Earlier this year, we ranked the richest ad execs on the planet based on their annual income. But cash and stock aren’t the full measure of economic life in adland’s swankiest corner offices.It’s all about the perks, too. From private jets to country clubs, expert tax help to limo drivers, these guys — and yes, they’re all men — want for nothing.
The numbers, as disclosed in corporate finance filings, substantially undercount the amount of money agencies spend on the lifestyles of advertising’s rich and famous. Much of what these executives do includes wining and dining clients, often at fabulous restaurants; or taking them to sporting and cultural events. Execs also get a lot of their travel expenses paid for when they meet and pitch clients. Often their partners and other family members tag along.
And they expense all of it.
For instance, one of the execs has an eye-popping $41 million “golden coffin” — a payment that occurs if he dies.
Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts probably has one of the most amazing travel packages in the business, considering how often he writes about exotic hotels and restaurants on his blog. But the value of it isn’t fully disclosed by Publicis Groupe, his corporate parent.
Similarly, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell is known to be the best paid British adman (no mean feat in an industry where Brits over-index), but his perks package isn’t detailed in WPP’s annual report.
We’ve estimated their perks packages, based on those of their peers who have disclosed similar packages. For everyone else, we used corporate and SEC disclosures.
And, of course, we’ve ranked them all from poorest to richest.
That's right: $10,000 is merely the entry level perks package on Madison Avenue. (We did find perks compensation that was even less than this, but it's so de minimis we decided to only start counting at $10K.)
Most of O'Brien's perks are a contribution to a savings plan.
Parent company Publicis Groupe notes that Klues' benefits would not have been recorded if his car allowance had been 'immaterial' to his compensation.
Havas' annual report says: 'David Jones has the use of a company vehicle and is provided with life insurance coverage in addition to the standard coverage provided by the company.'
He gets $13,752 in the form of a company car.
He has a country club membership and a company car.
Krakowsky's perks consist entirely of a medical and dental plan.
Includes one or more of 'a car, a car cash allowance, fuel, life assurance, and various disability and health insurances.'
$20,000 of that is for matching his charity donations. The remainder is a medical and dental plan.
For a CEO, Roth has one of the most modest big holding company perks packages on Madison Avenue.
Includes 'a $25,000 annual perquisite allowance and $19,372 in annual insurance premiums.'
Of that, $30,000 is an 'annual perquisite allowance' paid in cash, plus $19,372 in insurance premiums.
Istre had a company car and access to personal use of the private jet and a country club membership, but his costs for using all three were less than $25,000 per item.
Publicis' car allowance policy is, 'Benefits in kind relating to the use of a company-provided vehicle are not mentioned when they are for an immaterial amount.' That would suggest Roberts' use of company cars is so great it triggers financial reporting requirements.
However, it is likely that an even greater sum of money is spent financing Roberts' air travel. He spends 250 nights a year in hotels. He flies internationally, a lot. He is known to favour hotels that cost more than $600 a night. And he likes high-end restaurants, which he writes about on his blog.
Roberts' employment contract is negotiated with 'a consulting firm owned by Mr. Roberts.'
We estimate his perks are probably north of $50,000, all told.
'John Napier's benefits comprise an accommodation allowance of £33,000 pa (gross) and private health insurance.'
His benefits include 'a car, a car cash allowance, fuel, life assurance, and various disability and health insurances.'
Castañé, 76, is a non-executive director at Havas but his perks package is bigger than any of his bosses'. It's also bigger than most ordinary staffers' salaries.
Castañé is also Spanish advertising royalty. He is the son of the founder of Media Planning S.A., a Spanish media buying agency that was rolled up into Media Planning Group and Havas. Rodés Castañé founded Tiempo, an advertising agency, in 1958.
Includes $74,415 in personal private jet use and a country club membership.
His perks are disproportionately greater than many of his peers at larger companies.
Includes $61,773 in 'personal' private jet flights plus a country club membership.
He's another Lamar executive whose perks are greater than peers who run much larger ad operations.
Omnicom says that Wren's perks include 'personal use of aircraft hours ($136,319), an auto allowance ($9,120) and a medical allowance ($4,000).'
He also has an astonishing 'golden coffin,' in which, if he dies, his beneficiaries receive a series of lump sum payments. Their maximum, as described in the SEC disclosure for 2011, is currently more than $41 million.
Of that, $133,099 was spent on private jet travel; $15,802 went on a country club membership; and $15,744 was for a company car.
The fact that Schultz's package is bigger than Omnicom chief John Wren's, even though Valassis -- a coupon supplier -- is a fraction of the size of Omnicom, gives you an idea of how inappropriate it is.
Miles Nadal, CEO of MDC Partners: $559,138, mostly in cash. Plus his family flies free on the corporate jet.
Nadal is the most handsomely compensated executive in advertising -- even though his company is much smaller than his rivals' -- so it is perhaps not surprising that his perks are as disproportionate as his annual income.
Most of this sum is 'a $500,000 perquisite allowance in respect of retirement benefits and employee health benefits.'
MDC's policy is: 'while Mr. Nadal is travelling on business, a member of his family has accompanied him on the corporate aircraft. There is no incremental cost to the Company for this use of the aircraft by Mr. Nadal's family member. For business purposes during travel from outside of New York City, Mr. Nadal and certain of the Company's executive officers have the use of a corporate apartment.'
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