Sunday, June 02, 2013

The 37 Richest People In Advertising

Businesser Insider have just released their annual list of the 37 best-paid people in advertising.

There is only one woman on it (No.17 - Mercedes Erra, the 'E' in France's BETC). Right, because science has proven that possession of two x chromosomes is a huge inhibitor of advertising ability.
And all 37 executives on the list are white. Surely fair - advertising talent and skin pigmentation are clearly correlated.

Interestingly, the list finally resolves a question we've all pondered: "Who earns the really big bucks - suits, creatives, or planners?"

Answer: none of the above.

The best-paid people in advertising are the finance guys!

Digging into the backgrounds of those on the list, we can observe that only three are former account handlers. Five are strategy types, but before any of my planner friends get excited, none of them are ad strategists - all five are from consulting. 

Three are lawyers (Omnicom group general counsel, etc), one is from a marketing background (Kevin Roberts, worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, at No.9), three are media types, and two have backgrounds that I couldn't determine, during my approximately ten minutes of total research.

Meanwhile, a whopping 18 of the 37 highest-paid folks in our business have a finance or accounting background. Hurrah! And what's more, the bean-counters score four of the top five spots, with big guns like Martin Sorrell, John Wren, and Michael Roth (the head of Interpublic).

But I've saved the biggest flaw until last.

It's outrageous, I'm sure you'll agree, but somehow a creative person has snuck on there (Jacques Seguela, the 'S' in Euro RSCG, now chief creative officer of Havas Worldwide, at No.28). A creative person, on the list of the highest-paid people in the ad industry? But what possible value do they add?

To the young creatives reading this who harbour a desire to one day pull down a million dollar a year salary, the path is clear - chuck in your job and get an accounting qualification.

And most of all, please bin your skinny jeans, get rid of that ridiculous facial hair, and try to model yourselves a little more closely on the true heroes of our industry - men such as David B. Doft, and Randall J. Weisenburger.

David B. Doft CFO (chief financial officer)
of US-based network MDC Partners
(No.36, earned $714,144 last year),

 Randall J. Weisenburger, CFO of Omnicom
(No.5, earned $10.6 million last year)


19 comments:

Iggy said...

Ah, it's too late for me. I am not white.

Anonymous said...

I think if you listed the richest people in any industry ever, they'd be white finance dudes.

Anonymous said...

I would love to be a fly on the wall with these guys when the discussion on annual award expenditure comes up.

Anonymous said...

Is it me or does $544,856 for the Deputy CEO of Havas Worldwide seem a little, shall we say, conservative? Same goes for some of the other lower-ranked execs on that list. I would hazard a guess that many an ECD (or Chief Creative Officer) on our shores would be looking at a salary not too far off that figure.

Scamp said...

I should point out that these income figures are for salary only. Most of these guys will be getting hefty stock options too, which most ECD's don't get.

Anonymous said...

If this is the richest 37 ad industry execs - we should all go home - who are they kidding? I could count more than ten Aussie Ad Industry Leaders on close to $1m. This report seems to only report one the holding / corporate company salaries - Indeed the report itself identifies that: "Omnicom under-reports who really makes the money in the company. It used to include agency chiefs such as BBDO CEO Andrew Robertson and TBWA Worldwide CEO Tom Carroll, who both earned nearly $9 million two years ago. But in 2012 the company stopped reporting those executives' comp packages in favour of those earned by the corporate officers of its parent company."

Seb said...

" Anonymous said...
I think if you listed the richest people in any industry ever, they'd be white finance dudes.

11:45 PM"

Exactly!

Anonymous said...

I don't know of any CFO's who earn more than the ECD, CEO or MD in Australia, unless they're a founding partner - often, thankfully, not the case.

However, there are several ECDs on well over 750 – albeit their wages would be structured for tax evasion, so the official figure sits under 250k, but 'bonuses', 'perks' and 'shares' stack up the rest - and that's before performance based remuneration i.e. retention, awards and new business wins.

Anonymous said...

Would say this is a pretty flawed list. Especially as this is just salaries. What about all the guys who set up their companies and then sold out to the group which is where you make the big money in this game, on the earn out. The reason there is so many finance people on there i think is because they never top out and sell their company as it's not their company so their way is to keep going on the salary each year.

Scamp said...

You are correct that this list only shows income, not people who have sold up. But I still wish that more than 1 of the top 37 best-paid executives in a creative industry were creative people.

Anonymous said...

What d'ya mean scamp? We's get paid in job satusfaction, namely, aving a job in tha first place.

Not quite telling us the full figures said...

$750k will get you on the list?

Mustn't include Australia.

Agreed said...

Agree with last comment. It is vox populi how much dough certain Aussie executives make and US$420k doesn't sound like much compared to the figures some people in Australia are commanding. Wether they deserve it or not is another story....

Old CD Guy said...

Scampington, when I worked with Martin Sorrell he was indeed the finance guy at Saatchis.

I know it isn't complete, but it's very interesting said...

The salaries start low and quickly balloon. Sorrell earns as much, if not more than the CEO of Goldman Sachs. Yet the 38th highest paid publicly listed adman is only on $740K. That's a bit shit. Scary also how much their salaries deviate. Not sure how happy I'd be if my salary dropped a lazy 10 mill. Conclusion: if you want to earn loads of dough as an ad person, not a finance guy who could work in any industry, you need to:

1) run your own agency
or
2) run your own agency

The good old days said...

Some ECDs break 750 in Aus. At least they did five years ago. Then consider what Belgo and Browny would earn - maybe 30k on paper, but easily up there in the top.

I smell tax breaks.

Let's all go work at Havas said...

They seem to have half the people on that list.

Have a closer look said...

This is a joke: They are only reporting the admin/corp holding company salaries - not the truly big salaries that exist - not just in Australia - If you look closely you'll see "Omnicom under-reports who really makes the money in the company. It used to include agency chiefs such as BBDO CEO Andrew Robertson and TBWA Worldwide CEO Tom Carroll, who both earned nearly $9 million two years ago. But in 2012 the company stopped reporting those executives' comp packages in favour of those earned by the corporate officers of its parent company." And if it's good enough for Omnicom, rest assured WPP, Publicis et. al. all doing the same thing....

Old CD Guy said...

...then he bought a little company called Wire and Plastic Products.