Today we unveil the 2017 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 In-house Communicators.
The ranking is now firmly established across the North’s marketing services community as the yardstick for the digital sector.
And as with our other research-led rankings, Mustard Research has managed the research underpinning the compilation and has ensured that the process has been rigorous and the results entirely independent – unlike some rankings which are predicated on financial subscriptions and payments to be included.
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.
The 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 are once again on top, taking up four of the top five places on the list.
Leeds-based Stickyeyes retains its number one ranking, with Amaze the leading Manchester agency at number two. WMG, twentysix and Epiphany complete the top five.
Yorkshire agencies CDS Digital, Summit Media and Branded3 also land top 10 places, while Visualsoft at number six has bases across the North. Code Computerlove, which was acquired by MediaCom in December, is the only other Manchester-based agency in the top 10, at number nine.
Across the 50 as a whole, virtually every corner of the North is represented, including Newcastle’s Orange Bus (17), York’s Isotoma (39), Sheffield’s Joi Polloi (49), Lancaster’s Fat Media (22) and Liverpool’s Mando (23).
The Prolific North Top 50 Digital Agencies 2017
|Ranking||Last year||Company||Northern offices||Ownership||Staff||Clients 2017|
|1||1||Stickyeyes||Leeds||IPG Mediabrands||98||Hertz, Staples, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Ladbrokes, Leeds Building Society|
|2||2||Amaze||Manchester, Liverpool||St Ives Group||200||Emirates, Lexus, Unilever, Toyota, The Cooperative Group|
|3||7||IDHL||Harrogate||Independent||118||Intercontinental Hotels, HMV, IG Index, AON, Peugeot Citroen, Retail UK|
|4||4||twentysix||Leeds||Part of MSQ Partners||145||P&G, LSEG, NHSBT, Talk Talk, The Co-operative Group|
|5||3||Epiphany||Leeds||Jaywing Plc||190||ScS, Pandora, QHotels, Euro Car Parts, Carphone Warehouse|
|6||5||Visualsoft||Stockton-on-Tees, Newcastle and Manchester||Independent||244||Canterbury, John Greed, Big Dug, Charles Clinkard, TJ Hughes|
|7||6||CDS Digital||Leeds||The Baird Group||87||Royal Mail Group, Metropolitan Police, Cabinet Office, Aberdeen Asset Management, National Rail Enquires|
|8||8||Summit Media||Brough||TCC Global||97||Argos, Carpetright, Peugeot, Reckitt Benckiser, Homebase|
|9||12||Code Computerlove||Manchester||MediaCom North group||83||Hillarys, BBC, Asda, Centre Parcs and Amnesty International|
|10||18||Branded3||Leeds||St Ives Group plc||76||Ladbrokes, Vue Entertainment, Provident Financial, First Direct, Travelex|
|11||11||Latitude Digital Marketing||Warrington||Callcredit/GTCR||89||Post Office, Bet Victor, Yours Clothing, Noddle, Cyclestore|
|12||15||Building Blocks||Manchester||affiliated with Dept||60||Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, DFDS, Imperial Brands, AstraZeneca, Yara International|
|13||14||Click Consult||Cheshire||Independent||75||Netflights, Oxfam, Flogas, ABTA, Lloyds Pharmacy|
|14||17||Fusion Unlimited||Leeds||Independent||38||Halfords, RBS Group, Lloyds Pharmacy Group, Vertu Motors, McCain|
|15||13||CTI Digital||Manchester||Paperhat Group||58||Merlin Entertainment, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Greater London Authority, College of Occupational Therapists, McGraw-Hill Education / High Street TV|
|16||9||Search Laboratory||Leeds||Independent||128||Viking (Office Depot), Superdry, O2, SkyBet, Hootsuite|
|17||36||Orange Bus||Newcastle||Capita/G2GE||75||HMRC, Joules, Pearson, Argon, NHS|
|18||10||Lakestar Media Limited||Manchester||Part of McCanns||47||Halfords, Kuoni, Navman Wireless|
|19||17||Rippleffect||Liverpool and Manchester||Idox plc||58||Aldermore, Arsenal FC, Aston Villa FC, Everyman & Playhouse, Everton FC, Liverpool FC, UK Sport, Visit Guernsey, Visit Lincolnshire|
