Campaign US – It wasn’t just a COVID fever dream: The volume of global new business pitches increased significantly in 2021 as clients sought new agency relationships and models post-pandemic.

According to R3’s 2021 New Business League tables, released Monday, global pitches increased 53% in revenue in 2021 to represent $3.9 billion, led by massive reviews from clients including Coca-Cola, Unilever and Mercedes-Benz.

It’s a trend that’s playing out regionally as well. In the U.S., new business pitches increased 21% year over year to represent $1.3 billion in client spend.

But as agencies compete for bigger accounts, there’s not necessarily much more revenue on the table. According to R3, total revenues attached to global business accounts increased just 9% globally and 7% in the U.S. in 2021, meaning firms are pouring a ton of resources into winning new business without as much to gain.

“Increasingly, the AOR is dying and the smartest agencies are pivoting their services and their talent mix to reflect this,” said Greg Paull, principal and founder at R3. “For every consolidation to a holding company, there are another four or five other clients looking to build a more flexible roster and bring new agencies into the tent.”

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