The Prolific North Top 50 Integrated Agencies 2021

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

Welcome to this year's edition of the Top 50 Integrated Agencies, the benchmark list of the highest-performing agencies working across specialisms in the region.

Once again, the Top 50 list has been compiled by research leader Mustard, the independent agency. This list sits alongside our influential rankings for PR Agencies and Digital Agencies - the latter of which will launch soon with a call for information from those hoping to get into the Top 50.

The final ranking is based on a range of factors, including balance sheets, turnover, headcount and pre-tax profit. Data is confirmed both with financial reporting company Bureau van Dijk and directly with many of the agencies themselves. As part of this, we do not itemise the financial details discussed. 

Agencies were not given the opportunity to choose whether they’re included or not.

The 2021 list is once again a vital resource providing a barometer of the health of the sector this year. As an independent ranking, it is widely relied upon across the North, so well done to all those who made it onto the list.

It will form part of the 2021 Northern Agency Guide, Prolific North's print product introduced to show off the most influential and successful agencies in the region. Find out more information and order the 2020 edition here - information about the 2021 guide will be coming very soon.

Key findings

For another year, McCann Manchester has hit the top spot, making it eight years the agency has been in pole position - while Havas Lynx is yet again at number two. But there is a change at number three, with APS Group spectacularly jumping onto the list straight into the third position.

And it’s agencies based in or working in Manchester who dominate the list in general, as well as the Top 10 - with 20 from the final 50 having an office in the city, and seven out of the leading 10 in Greater Manchester.

A range of new entries and returning names have made it into the ranking in 2021 and deserve congratulations - among them Boutique (33rd), Fox Agency (34th), C21 (40th), Ilk (42nd), Social (43rd), 10 Associates (46th), Manifest (47th) and Zut (48th).

High climbers

  • Climbing a stunning 33 places is Leeds-based Aire Global, who reached 16th having made it onto the list in 2020.
  • Another huge performance came from Seventy7, the well-established collective which has been in business for more than 40 years. They climb 23 places to reach 23rd place.
  • Ponderosa and Cirrus deserve recognition, climbing 16 places and 14 places respectively to hit 25th and 21st.
  • After dropping 10 places in 2020 to number 17, The Fresh Group has regained ground, jumping to number 12 in 2021.
  • Manchester’s Love Creative continues its successful run, reaching number 10 having climbed two places to 13th in 2020.

The Prolific North Top 50 Integrated Agencies 2021

Previous year's ranking in brackets

Ranking

Company

Private / Group

Location

Employee count

Key clients

1 (1)

McCann Manchester 

Interpublic

Manchester

353

Aldi UK and Ireland, HSL, Smyths Toys, Magnet, CrossCountry Trains 

2 (2)

Havas Lynx Group

Havas Network (France)

Manchester

403

Sanofi, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Roche

3 (-)

APS Group

Private

Cheadle Heath

500

Ford, Superdrug, Aegon, Department for Health, RSPCA

4 (4)

Intermarketing

Advantage Smollan Group

Leeds, Manchester

219

adidas, Moda Living, Chester Zoo, Reebok, MAOAM

5 (5)

HOME

Private

Leeds

169

Jet2.com, Jaguar Land Rover, Royal Canin, Chicago Town, Dr. Oetker

6 (8)

MB Advertising & Marketing

Private

Sheffield

67

Drive, JCT 600, Marshall Motor Group, Motus, Robins & Day

7 (7)

The Creative Engagement Group

Huntsworth PLC

Manchester

180

AstraZeneca, Roche, Google, BBC, HSBC

8 (10)

BJL

Dentsu Aegis Network

Manchester

67

Ronseal, Skipton Building Society, Florette, Craghoppers, Music Magpie

9 (11)

Drummond Central

Private

Newcastle

39

bet356, Greggs, People's Postcode Lottery, Flooring Superstore, Northumberland County Council

10 (13)

Love Creative

Private

Manchester

61

BrewDog, Botanic Lab, Häagen-Dazs

11 (12)

Momentum Instore

Private Handforth

89

Tesco, Sainsbury's, BP, Google, Harry's

12 (17)

The Fresh Group Private Cheadle 72

Dixons Carphone, The Co-operative, Samsung, Sunbelt, Bentley

13 (19)

Propaganda Private Leeds 50

Clipper Logistics, Roberts Bakery, Love Hemp, O2 Canada

14 (6)

Jaywing Public (AIM) Sheffield, Leeds 290

First Direct, Castrol, Domino's, Yorkshire Water, Pepsi Max

15 (9)

Gecko Private Leeds 63

Volkswagen, Grosvenor Casinos, EuroCamp, Peninsula, Mecca Bingo

16 (49)

