due to NDA agreement term limitations or as a matter of consultant's policy not to publicly confirm or identify certain client engagement information.

 Accounts in Review: 2016 First Quarter (MS Excel)

Accounts in Review: 2015 Year End

 Accounts in Review: 2015 Year End (MS Excel)

Accounts in Review: Nine Months (January-September) 2015 Activity

2015 is being called the year of the media review... there have been a host of mega media reviews.

Published reviews that 4A's has aggregated for nine month (January-September) Accounts in Review activity for 2015 when compared with prior year activity show lower levels of activity:

 

January-September Review Activity
2014 2015 %Change
Total # Reviews 397 312 -21%
Consultant Reviews 68 63 -7%
Reviews involving Media 95 93 -2%

There are a number of hypothesis on why the level review activity that is captured in the 4A's Accounts in Review analysis has changed from prior years levels including:

  • The 4A's Accounts in Review analysis captures activity that is reported in the industry trade press. The 4A's report is know to be only a subset of total review activity and the 4A's analysis skews to larger reviews that garner coverage in the trade press.
  • There are an increasing number of project reviews (versus AOR/retainer reviews). Project reviews are often not reported in the trade press and therefore are often not captured in the 4A's Accounts in Review analysis.
  • There are an increasing number of specialist reviews (Digital, social, PR, etc). Specialist reviews are often not reported in the trade press and consequently are likely not captured in the 4A's Accounts in Review analysis.
  • In the past year or so changes in reporting staff at industry trade publications may be a contributing factor to changes in review reporting

The 4A's Accounts in Review analysis should be viewed as qualitative information relating to the types and nature of review activity rather than being interpreted as definitive quantitative review benchmark data.

 Accounts in Review: Nine Months (January-September) 2015 Activity

Accounts in Review - First Half 2015

 Download Accounts In Review - First Half 2015 (Excel)

Accounts in Review - First Quarter 2015

1st Quarter Review Activity Appears to be Down From Prior Year Levels
The 4A's Accounts in Review report provides some indication that there is declining trend in first quarter review activity.

The 4A's report indicates a lower level of review activity in the first quarter 2015 than there was in both 2014 and in 2013.

First quarter: 2013 2014 % chg 2015 % chg
Accounts in Review 252 190 -24% 144 -24%
Consultant Reviews 61 52 -15% 44 -15%
Direct Reviews (No Consultant) 191 138 -28% 100 -28%
Winners 142 108 -24% 63 -42%
% total 56% 57% 44%


Is there truly a trend toward lower levels of reviews...or... is there a timing shift of when reviews are conducted and concluded...or maybe... there are lower levels of national press reporting on agency review activities?

When we look at "full year" 4A's Accounts in Review reports for 2013 and 2014 the levels of activity in recent years seems comparable.

Full Year: 2013 2014 % chg 2015 % chg
Accounts in Review 660 618 -6%
Consultant Reviews 170 175 +3%
Direct Reviews (No Consultant) 490 443 -10%
Winners 580 510 -12%
% total 88% 83%


It will be interesting to monitor review activity over the remainder of 2015 to see what accounts in review trends emerge.

Interpretation and Use of 4A's Accounts in Review Information
The purpose of the 4A's Accounts in Review report is to provide sample information on the types of reviews that are being conducted and to gather information on search consultant led review activities. The 4A's Accounts in Review information is not intended to be a definitive quantitative study. The reports are based on published publicly available review information which skews toward large reviews since large reviews are the reviews that are published in the trade press. Furthermore the ad hoc methodology and somewhat limited trade press sources used to collect the information makes it likely that project reviews and specialist reviews, which have been expanding, are not routinely captured in the association's Accounts in Review reports because projects & specialist reviews are not generally reported in national media sources.


Download Accounts in Review - First Quarter 2015 (Excel)


Accounts in Review - 2014 Year End

Download Accounts In Review - 2014 Year End (Excel)


Accounts in Review - Third Quarter 2014

Download Accounts In Review - Third Quarter 2014 (Excel)

Accounts in Review - First Half 2014

The 4A's "Accounts in Review" analysis compiles information on publicly report account review activity. The description of the "Accounts in Review" analysis and the link to the report covering the first half of 2014 is provided below.

The 4A's "Accounts in Review" analysis compilation should be viewed as qualitative information rather than a rigorous and standardized quantitative benchmark...that being said we are often asked "How does current year Accounts in Review compare with prior year?". We thought that you might be interest in how first half 2014 review activity compares with 2013 first half review activity

"How does current year Accounts in Review First Half 2014 compare to 2013?"

  • The number of published reviews captured in the 4A's analysis in 2014 is down by approximately twenty percent when compared with last year (304 reviews in the first half of 2014 vs. 384 for 2013).

"Does this mean that overall review activity is declining...or...are is the decline due to an expansion of project-based and specialist reviews which are not usually publicized?"

  • Consultants led reviews are up modestly in 2014 (68 reviews in the first half of 2014 versus 66 reviews in the first half of last year).

Consultants led reviews represented 22% of reviews reported in the 4A's Accounts in Review analysis for January-June 2014 ( that compares with consultant involvement with 17% of reviews reported in the 4A's Accounts in Review analysis for January-June 2013)

Download Accounts In Review - First Half 2014 (Excel)

Previous Accounts In Review

2013 Year End Accounts in Review

2014 First Quarter Accounts in Review

 

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