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The Prolific North Top 50 Digital Agencies 2023

Top 50 Digital Agencies 2023

Today we can reveal 2023’s Top 50 Digital Agencies list, the benchmark ranking for the digital sector in the North since 2013.

Compiled by our independent research partners Mustard, the Top 50 Digital Agencies ranks the region’s agencies by a series of metrics, such as turnover, headcount and pre-tax profit, confirmed directly with the companies themselves alongside publicly available information at Companies House.

There’s been some movement on the list this year, with new entrants and some impressive jumps into the top 20 too. A huge well done to everyone who made the list!

We will be marking the release of this year’s ranking with a special event, to be held on Tuesday July 4th at KPMG’s Manchester office in St Peter’s Square. More details below!

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A big congratulations to IDHL Group, named the number one digital agency in the region for the second year running. The top three remains unchanged, with Stickyeyes second and Visualsoft third.

CTI Digital has moved over from the Top 50 Integrated Agencies to take the fourth spot and Open Partners, a new entry this year, sweeps in to take fifth place.

There have been some impressive moves into the top 10 too. Apadmi has moved five spots to number seven and Journey Further slides in at number 10, up from 13th place in 2022.

Regionally, the top 10 is a mix with Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle widely represented. The Yorkshire region is a hotspot for digital – with six agencies out of the top 10 having offices in the region.

Overall, agencies headquartered in the North West comprise 48% of the whole list (24 agencies). Yorkshire is home to 36% (18), while 16% of agencies are in the North East (8).

Very special mentions should go to Leighton (27th) for jumping 17 places, Tangent (18th) for climbing 17 spots, Embryo (30th) moving up by 12, and Engage Interactive (21st) for rising 10 places.

A range of new and returning entries have made it onto the ranking too – well done to Digitaloft (32nd), Velstar (33rd) and Six & Flow (46th).

Special event

We will be marking the release of this year’s ranking with a special event, to be held on Tuesday July 4th at KPMG’s Manchester office in St Peter’s Square.

Kicking off at 5.30pm, the event will bring together senior digital agency leaders for an informal evening of networking.

As well as shining a spotlight on this year’s ranking, highest risers and top 10, the event will also feature a special panel session where you can hear from agency leaders who all have valuable experiences on building your agency through acquisition.

Panel speakers will include:

Make sure you join in the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PNTop50.

The Prolific North Top 50 Digital Agencies 2023

Ranking from 2022 in brackets.

