Three New Zealand companies have been included on a prestigious list of the top advertising agencies in the world.

The Warc Creative 100 placed Colenso BBDO at number eight while DDB came in at number 27. Both agencies are based in Auckland.

Colenso BBDO has a long legacy of producing advertising for DB Export, Mars Pedigree, Spark and a number of other high profile clients.

DDB has a similarly stellar record, most notably for its campaigns for Lotto, Steinlager and McDonald's.


Commenting on the inclusion of the agencies in the list, DDB chief executive Justin Mowday said it was great to see New Zealand agencies up there among the best in the world.

"It's evidence of how smart NZ marketers are, and how agencies in this part of the world can respond with bold and innovative solutions. Let's all keep going," he said.

The report, formerly known as The Gunn Report, annually ranks the best advertising agencies and campaigns in the world.

Last year, Colenso BBDO was the only Kiwi agency included in the top 50, placing 10th overall.

The report ranks advertising agencies in terms of their performance in a selection of some of the most rigorous advertising awards shows in the world.

In a statement published on the Colenso BBDO website, the agency's managing director Scott Coldham touched on the difficulty associated with making the cut.

"To maintain a presence in the company of the world's best is not easy and to manage it year after year is a real testament to our people, our amazing clients and the partnerships we foster," he said.

Colenso BBDO also featured on the effectiveness rundown, placing second on the list which ranks agencies according to how effective their work is for clients.

This list also featured Kiwi independent Special Group, which came in at number 45.

Special also has a strong track record through its work for Karma Cola, ecostore and TSB.

Special Group managing partner Michael Redwood was particularly pleased that his agency was one of the few independent agencies included in the rundown.

The vast majority of the agencies were owned by the major advertising holding companies, with only The Womb, Mother, and Special Group representing agencies independently owned.

Special Group last year celebrated its 10th anniversary - something of a rarity in an industry where the most prominent independent agencies are usually snapped up by one of the global advertising behemoths.

Best ads in the world

The Warc Creative 100 also provides a rundown of the best campaigns to have been published in the last year.

However, there were no New Zealand agencies or brands included among the top 10 in the rundown.

The top campaign to run during 2018, developed by Australian agencies Host and Havas Sydney, was the Palau Pledge, an initiative designed to reduce the harmful impact of over-tourism on Palau.

Warc had #BloodNormal in second place - a campaign for Bodyfrom and Libresse by AMV BBDO London, which sought to reduce the culture of shame around periods that was perpetuated by UK broadcasting laws that banned the sign of blood as "likely to cause offence".

Rounding out the top three was another Australian campaign. Called "Project Revoice", the campaign by BWN Dentsu Sydney for the ALS Association addressed the issue of Motor Neurone disease, with a heartfelt story about the founder of the Ice Bucket Challenge losing his ability to speak.