The 17 richest people in advertising, ranked by income

Martin sorrellReuters/Ruben SprichOf course Sir Martin Sorrell is up there. But where?

Global ad spend in 2014 rose 3.9% to $US513 billion, according to GroupM — and ad agency bosses saw their compensation soar last year too.

Like previous years, our ranking of the richest people in advertising is predominantly made up of white men.

One of them is even subject to an SEC investigation into his income.

There’s just one woman on the list.

Methodology: Our ranking looked at SEC filings, taking account of total annual 2014 compensation, including salary, stock awards, option awards, and other incentives. That’s an obvious flaw because a lot of people on this list hold a lot of their net worth in stock they have accumulated over previous years, and through other assets and investments.

This list is by no means extensive: We chose to look at public companies only. We also only looked at pure-play advertising agencies: Otherwise advertising execs at tech companies like Google and Facebook, or brand marketers would surely make the list too.

17. Andrew Bonzani, Interpublic general counsel and secretary

Compensation: $US2,295,124

Notes: Bonzani's pay rose 51% year-on-year. The bulk of his pay last year was made up of stock awards and non-equity incentive plan compensation.

16. Kevin Roberts, executive chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi

Compensation: ($US2,299,314) €2,083,118

Notes: In addition to his salary, Roberts also received €23,516 in 'benefits in kind' in 2014.

15. Lori Senecal, global CEO of Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Compensation: $US2,345,781

Notes: Senecal was president and CEO of the MDC Partner Network when she received this total compensation for 2014. She moved over to her new role in March of this year.

Her total compensation included a huge $US159,034 automobile allowance.

14. Michael O'Brien, Omnicom general counsel and secretary

Compensation: $US2,810,598

Notes: O'Brien's total annual compensation rose 40% from 2013. He's so low-profile, we couldn't source a photo of him.

13. Jonathan Nelson, Omnicom Digital chief executive officer

Compensation: $US3,383,633

Notes: Nelson joined Omnicom in 2002 when it purchased his interactive agency, Organic. He was named the CEO of Omnicom Digital in 2009, and he oversees strategy for all of holding company Omnicom's digital assets.

12. Timothy Andree, president and CEO of Dentsu Holdings USA and executive chairman of the Dentsu Aegis network

Compensation: ($US3,489,881) ¥432 million

Notes: Andree played an important role in spearheading Dentsu's acquisition of Aegis Group in 2013. Once the acquisition was complete he was appointed executive chairman of the Dentsu Aegis Network. He was also appointed as the first non-Japanese board director.

11. Alfonso Rodés Vilà, CEO of Havas Media Group

Compensation: ($US3,689,195) €3,343,328

Notes: Interestingly, Vilà received more in total compensation last year than his boss Yannick Bolloré, who is the CEO of parent company Havas. Bolloré was paid €907,070 ($US1,001,310.)

10. Philippe Krakowsky, chief strategy and talent officer at Interpublic Group

Compensation: $US4,568,295

Notes: Krawkowsky works with Interpublic CEO Michael Roth to define the strategy for the group. He also oversees talent management, training and development, and compensation benefits. His pay in 2013 was $US3,847,630.

9. Maurice Lévy, CEO of Publicis Groupe

Compensation: ($US4,968,000) €4,500,000

Notes: Lévy receives no fixed compensation -- his entire salary is variable, dependent on financial and non-financial objectives set the previous year.

8. Philip Angelastro, Omnicom chief financial officer

Compensation: $US5,028,542

Notes: Angelastro replaced longtime CFO Randy Weisenberger in September 2014. He was previously the company's SVP of finance and controller.

7. Frank Mergenthaler, chief financial officer at Interpublic Group

Compensation: $US5,356,477

Notes: Mergenthaler's compensation was up 9% year on year.

6. Mark Read, WPP Digital CEO

Compensation: ($US5,377,664) £3,435,000

Notes: In January this year WPP announced Read was taking on the role as CEO of WPP agency Wunderman, while continuing his executive responsibilities for the wider WPP group. However, the move did also see him step down from the agency network's board.

5. Michael Roth, CEO of Interpublic Group

Compensation: $US12,899,339

Notes: Roth's compensation was up 10% on 2013.

4. Miles Nadal, MDC Partners (former) CEO

Compensation: $US16,832,355

Notes: Nadal retired from MDC Partners earlier this month. He is currently at the center of an SEC investigation into his huge expenses bill, which has seen him promise to reimburse the company more than $US20 million.

In June Nadal's perks package was ranked by Business Insider as the most extravagant in the advertising industry.

3. Paul Richardson, WPP group finance director

Compensation: ($US17,558,352) £11,219,000

Notes: Richardson's total compensation rose 22% year on year.

2. Omnicom CEO John Wren

Compensation: $US24,014,697

Notes: Wren's 2014 compensation included $US82,751 for personal use of an aircraft.

1. Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP CEO

Compensation: ($US67,285,497) £42,978,000

Notes: Sorrell is not just the best-paid advertising CEO, he's the highest-paid CEO in the UK. His pay in 2014 was up 44% the previous year. However, unlike the majority of bosses on the FTSE 100, the bulk of Sorrell's pay is linked directly to the company's stock performance. In 2014, WPP reported a record £1.4 billion in annual profit, and revenue grew 4.6% year on year.

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