There are numerous surveys of the top UK and global brands but none that focus purely on our patch: Prolific North’s patch. This new compilation demonstrates just how substantial the corporate base is in the North; even if a number of the leading brands are headquartered outside the North, they still retain their UK operational and marketing bases in the North.
The information, pulled together with the aid of MediaCom North, is based on data compiled by Nielsen and is anchored on data covering companies based in the following counties: Cheshire, Clwyd (Wales), Cumbria, Derbyshire, Humberside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Northumberland, Staffordshire, Tyne & Wear and Yorkshire.
The data is taken from advertising spend that Nielsen has picked up covering the period January to December 2013.
Marketing expenditure includes cinema, direct mail, door drops, the internet, outdoor, press, radio and TV. However, a large part of PPC expenditure on Google is not currently available for publication.
There are some surprising omissions from the list, primarily the region’s sporting brands such as MUFC, MCFC and LFC but these ‘brands’ are not typically big spenders on marketing.
Other notably Northern brands including Aunt Bessie’s, Holland’s Pies and Fox’s Biscuits are not as big marketing spenders these days while certain other brands, John West (based in Liverpool) perhaps being the most notable, invests more in below the line marketing and retailer support.
The top three positions in our table are held by companies based in Yorkshire, led by Asda in Leeds, owned by Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and the biggest global private employer with over two million employees.
But a large number of other companies remain staunchly in private hands including Shop Direct, Iceland, Matalan, Betfred (whose turnover including its Tote subsidiary is over £8bn), Taylors of Harrogate and Warburtons.
Indeed, just under half of the ranking – 45 companies – is still in private hands.
Reflecting current trends, several other well-known brands have now passed into private equity hands, such as DFS (Advent International), Great Rail Journeys (ECI) and Neville Johnson (Key Capital), while LateRooms, twice-owned by private equity houses, now sits within the quoted TUI Travel group.