Today we unveil the 2016 edition of the Prolific North Top 50 Digital Agencies, the definitive listing of the North’s largest digital agencies spanning SEO and PPC, web, content, mobile and e-commerce.

The Top 50 Digital Agencies initiative complements other ground-breaking Prolific North research features including the Top 50 PR Agencies, the Top 50 Integrated Agencies and the Top 100 Brands.

And the ranking is now firmly established across the North’s marketing services community as the yardstick for the digital sector.

Prolific North would like to thank our headline partners for this initiative, search marketing agency Click Consult and hosting company Melbourne, as well as Google and Mustard Research.

Melbourne will also be hosting a reception event in partnership with Prolific North for the winners, the agencies who took part in the research and those working in the creative and digital sectors.

It’s on Thursday 26th May, from 5.45pm, and will be hosted at Melbourne’s office. Details of how to register can be found here.

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Research methodology

Working together with Mustard Research, one of the UK’s leading independent research companies, and the financial reporting company fame BVD, we looked at the accounts of over 150 digital agencies which are either based in or have offices in the North, and we also asked the agencies themselves for supplementary financial and related data.

The initial long list was ultimately whittled down to the final 50 in this ranking.

Agencies were not offered the option to be included or not.

Prolific North and Mustard would like to thank all the agencies concerned, whether ultimately included or not, for their time and effort in helping us to compile this unique compilation and we look forward to new agency names joining the ranking next year.

In order to secure the full and transparent co-operation of all the participants – not just those where we were able to secure full financial data – we agreed with those agencies filing abbreviated accounts that we would not disclose the financials of any company in the compilation. This allowed these agencies to submit to us accurate information about sales and profits but also enabled them to retain a degree of privacy about their financial affairs.

melbourneThe algorithm employed by Mustard is weighted on turnover, balance sheet and/or shareholder funds, ptp, growth over the past two years and headcount. Our information is not assessed over a given calendar year or period but simply reflects each company’s latest filed information. This does mean of course that an agency’s size and financial performance effectively take precedence over other factors such as expertise or specialisation.


Yorkshire agencies once again dominate the higher realms of the ranking – but this time the dominance is even more pronounced.

Seven of the top 10 agencies are based in the county, with the number one spot reclaimed from last year’s winners Amaze by Stickyeyes.

Amaze still manages a highly creditable second place, but its only other Mancunian native to feature in the first 10 places is Lakestar McCann, at number 10.

Visualsoft, from Stockton-on-Tees, come in at number five but the rest of the top 10 is made up of solid Yorkshire granite: Epiphany, twentysix, CDS Digital, Web Marketing Group, Summit Media and Search Laboratory.

Manchester agencies do put on a better performance in the top 50 as a whole, with 16 agencies calling the city their primary home, compared with Leeds (10), Newcastle (6) and Liverpool (3).


