Click here to continue to AdForum

Clash of the tweets

By Mark Tungate , Epica Awards

Agency networks are forever telling us that, these days, they're digital to the core. So just for fun, we did some research to find out which holding companies - and their bosses - are the most active on Twitter. Admittedly the research was not highly scientific - so feel free to correct us if we're wrong. But here are the results at the time of writing.


Agency Tweets Activity


If we look at the accounts here within the context of the main holding companies, Interpublic and WPP are the most active, while Publicis lags behind.



Holding Tweet Activity


The fact that Publicis and Omnicom combined are less active than each of their three competitors leaves them open to a little chiding: how come agencies that claim to be digital-savvy and recommend to clients that brands should engage heavily in social media are themselves so digital-shy? Interpublic, on the other hand, is by far the most active "follower", implying that it pays close attention to what's going on in its markets.


Holding Tweet Listeners


Interestingly, though, WPP and Omnicom are more "followed" than IPG:





Holding Tweet Popularity



But social media is, of course, mostly about people. So we decided to check the Twitter activity of the biggest holding company CEOs (WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, Havas, MDC) and of the bosses of their main networks. This is what we found:



Agency CEOs Tweet Popularity

Maurice Levy, John Wren and Michael Roth don't appear to be present on Twitter. Sir Martin Sorrell has two accounts with no tweets (yet nearly a thousand followers); there are also two NotMartinSorrell accounts with 1150 tweets and 2000-plus followers. But David Jones (Havas) and Miles Nadal (MDC) both have accounts - and they are impressively active. Miles has posted over 16,000 tweets, followed by 8,500 fans, and David 4,000 tweets with 26,000 followers. These are the Kings of Twitter - way ahead of Y&R’s David Sable (500 tweets, 2,000 followers), JWT’s Bob Jeffrey (450 tweets but 6,000 followers), BBDO’s Andrew Robertson (70 tweets and 160 followers ) and Ogilvy’s Miles Young (only 3 tweets, with 600 followers).

But wait: these guys are Mad Men. Surely the digital agencies score better?

When we saw that Tom Bedecarre had posted 8,000 tweets to 150,000 followers, we thought we had our answer. We were wrong: the heads of the digital majors are not very talkative either. While Vivaki’s Rishad Tobaccowala is fairly chatty with 4,000 tweets,  SapientNitro’s Gaston Legorburu has only posted 200 tweets, Huge’s Aaron Shapiro 500, while RGA’s Bob Greenberg does not even seem to have a Twitter account (his lieutenant Barry Wacksman has posted 600 tweets). Not exactly an earth-shattering result.

Come on, guys, don’t be shy! You can do better. Or at least recruit someone to do it for you. Obama has tweeted 10,000 times to his 37 millions followers!

But wait a minute - maybe you prefer LinkedIn? Let us get back to you on that.