In contrast, no senior UK execs in the anonymous survey responded that it would be "very desirable" to work for GM, Ford, GlaxoSmithKline, L’Oreal and SC Johnson.
The Talent Business commissioned Bonamy Finch to carry out the research between 17 April and 10 May, which had a total of 98 UK respondents at a CEO, MD, creative director or planning director level. There were a total of 397 respondents to a global survey.
Respondents were asked to rate 27 of the biggest brands according to attributes including belief in the value of ideas, a reputation for working collaboratively and a progressive approach to digital marketing, and list them on a "very desirable", "quite desirable", "quite undesirable" and "very undesirable basis".
|Brand owner desirability (UK)|
|21||Johnson & Johnson||5||20||20||12|
In the UK, respondents put most value on clients being ideas driven, with 81% rating this as "extremely important".
The second most important trait was brand owners having a reputation for working collaboratively with agencies, with some 47% of UK respondents rating it as "extremely important".
A senior UK creative rated Nike highly for having a track record of producing "progressive, brave, creative, category changing work."
High profile campaigns before the survey was carried out include its "make it count" campaign that sought to steal the thunder from Olympics sponsor Adidas and its 2010 World Cup "write the future" campaign starring Wayne Rooney.
In contrast, L’Oreal was criticised for being "formulaic, with no creativity in content or context".
Gary Stolkin, global chairman and chief executive of The Talent Business, said: "I hope this will make some marketers think more seriously about their reputations in the agency community.
"Nike’s position as the most desirable brand for a creative agency to work with is testament to the innovation and independence that seems to imbue many of its campaigns, both in the UK and beyond."
There were five clients in the UK that not a single agency leader out of 98 polled considered to be "very desirable": SC Johnson, L’Oreal, GlaxoSmithKline, Ford and GM.
Stolkin warned: "At the bottom of the rankings, the commercial risk for L’Oreal and GSK is that their reputations actually prevent them from harnessing the best talent available. This will inevitably put them at a competitive disadvantage and impact negatively on their commercial success."Follow @mattchapmanuk