Business Insider Released a List of the Richest People in Advertising … and the Results Won’t Shock You

By Erik Oster 

Business Insider released its annual list of “The 16 richest people in advertising, ranked by income,” taking into account all annual 2015 compensation, including salary, stock options and other incentives.

Among the not surprising results: the list could have been called “The 16 richest men in advertising,” as male executives were exclusively represented. WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell, of course, topped the list with an obscene $87,500,000, slightly above the opening day payroll of the Cleveland Indians. He was followed by Omnicom Group CEO John Wren at $23,576,047 and IPG CEO Michael Roth at $14,458,102. Publics Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy earned $2,990,000, down from $3.1 million the year prior, and may have to hold off on that ivory backscratcher. He made less than MDC Partners’ Scott Kaufman and Omnicom general counsel Michael O’Brien, in case you were ready to make another point about overpaid chief executives.

Former Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide executive chairman Kevin Roberts, who resigned as of September 1 after being placed on a leave of absence following a Business Insider interview in which he made controversial comments regarding gender diversity issues, also appeared on the list at $4,400,000.


Rounding out the Sweet 16 were Wunderman global CEO/WPP Digital CEO Mark Read at $2,800,000, IPG general counsel and secretary Andrew Bonzani at $2,411,663 and Havas deputy CEO/Havas Media Group CEO Alfonso Rodés Vilà, who brought in a meager $2,277,474.

We’ve included a list of the sixteen individuals below, per The Drum:

  • $87,500,000 – Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP CEO
  • $23,576,047 – John Wren, Omnicom Group CEO
  • $14,458,102 – Michael Roth, CEO of IPG
  • $14,300,000 – Paul Richardson, WPP group finance director
  • $6,255,150 – Philip Angelastro, chief financial officer at Omnicom
  • $5,603,572 – Frank Mergenthaler, chief financial officer at IPG
  • $4,769,162 – Philippe Krakowsky, IPG chief strategy and talent officer
  • $4,400,000 – Timothy Andree, executive chairman of the Dentsu Aegis network
  • $4,400,000 – Kevin Roberts, executive chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide
  • $3,937,950 – Jonathan Nelson, chief executive officer of Omnicom Digital
  • $3,260,776 – Scott Kauffman, chief executive of MDC Partners
  • $3,161,007 – Michael O’Brien, general counsel and secretary at Omnicom Group
  • $2,990,000 – Maurice Lévy, Publicis Groupe CEO
  • $2,800,000 – Mark Read, global chief executive at Wunderman and CEO of WPP Digital
  • $2,411,663 – Andrew Bonzani, IPG general counsel and secretary
  • $2,277,474 – Alfonso Rodés Vilà, deputy CEO of Havas and CEO of Havas Media Group

Well, that was predictable.