|20||30||Apadmi||Manchester||Independent||65||BBC, Argos, NHS, Guardian, Travel Counsellors|
|21||19||ActiveWin||Manchester||Independent||104||Betfred, Tote, Betable, Moneyplus, Foxy|
|22||16||Fat Media||Lancaster||David Durnford||87||Lancaster University, Lakeland, GambleAware, Iceland, Swissport|
|23||28||Mando||Liverpool||Independent||51||TalkTalk Business, Together Money, United Utilities, GE Healthcare, Electricity North West (ENW)|
|24||20||Think||Newcastle||Independent||72||Vue, LV= (Liverpool Victoria), Arup, Shop Direct, Butlin’s|
|25||25||Leighton||Durham||Independent||80||British Airways, Home Group, Tourism Australia, Sunderland AFC|
|26||22||Results Through Digital||Warrington||Independent||54||Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Reebok, Barclays, Catalent Pharma , NHS|
|27||21||Axonn Media||Manchester||Independent||54||Bruntwood, Monarch, Tefal, Brookson, NCR|
|28||23||Delete Agency||Leeds||Independent||27||Southampton Football Club, iGuzzini, Safestore, Carter Jonas, Rackspace|
|29||40||Silverbean||Newcastle||Independent||46||Flybe, L.K.Bennett, ATG Tickets, Optegra, Berghaus|
|30||24||Degree 53||Manchester||Independent||50||Betfred, Sofology, Co-op Bank, CardOneBanking and Intralot|
|31||29||Mediaworks||Newcastle||Independent||52||Yorkshire Water, House of Fraser, Ralph Lauren, Lookers Group, Northgate.|
|32||46||Engage Interactive||Leeds||Independent||27||Whitbread, Jet2, Leeds Building Society, British Ceramic Tile, Giraffe Restaurants|
|33||43||Return||Manchester||Independent||39||Boo Tea, Liverpool John Moores University, Vertbaudet, Kaplan|
|34||44||Venn Digital Limited||Wilmslow||Independent||50||Bahco, Rekorderlig, Siemens, Eurostaff, JW Lees|
|35||37||Prodo Digital||Chester||Independent||53||The Aspinall Foundation, Knowsley Safari Park, Payzone, Lancashire County Cricket Club, DWF|
|36||27||Webtise||Wirral||Independent||53||iCandy, Utility, Oddbins, Shop Direct and Drench|
|37||50||Enjoy Digital||Leeds||Independent||40||Costcutter Supermarkets Group, Manheim / Cox Automotive, Bank of Ireland, Pitman Training, Marsh|
|38||–||Hedgehog Lab||Newcastle||Independent||57||Fitch Learning, B&M Stores, AkzoNobel, Huntsman, Northumbrian Water|
|39||–||Isotoma||Manchester/York||Independent||32||Imperial College, HarperCollins, Ten Lifestyle Group, The Key, Wilmington Group|
|40||39||The Neighbourhood||Manchester||Independent||32||JD Sports, Marketing Manchester, Urban Splash, Commercial Estates Group, Heston Blumenthal/The Fat Duck|
|41||26||Sigma Consulting Solutions Ltd||Macclesfield||Independent||34||Astra Zeneca, Sport England, BBC, NCC Group, InterContinental Hotels Group|
|42||45||SearchQuest Europe Ltd||Lancaster||Independent||40||CityBlock, European Springs, Belvoir!, Dean Group International, Smart Storage.|
|43||–||Strawberry||Hull||Independent||38||Qwiddle, Hugh Rice, Beal Homes, Storetec|
|44||38||RO Eye||Manchester||Independent||16||HMV, Jessops, Coral, Best Western, Harveys|
|45||32||ICS-digital LLP*||Leeds||Independent||35||bet365, Webgears, 888, Oddschecker, Tiger Sheds|
|46||–||e3creative||Manchester||Independent||31||Ascot Racecourse, Human Appeal, Living Ventures, South Bank London, Hotel Football|
|47||33||Enigma Interactive||Newcastle||Independent||35||BBC, Northern Powergrid, Traidcraft, RSPCA, Open University|
|48||35||Clicky Media||Chester||Independent||38||Darwin Escapes, Travis Perkins, Elegant Resorts, The Tabor Group, DayInsure|
|49||–||Joi Polloi (Previously Rocket)||Sheffield||Independent||–||Channel 4, Xi’ian Jiaotong Liverpool University, The Children’s Hospital Charity, Zoella|
|50||31||RE:Systems||Bakewell, Manchester||Independent||–||HarperCollins, Ticketmaster, Land Securities, Heathrow Express|
* ICS-digital LLP has invested in two other businesses over the past year and expects to realise initial profits from those ventures in late 2017/early 2018.
See our other research tables: