martin sorrell


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.)

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