Ranking Company Locations Ownership Staff Key clients
1 (1) IDHL Group* Harrogate, Leeds, Manchester & Newcastle Independent 352 TTI, Hammonds, NEOM, Lords and Labradors, Leeds United FC
2 (2) Stickyeyes Leeds Interpublic 234 Hertz, 888, Adobe, Lloyds Banking Group, Etihad Airways
3 (3) Visualsoft Stockton-on-Tees, Newcastle & Manchester Independent 300 Daniel Footwear, Go Smile, HMV, Lusso, Brother2Brother
4 (-) CTI Digital Manchester Private 200 Visit Britain, Chester Zoo, British Council, Prezzo, Mind
5 (-) Open Partners Manchester Independent 105 Injury Lawyers 4U, Greene King, Sytner Group, Proviz, Source BMX
6 (6) Search Laboratory Leeds Havas Media Group 118 Burton Snowboards, Bloch, Appian, Explore Learning, Riviera Travel
7 (12) Apadmi Manchester Independent 221 Domino’s Pizza, NHS, Co-op, Chetwood, Dunnes Stores
8 (7) 26 Leeds Part of MSQ 123 Arla, Asda Money, Mitchells & Butlers, Wilko, CIPD
9 (5) AND Digital Manchester, Leeds, Halifax Independent 972 Zapmap, Missguided, Halfords
10 (13) Journey Further Leeds & Manchester Independent 151 Adobe, M&S, Virgin Money, Nestlé, Boots, Sky
11 (10) ICS-digital Leeds Spotlight Sports Group 115 PureGym, Infinox, Plarium, Betfair, 888
12 (8) CDS Leeds Bailie Group 90 Bank of England, National Rail, Insight Investment, Yorkshire Water
13 (17) Dark Matter Commerce* Manchester Independent 103 Beauty Bay, Bensons for Beds, Richer Sounds, Sports Shoes, Fitness First
14 (11) Add People Altrincham Independent 242 YouManage, Baby Boutique, Auto Lease Compare, Industville
15 (21) UNRVLD (Previously Delete / Kagool) Manchester Independent 165 Biffa, Flora, NTT, Barratt Homes, Parkdean Resorts
16 (9) Jellyfish Warrington & Manchester Fimalac (France) 47 Hiscox, Harrods, BT, Experian, Duracell
17 (15) Nexer Digital Macclesfield Sigma IT Consulting Group 111 Department for Education, Astra Zeneca, Convatec, NHS England, Mind
18 (35) Tangent Newcastle Independent 60 SAP, UK Power Networks, International Workplace Group, Reed, Egis
19 (18) The SEO Works Sheffield Independent 87 DHL, Jessops, Benenden Health, Effat University, Staffordshire County Council
20 (14) Mediaworks Newcastle, Manchester & Leeds Independent 192 Puma, Metro Bank, Cinch, Money Supermarket and Schuh
21 (31) Engage Interactive Leeds Independent 52 Whitbread, The Education Endowment Foundation, PGL, Yorkshire Tea, Dishoom
22 (16) Rise at Seven Sheffield & Manchester Independent 95 Parkdean Resorts, Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo, ODEON, Interflora
23 (29) Parallax Leeds Independent 58 Hexagon, SCIEX, Home Group, Clear Channel, Brass Monkey
24 (20) Code Computerlove Manchester Part of WPP plc 77 Hunter Douglas UK Retail Ltd, Bluestone Resorts Ltd, The Go Ahead Group plc, JCT600
25 (27) Connective3 Leeds & Manchester Independent 100 Wren Kitchens, Ocado, Compare the Market, Tapi, Love Holidays
26 (22) Summit Media Hull Independent 74 Ann Summers, Hutchinson 3G, Joules, Signet, Where The Trade Buys
27 (44) Leighton Newcastle upon Tyne Independent 80 British Airways, IAG Loyalty, EQUANS, Atom Bank,
28 (19) Evolved Search Newcastle upon Tyne Independent 53 Vanarama, Peter Vardy Group, Marks Electrical, tombola, Gridserve
29 (32) Cantarus Manchester Independent* 55 BigHand, INTO University Partnerships, Office for Students, Sesame Bankhall Group, Worldpay (FIS)
30 (42) Embryo Manchester Independent 62 Native Residential, HSS Hire, OTTY Sleep, Wonderbra, The Range
31 (23) Active Win Manchester Independent 137 Betfred, Wigan Warriors,, Peninsula, Bucky Bingo
32 (-) Digitaloft Kendal Independent 50 RVU, JD Outdoors, BOXT, Marshalls PLC, Bill Plant Driving School
33 (57) Shout Digital Newcastle Independent 50 Northumbrian Water, Parkdean Resorts, ICO, Newcastle Airport, Novuna (formerly Hitatchi Capital)
34 (-) Velstar Liverpool Independent 52 Castore, French Connection, Swan, Avon, De’longhi
35 (26) Fusion Unlimited Headingley & Leeds Independent 25 Halfords, University of Leeds, Healthy Stuff , Fuel Card Services, Asmodee
36 (36) Hedgehog Lab Newcastle upon Tyne Independent 59 AJ Bell, Tesco Bank, Aviva, Deliveroo, Santander
37 (24) Mando Liverpool Independent 49 USS; British Red Cross; JCB; SSE Transmission; International Institute of Strategic Studies
38 (28) Enjoy Digital Leeds Independent 61 Sherwin-Williams, Fortune Brands, Age UK, Northern Trains, The Co-operative Group
39 (25) Click Consult Cheshire Ceuta Group 51 UEFA, Post Office, Zurich, Viessmann, Chums
40 (33) Circus PPC Agency Leeds Independent 16 Miele, Cinesa, Trade Furniture, Great Wine Company, UK Radiators
41 (38) Enigma Newcastle Independent 36 National Grid, NHS, Superdrug, Solopress, Drager
42 (54) Degree 53 Manchester Independent 56 Betfred, Health Assured, GB Group, Co-op Bank, LiveScore
43 (40) Bring Digital Bolton Independent 31 Cotton Traders, American Golf, Yours Clothing, Beaverbrooks, Formula 1
44 (39) Fat Media Lancaster Independent 64 Lakeland, Four Seasons Healthcare, Yotel, Age Concern
45 (50) Bolser Leeds Independent 34 XBox, Flutter, Football Foundation, Microsoft, Budweiser
46 (52) OSF Digital Chester Independent 24 Ubisoft, L’Oréal, Sonos, LUSH
47 (-) Six & Flow Manchester Independent 32 Red Cross, Smeg, HubSpot, UKMail, Ebsta
48 (41) Clicky Media Chester Independent 43 Raleigh, Select Property, Redrow, Yelp, You Garden
49 (75) Blueclaw Leeds Independent 24 Jewson, Mobile Phones Direct, A1 Comms, Blinds Direct, Just Eat for Business
50 (47) 6B Digital Wakefield Independent 50 NHS Somerset, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, UK Health Security Agency


* IDHL Group includes WMG, Ingenuity Digital, NetConstruct, Ampersand, Pinpoint, Fostr, equation, Conesso and Statement.

† CTI has moved from the Top 50 Integrated Agencies to the Top 50 Digital Agencies.

* Dark Matter Commerce entered as Space48 last year.

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