Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP CEO is a big-earner.WPA Pool/Getty Images
Global ad spend growth may have slowed slightly in 2015, but top advertising agency executives’ compensation packages remained high.
This year’s ranking of the richest people in advertising, according to their annual take-home, sees most of the same familiar faces from last year.
However, there are a couple of notable exceptions: The only female in last year’s list, MDC Partner Network CEO Lori Senecal, just missed the cut this year as her $1.9 million compensation was outside of our $2 million threshold. And MDC Partners’ former CEO Miles Nadal only received $1.9 million from the company in 2015 (he took home a massive $14.7 million the year before).
Methodology: Our ranking looked at annual reports and SEC filings, taking account of total annual 2015 compensation, including salary, stock awards, option awards, and other incentives. That’s an obvious flaw because a lot of people on this list hold a lot of their net worth in stock they have accumulated over previous years, and through other assets and investments.
This list is by no means extensive: We chose to look at public companies only. We also only looked at pure-play advertising agencies: Otherwise advertising execs at tech companies like Google and Facebook, or brand marketers would surely make the list too. Our rankings also begin with those who earn $2 million and above (there are plenty of execs in advertising who earn around $1 million.)
15. Andrew Bonzani, IPG general counsel and secretary
Notes: In 2014, Bonzani’s pay rose 51% year-on-year. This year, he received a more modest bump of 5% on the previous year.
14. Mark Read, global chief executive at Wunderman and CEO of WPP Digital
Compensation: $2.8 million (£2,219,000)
Notes: Read’s total compensation was down 35% on the previous year. In February 2015 he stepped down from the WPP board to focus on his “increased executive responsibilities” at digital ad agency Wunderman, when he moved from the global chairman to the CEO position.
13. Maurice Lévy, Publicis Groupe CEO
Monica Schipper/Getty Images
Compensation: $2.99 million (€2,833,333)
Notes: From 2012, none of Lévy’s annual compensation has been fixed, instead it is based on whether he meets financial and non-financial targets set the previous year.
This year’s take-home was down on the $4.97 million he received the previous year. Lévy described 2015 as a “particularly busy year,” having closed its $3.7 billion acquisition of digital marketing company Sapient and restructuring the business into four divisions.
Lévy will announce his replacement as Publicis Groupe CEO in early 2017.
11. Scott Kauffman, chief executive of MDC Partners
Notes: Kauffman became MDC Partners CEO in July 2015, so this figure represents his compensation for his first five months in the role.
While still large, Kauffman’s take-home pales in comparison to the $14.7 million former CEO Miles Nadal received in 2014.
Nadal and MDC Partners were subject to an SEC investigation over his expenses and the company’s accounting principles. MDC reached a settlement with the SEC in November, agreeing to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty. Nadal, who resigned from MDC in July 2015, repaid the company $11.3 million for improper expenses and has agreed to repay $10.6 million in bonus awards that contained clawback provisions.
9. Kevin Roberts, former head coach at Publicis Groupe and executive chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide
Kevin Roberts.Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
Compensation: $4.4 million (€4,137,786)
Notes: Roberts resigned from both of his roles at Publicis Groupe in August this year, following the controversial comments he made in an interview with Business Insider about gender diversity in the advertising industry.
His pay in 2015 was up 98% on the compensation he received the previous year. In 2015, in his head coach role, Roberts was responsible for leading Publicis Groupe’s repositioning and restructure under its “one” strategy. The annual report says: “The Board noted the remarkable way in which this task was conducted, in addition to the individual support Kevin Roberts provided to P12 members, which enabled them to better take charge of the development of their respective scopes of responsibility.”
8. Timothy Andree, president and CEO of Dentsu Holdings USA and executive chairman of the Dentsu Aegis network
Compensation: $4.4 million (¥497 million)
Notes: Andree became Dentsu’s first non-Japanese board director in 2013 having helped the company acquire US-based Aegis Group in the same year.
This year’s compensation included a ¥237 million bonus, plus retirement benefits of ¥73 million. His total consolidated remuneration was far higher than Dentsu CEO Tadashi Ishii’s ¥148 million ($1.3 million).
7. Philippe Krakowsky, IPG chief strategy and talent office
Notes: Krakowsky is responsible for talent management, training, development, and compensation benefits, as well as working with IPG CEO Michael Roth to define strategy for the group.
Last year, he took home $4,568,295.
6. Frank Mergenthaler, chief financial officer at IPG
Notes: Mergenthaler, who joined IPG in 2005, saw his compensation rise 4.6% year-on-year.
4. Paul Richardson, WPP group finance director
Compensation: $14.3 million (£11,523,000)
Notes: Richardson, who became WPP’s group finance director in 1996, saw his compensation rise 2.7% on his total annual remuneration the previous year.
3. Michael Roth, CEO of IPG
Notes: Roth’s compensation was up 12% on 2014.
In April, Business Insider interviewed Roth on a wide range of subjects, from diversity within the industry, to the unusual amount of media agency reviews in 2015, and why Arianna Huffington tells him off.
1. Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP CEO
Compensation: $87.5 million (£70,416,000)
Notes: A third (33.45%) of WPP’s shareholders voted against Sorrell’s 2015 pay deal at this year’s annual general meeting.
That figure was up from the 22% of shareholders who voted against his £43 million ($66 million) compensation package the previous year.
The majority (around 90%) of Sorrell’s pay is based on his performance. Sorrell’s 2015 total compensation included £63 million ($90.9 million) in share awards and a £4.2 million ($6.6 million) annual bonus.