Aire Global Private Leeds, Manchester 59

Kelloggs, Unilever, AB InBev, Mondelez, Quorn

17 (21)

SteinIAS MSQ Partners Bollington 66

ABB, HSBC, Ingredion, Oracle, Republic Services

18 (18)

Uniform Private Liverpool 64

Ideal Standard, Unilever, Innocent, Liverpool FC, Primark

19 (15)

Elmwood Private Leeds 116

Carlsberg, Alpro, Joii, Macallan, Amstel

20 (22)

Big Brand Ideas Private Macclesfield, Manchester 65

Hollister and Dansac, Hoover, Halfords, Heineken, Greene King

21 (35)

Cirrus Private Wilmslow 57

BT, Allianz, EE, Bupa, Sainsbury's Argos

22 (16)

TBWA\MCR Private Manchester 61

Jacamo, Alton Towers, Remington, Pizza Hut, Warwick Castle, Beaverbrooks

23 (46)

Seventy7 Private Mancheter 49

Carrier, PartyLite, Ego Shoes, Tom Ford

24 (27)

Shoot The Moon Private Manchester 50

Dnata, Synexus, Lakeland, Morrisons, Pets at Home

25 (41)

Ponderosa Private Leeds 45

Russell Hobbs, ABI, Hisense, George Foreman, PDI

26 (25)

CreativeRace Private Leeds 58

Asda, Icelolly.com, Radley, Evans Cycles, The Deal Depot, Greggs

27 (20)

Refinery Private Manchester 61

Manchester Arndale, Clearpay, EGO, Siemens, Varta, AkzoNobel

28 (42)

driven Private Wilmslow 20

Go Outdoors, Dr Wolff, Carshop, Subway, Crown Paints

29 (26)

Principles Private Leeds 30

Sherwin Williams, Seabrooks, Arla, Astonish Cleaning, Freaks of Nature

30 (31)

Heckford Advertising Private Preston 35

Priestley College, Wainhomes, Sandcastle, Vimto, Tomy

31 (14)

Media Agency Group

Private Manchester 35

I saw it first, Bermuda Tourism, Greene King, Malaysia Tourism, Sykes Cottages

32 (24) 

A&P Private Preston 42

DAF Trucks, Redrow Homes, Furness Building Society, Princes, VEKA

33 (-)

Boutique Private Leeds 23

Costcutter, Ryobi Power Tools, Limitless Digital, Craghoppers, Graham & Brown

34 (-)

Fox Agency Private Leeds 25

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Total, Brother Europe, BOBST, BearingPoint 

35 (32)

Delineo Private Manchester 28

Tech Data, Certas Energy, Cumberland Building Society, Next Generation Travel, Penguin Random House

36 (30)

MC2 Private Manchester 34

NPIF, Mondelez International, Crawford Healthcare, Livingbridge

37 (40)

One Agency Private Manchester 30

Footasylum, Couture Club, Hype, Tinsdills, BJ’s Bingo, Charlotte Tilbury

38 (39)

Alchemy Media Private Harrogate 11

Boost Drinks, Harrison Spinks, Methodist Homes, Primula, Hisense

39 (23)

Workhouse Marketing Private Preston 39

Stax Trade Centres, Crown Paints, Hempel, Shell, Topps Tiles

40 (-)

C21 Private Altrincham 15

Medtronic, Essity, ForHousing, Icon LifeSaver, GMHSCP, NHS

41 (37)

Parker Design Private Northwich 31

AstraZeneca, Ineos Group, Thomson Reuters, Sage UK, United Utilities

42 (-)

Ilk Private Leeds 24

Brewdog, Asda, CityFibre, Couture Living, Portakabin

43 (-)

Social Private Manchester 34

GC Business Growth Hub, NP11, UK Sport, Laurus Extra MSA

44 (33)

Cravens Private Newcastle 18

Ladbrokes Coral, London City Airport, Gala Interactive, First Bus, Sail GP

45 

Jellyfish Fimalac (France) Warrington, Manchester 53

Aviva, rackspace, DECKERS, PUIG

46 (-)

10 Associates Private Huddersfield 12

Company Shop Group, Graham and Brown, ISN, Halfords, ao.com

47 (-) 

Manifest Private Manchester 8

Chivas Brothers, Gousto, Hotels.com, Manchester International Festival, Gousto, Tommee Tippee

48 (-)

Zut

Private

Liverpool, Manchester

18

Betfred, Liverpool FC, Chester Racecourse, The Jockey Club, EFL

49 (38)

Live & Breathe

Private

Leeds

67

Kraft Heinz, Dixons Carphone, Peroni, The Happy Egg Company

50 (43)

Bluestorm

Private

Hull

30

Greenport Hull, Hollands Pies, Lincat, Purity, Wiltshire College