Welcome to the 2014 edition of the Prolific North Top 50 Integrated Agencies, the definitive list of the North’s leading advertising, marketing, integrated, sales and communications agencies. The initiative is published in association with Better Placed and is supported by Google and Mustard Research.
The Top 50 Integrated Agencies initiative complements Prolific North’s other definitive rankings of the region’s leading PR Agencies, Digital Agencies, Top 100 Brands and our annual people feature, Prolific Northerners.
For this year’s compilation, we have included live communications agencies along with agencies whose core activities span creative, advertising, marketing and sales promotion. Agencies which generate their income either entirely or overwhelmingly from digital activities are detailed separately in the Top 50 Digital Agencies.
Unlike the majority of agency rankings which rely on agencies submitting selected information about themselves or rankings which only include agencies who pay to be part of the selection process, the Prolific North ranking is wholly independent and is anchored on financial information taken from Companies House, supplemented by additional information provided by an overwhelming majority of the agencies contacted.
The ranking is predicated on a formula which examines a variety of factors including shareholder funds and/or balance sheets, turnover, pre-tax profits and headcount. Because roughly only one third of the agencies file full accounts (over £6.5m turnover), part of our agreement with companies providing confidential information is that we will not itemise or publicise their individual financials.
This does mean that certain agencies may appear – usually – lower in the ranking than many observers might have expected but offering agencies the option to opt out rather than report on a one-off disappointing year would not enable us in turn to deliver what is widely acknowledged to be the definitive ranking of integrated agencies operating from or in the North of England. Warts and all!
In total, we have engaged almost 150 agencies and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the agencies – whether they are included or not – for their time and attention in helping to create this unique financial snapshot of Northern marketing services excellence.
Once again we would like to thank Better Placed recruitment of Leeds and Manchester for its support of this initiative.
Prolific North will also be working with Better Placed and Barclays to deliver a follow-up event to this ranking next summer. A review of the last Top 50 Integrated Agencies event can be found here.
Mustard Research managed and delivered the research and we’d also like to thank the financial reporting company Fame BvD for providing a wealth of financial data to underpin the initiative. And finally Google itself which is as keen as we are to see more original high quality content on the web and whose growing Manchester office looks after the North – and indeed beyond.
Leeds, Manchester and Cheshire agencies dominate
The ranking is once again headed up by the Interpublic operation McCann Manchester (based in leafy Cheshire) followed by a new entry, the private-equity owned WRG, whose activities encompass ‘Live’ communications and increasingly content in its broadest sense.
Jaywing’s figures do not include those of its recent March 2014 acquisition of Epiphany (number two in the Top 50 Digital ranking).
Twelve of the top 20 are based primarily in Manchester or Cheshire, six in Leeds and two in Sheffield.
Outside the two largest conurbations, three Newcastle agencies and just two from Liverpool make the top 50 ranking along with three from Lancashire. Over a dozen of the agencies have international operations with six of the agencies being part of international networks.
Growth by acquisition is also increasingly occurring as the recovery continues with Jaywing, WRG, Hangar Seven, Home and Photolink Group all active while others such as Havas Lynx, Elmwood and SteinIAS are reaping the rewards of decisions taken elsewhere to invest respectively in their Manchester, Leeds and Bollington operations.
The Prolific North Top 50 Integrated Agencies 2014
|Ranking||Company Name||North of England office locations||Staff Count 2014||Selection of clients 2014|
|1||McCanns Manchester||Prestbury||370||Aldi, American Airlines, Shire, npower, JD
Williams, Nestlé, CrossCountry Trains
|2||WRG||Manchester||102||HSBC, AstraZeneca, Peel Ports, HP, Shell|