The Prolific North Top 50 Digital Agencies 2016

in association with Click Consult and Melbourne


melbourne logo Top 50 Digital Agencies

# Company Name North of England office locations Headcount in North Clients 2016
1 Stickyeyes Leeds 108 Hertz, Staples, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Ladbrokes, Leeds Building Society
2 Amaze Manchester, Liverpool 200 Emirates, Lexus, Unilever, Toyota, The Co-operative Group
3 Epiphany Leeds 170 Pets At Home, Virgin Holidays, Q Hotels, Ann Summers and Carole Nash
4 twentysix Leeds 121 London Stock Exchange Group, P&G Wella , BrightHouse, NHSBT, Aggregates Industries
5 Visualsoft Stockton-on-Tees 203 Gola, Mitre, Big Dug, Boxfresh, Canterbury
6 CDS Digital Leeds 73 Transport for London, Metropolitan Police, Cabinet Office, Aberdeen Asset Management, National Rail Enquiries
7 WMG Harrogate 84 TNT, sk:n, House Network, FX Pro, Skate Hut
8 Summit Willerby 102 Argos, Carpetright, Peugeot, Reckitt Benckiser, Homebase
9 Search Laboratory Leeds 140 Viking (Office Depot), Superdry, O2, SkyBet, Hootsuite
10 Lakestar McCann Manchester 56 Halfords, Kuoni, Navman Wireless
11 Latitude Digital Marketing Warrington 92 BT, Post Office, Haven, Autotrader, MarkaVIP
12 Code Computerlove Manchester 80 Hillarys, Brother, Amnesty, NUS, HMV
13 CTI Digital Manchester 60 British Council, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Greater London Authority and Gatwick Airport
14 Click Consult Cheshire 68 Oxfam, Netflights, Virgin,, Etyres, ABTA, Lloyds Pharmacy
15 Building Blocks Manchester 55 Imperial Tobacco Group, Guinness World Records, Kaspersky, Guardian Industries, Yara International
16 Fat Media Lancaster 90 n/a
17 Rippleffect Liverpool, Manchester 77 Aldermore, Arsenal FC, Aston Villa FC, Everyman & Playhouse, Everton FC, Liverpool FC, UK Sport, Visit Guernsey, Visit Lincolnshire
18 Branded3 Leeds 64 Ladbrokes, Vue Entertainment, Virgin Holidays, First Direct, Travelex
19 ActiveWin Manchester 80 Betable, Moneyplus, Betfred, Kerching, Tote
20 Think Newcastle 69 n/a
21 Axonn Media Manchester 65 Western Union, Monarch Airlines, Hatstand, The Holiday Place, Heyland & Whittle
22 EMS Internet Ltd Warrington 68 Reebok, St Helens, Stagecoach, Fletcher Stewart, Windy Arbour
23 Delete Agency  Leeds 26 Expedia, Carluccio’s, Leeds Beckett University, Unibet, Safestore
24 Degree 53 Manchester 53 The Co-operative Bank, Betfred, Sofaworks, GB Group, GL Assessment
25 Leighton Durham 80 British Airways, Foundation of Light, Home Group, Ambassador Theatre Group
26 Sigma Consulting Solutions Macclesfield 43 Astra Zeneca, Sport England, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Gazprom
27 Webtise (acquired Apposing post year end) Wirral 67 Sony Playstation, McDonalds, iCandy, Jaguar/Land Rover, Skipton Building Society
28 Mando Liverpool 40 Northumbrian Water Group, United Utilities, Robinsons Brewery, Talk Talk Business, Pets at Home
29 Mediaworks Newcastle 62 n/a
30 Apadmi Manchester 60 BBC, the NHS, the Guardian, Jaguar Land Rover, General Medical Council
31 RE:Systems Bakewell, Manchester 36 n/a
32 ICS-digital  Leeds 30 Betfair, Oddschecker, Pokerstars, JUST EAT, Stream Live
33 Enigma Interactive Newcastle 33 Northern Powergrid, BBC, Leeds Museums and Galleries, RSPCA, The Open University
34 Digital Next Manchester 34 Euro Car Parts, Forever Unique, Unipart, Costcutter, Robinsons Equestrian
35 Clicky Media Chester 32 NHS, Darwin Escapes, Massey Ferguson, Tabor Group, Travis Perkins
36 Orange Bus Newcastle 62 HMRC, Joules, Pearson, Argon, NHS
37 Prodo Digital Chester 49 Royal Bank of Scotland, We Buy Any Car, Foxtons, Olympic Holidays, Guinness Homes
38 RO Eye Manchester 17 eBay, Coral, Best Western, Auto Trader, Harveys
39 The Neighbourhood Manchester 30 Heston Blumenthal, JD Sports, Commercial Estates Group, Land Securities, Candy & Candy
40 Silverbean Newcastle 42 Flybe, ATG Tickets, Berghaus, ScS, Formica
41 Cube3 Manchester 33 Revolution Bars, Cash Generator, Deckers Hospitality Group, Rohan, UK Fast
42 theEword Manchester 31 Atkins International, Merlin Entertainments, Manchester Metropolitan University, Pure Leisure Group and Student Housing Company
43 Return on Digital Manchester 32 Vertbaudet, Public Desire, My Memory, Liverpool JMU, London Luton Airport
44 Venn Digital Wilmslow 45 Rekorderlig, Bahco, Capita, JW Lees, LWC Drinks
45 SearchQuest Europe Lancaster 44 CityBlock, European Springs, TileMart, Continental UFH, DHI Manchester
46 Engage Interactive Leeds 25 Whitbread, Yorkshire Tea, Leeds Building Society, Rosemary Conley, Jet2
47 New Mind Liverpool 30 Visit Scotland, Visit Telemark, Visit Portsmouth, Visit Chester, Visit Lillehammer
48 Shout Digital Newcastle 25 Viewpoint Construction Software, North, Nova International, NCFE, P&G
49 I-COM Manchester 36 JMW, King of Servers, Sellick Partnership, Brand Attic, Cobra Electronics, Christy Towels
50 Enjoy Digital Leeds 30 CostCutter Supermarkets, Manheim, Bank of Ireland, Care UK, Randstad

STOP PRESS: Orange Bus acquired by Capita – 22 March 2016

See our other research tables:

The Prolific North Top 50 PR Agencies

The Prolific North Top 50 Integrated Agencies

The Prolific North Top 100 Brands

The Prolific Northerners Top 100

The Prolific North Top 50 In-house Communicators