Mumbrella Media Agency Review: Ikon scores as top media agency


Ikon: "an employer of choice"

Ikon Communications is Australia’s best media agency, according to an industry perception study released today at Mumbrella360.

The STW Group-owned company, which only ranks seventh in the Nielsen billings rankings, was rated top of a list of 18 media agencies by Mumbrella readers and an expert panel.

Ikon got the highest average score across 10 assessment criteria that included talent, innovation, strategy and industry impact.

It narrowly beat GroupM’s MediaCom and Omnicom Media Group’s PHD – which tied second. PHD’s Omnicom sibling OMD was fourth, followed by independent player Slingshot.

Mumbrella Media Agency Review 2012: average score overall out of 10

Ikon, which was named Mumbrella’s media agency of the year for 2011 and featured in a significant seven best media companies to work for, came top for planning, talent, account management and industry impact.

Both the panel and Mumbrella readers highlighted culture as the agency’s strong point. One panellist said of Ikon: “Consistently an employer of choice. Staff stay and buy into the culture, believe in the values and they want to deliver. Very low churn rate of staff. The passion for the industry is obvious whenever you meet someone from here.”

Mitchells – Australia’s largest media buyer – came top for buying, but bottom for planning.

PHD was top for innovation, reflecting a strong reputation in that area and its ‘Pioneering thinking’ positioning. But planning-led indie Match emerged number one for strategy, pipping PHD.

OMD is seen as the most commercial successful media agency, while rival MediaCom is seen as the player with the most momentum.

TMS came bottom of the 18, but top for client stability – most likely due to long-standing Toyota client.

More than 300 Mumbrella readers completed the survey, as well as a panel of experts that included:

  • Michael Riach, sales director, Fairfax Media
  • Darren Woolley, MD, TrinityP3
  • Michael Harms, managing partner, ConsuMedia
  • Ben Willee, GM and media director, Spinach Advertising
  • Keeley Pope, owner, Keeley Pope Media Recruitment
  • Peter McDonald, MD, The Agency Register
  • Alan Robertson, managing partner, Kinesis Media
  • Simon Joyce, CEO, MCM Entertainment

The scores were weighted, with the results from our panel counting for 60%, and those from our readers, 40%.

Participants were asked to rate each agency out of ten for each assessment criteria, which included:

  • Planning
  • Buying
  • Strategy
  • Innovation
  • Talent
  • Account management
  • Commercial success
  • Industry impact
  • Momentum
  • Client stability

MMARThe research was conducted by online research firm Edentify in April 2012.

The Mumbrella Media Agency Review book, which includes commentary on each agency from readers and experts, as well as each agency’s own account of its performance over the last 12 months, is now on sale here.


  1. Dan Johns
    7 Jun 12
    12:44 pm

  2. Thanks to everyone who completed the survey, the panel and mUmbrella! We are all super excited.

  3. Goodone
    7 Jun 12
    1:39 pm

  4. …seems pretty Sydney centric?

  5. Salad
    7 Jun 12
    9:19 pm

  6. The Publicise agencies – LOL!

  7. Just sayin...
    7 Jun 12
    9:24 pm

  8. Ikon really is unto itself

  9. the rocket surgeon
    8 Jun 12
    9:15 am

  10. no surprises here…its a simple mix that Ikon execute well.

    reward and retain quality staff that are open to ideas from publishers and fun to deal with and you will attract more quality people as the market will do the recruitment work for you.

  11. Blaze
    8 Jun 12
    2:57 pm

  12. I genuinely believe that it is the best agency, certainly the best I have worked with & am really happy that the survey reflects this! Also, the staff there are AWESOME!!!

  13. Human Experience
    8 Jun 12
    4:23 pm

  14. I’m surprised Starcom isn’t higher up given their top talent. Survey must be flawed. Questioning the results. They’ve just won Optus, can’t be that crap

  15. mumbrella
    8 Jun 12
    4:37 pm

  16. Hi Human Experience,

    Do remember that it’s a survey of industry and expert perception.

    No survey of this type can reveal the full realities of an agency – only what their reputation in the outside world is.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  17. Dannyboi
    9 Jun 12
    7:22 am

  18. Here here. Great agency

  19. Jon
    11 Jun 12
    11:47 am

  20. Feels like the experts have got the top 4 spot on. Not sure their “perceptions” of the rest of the industry are very accurate though.