|3||Home||Leeds||151||ASDA, B&Q, Bayer, Bonmarché, Bupa, Carphone Warehouse, The Co-operative, Freeman Grattan Holdings, Hallmark, Gala Interactive, JD Williams Group, John Lewis, La Redoute, Mira, Waitrose|
|4||Jaywing||Sheffield||102||Castrol, first direct, Skipton Building Society, Keepmoat and Yorkshire Water|
|5||Havas Lynx||Manchester||201||Johnson & Johnson, Astra Zeneca, Novartis, Lundbeck, Roche|
|6||Brass||Leeds||111||GSK, Lucozade, Ribena, Suntory, Yorkshire Building Society|
|7||Gratterpalm||Leeds||168||ASDA, Greggs, DFS, Coral, Halfords|
|8||Momentum Instore||Macclesfield, Leeds||100||Boots, Sainsbury’s, RBS, TUI, B&Q|
|9||Fresh||Cheadle||95||The Co-operative, Santander, Marks & Spencer, Dixons Carphone|
|10||BJL||Manchester||85||ASDA, Swinton Insurance, Ronseal, Subaru, Metrolink|
|11||MB||Sheffield||79||Desira Motor Group, Drive Motor Group, Marshall Motor Group, Pentagon Motor Group, Robins & Day Peugeot|
|12||Intermarketing Agency||Leeds||70||adidas, Shop Direct, RSA, Parkdean, East Coast Main Line|
|13||Elmwood||Leeds||54||Asda, Ann Summers, Seven Seas|
|14||Hangar Seven||Macclesfield, Leeds||95||ASDA, DFS, adidas, Britvic, John Lewis|
|15||The Photolink Group||Manchester||85||John Lewis, Regis Salons, Tesco, Very, Littlewoods, Argos, Homebase, Marks & Spencer|
|16||TBWA\Manchester||Manchester||95||Wilko, PZ Cussons, Sofaworks, Merlin Entertainments, Smyths|
|17||Principles||Leeds||86||“First Direct/HSBC, Disney, McCain, Vertu, Costcutter|
|18||Refinery||Manchester||87||Magnet, The Co-operative, Manchester Arndale, JD Williams, Homebase|
|19||Media Agency Group||Manchester||55||Jelly Belly UK, DW Sports, Hampson Hughes, Korea Tourism, Bloomberg|
|20||SteinIAS||Bollington||53||TalkTalk Business, Iron Mountain, BP Castrol, Atos, KPMG|
|21||Love Creative||Manchester||40||Rolls Royce, Virgin Atlantic, Onitsuka Tiger|
|22||One Communications||Manchester||35||Taylor Wimpey, Together Trust, Franke, Moduleo, Hoover Candy, United Utilities, Euler Hermes, Pet’s Choice|
|23||Drummond Central||Newcastle||32||bet365, Stoke City FC, Newcastle Building Society|
|24||Blue Chip||Manchester||29||Kellogg’s, O2, PZ Cussons|
|25||Delineo||Manchester||55||Aldermore Bank, Tech Data, The Co-operative, Your Legal Friend, Gazprom Energy|
|26||FPP||Newcastle and Leeds||30||Kinder, P&G, Anchor|
|27||CBJWT||Manchester||65||Magnet, Dreams, John West, Taste Inc & Jersey Telecom|
|28||Turn Key||Leeds||50||Hammerson, Johnson & Johnson, Hitatchi and Accoya.|
|29||MC2||Manchester||38||Deloitte, NCC Group, Bright Futures, Mondelez International and UCLan|
|31||CorporateCulture||Liverpool||25||NHS WSYB CSU, AstraZeneca, Sport England, Royal Mail, LTA|
|32||Uber||Sheffield||27||Harveys Furniture, tombola, The Perfume Shop, BAFTA, Crabtree & Evelyn, Iceland|
|33||Uniform||Liverpool||40||Bacardi, Shop Direct, the FA, Unilever, Belling/Stoves|
|34||Bloom||Leeds||42||ITV, Sky, Emirates, National Trust, Hitachi Capital|
|35||Foundry Communications||Altrincham||23||MerseyRail, PGL Holidays, Crawford Healthcare, Stobart Barristers|
|36||Creative Marketing Services||Leeds||Adjustamatic, Braid Logistics, NHS, Network Rail, Mansfield Pollard|
|37||Dinosaur||Manchester||24||The Co-operative, Hobbycraft, The Gym Group, Bayer, Pets at Home|
|38||Everything Different||Newcastle||41||Land Securities, Carpetright, Benfield Motors, Barker & Stonehouse, University of Sunderland|
|39||Savvy||Leeds||67||Britvic, Morrisons, Warburtons, Halfords, Florette|
|40||Cirrus||Wilmslow||35||Redrow, Provident Financial, Network Rail, 3 (Hutchison 3G), HSBC|
|41||driven||Wilmslow||19||Alpecin, Blue Diamond Almonds, Subway, Vimto, webuyanycar.com|
|42||Strawberry||Hull||34||Frillo, Qwiddle, Storetec, Hugh Rice, Siemens, KC Business|
|43||True North||Manchester||22||Royal Mail, Wellcome Trust, NHS, British Council, Sport England|
|44||Madhouse Associates||Manchester||25||Scapa, Knauf, Johnston Press|
|45||Heckford Advertising||Preston||28||Nichols PLC, Tomy, Lancashire CC, Wainhomes, Sandcastle, Vanguard, Winfields Outdoors|
|46||Rare Creative||Sheffield||13.5||Saint-Gobain, Polypipe, Ideal Heating, Refresh Conservatory Roofs, University of Leeds|
|47||Motionlab||Preston||37||Solidor, Residence 9, Easigrass, Arran Isle, Carlisle Brass|
|48||Parker Design||Northwich||15||AstraZeneca, United Utilities, Sage, Thomson Reuters, Home Bargains, UK Fuels|
|49||Wilson Cooke||Bury||35||Cranfield University, Ricky Hatton, Keoghs, Johnson Group|
|50||Propaganda||Leeds||40||Ann Summers, The Car People, Clipper Logistics|