THE TOP 150 PR CONSULTANCIES 2000: OUTSIDE LONDON - Top 50 outside London. Of the agencies based outside London 15 showed healthy growth rates of more than 25 per cent. Home Counties agencies fared particularly well in this year’s top 50

Of the top 100 PR consultancies in the Top 150 league table, 34 are based outside London, giving lie to the idea that London is the only place to make it big in the public relations industry.

Of the top 100 PR consultancies in the Top 150 league table, 34 are

based outside London, giving lie to the idea that London is the only

place to make it big in the public relations industry.



However, many of the companies in the Top 150 outside London also have

large London offices, notably Countrywide Porter Novelli, which

continues to top the Outside London top 50 from its Banbury base with

fee income of pounds 19.6 million. Newly appointed chief executive Neil

Backwith has also said that the group’s rise in fee income masked some

disappointing results from several of the smaller offices, including

Scotland. He says the difficult market north of the border was made even

tougher by the upheavals in local government and the effects of

devolution.



Harrison Cowley, at number four with fee income of pounds 5.4 million

also falls into this category. Its London office is the largest, but its

offices in Bristol and Manchester are not far behind and the agency

regards itself as a true regional network rather than a London company

with regional offices.



Head of the consumer division at Harrison Cowley, Alan Twigg, says the

network approach has helped the company make good growth in all its

offices during 1999. The agency held on to fourth place with an 11 per

cent rise in fee income to pounds 5.4 million. ’Some of the regional

offices have big accounts in their own right, such as Glenfiddich in

Scotland and the recently-won Department for Education and Employment

awards in Leeds, but we never leave our regional offices isolated. Our

biggest campaign during 1999 was Action 2000, the millennium bug

campaign, which was run by nine of our 10 offices, and Camelot, Marks

and Spencer and Rover are also run across the network,’ says Twigg.



The picture is further complicated because many agencies with their head

offices in London also have strong regional networks. Not least of these

is the Grayling Group, which has wholly-owned offices in Bristol,

Cardiff, Birmingham, Nottingham and Edinburgh.



Biss Lancaster also bought regional network Leedex PR in 1999, merging

it with existing regional agency GTPR to create a network of offices in

London, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, and Edinburgh trading as Leedex

GTPR.



Medical Action Communications, based in Egham, Surrey, held comfortably

on to its second place in the table with fee income up 32 per cent to

pounds 9.9 million. The fastest growing agency in the top 10, however,

was Grant Butler Coomber, based in Richmond, Surrey, which had growth of

45 per cent. The agency increased its capacity with the addition of

consumer and business technology divisions, as well as a marketing

services arm.



The combined fee income of the Top 50 based outside London rose by 17.5

per cent on 1998 to pounds 107,073,584. The agencies in the table

employed a total of 1,804 staff, 11 per cent more than 1998’s total of

1,622. The average income per head was pounds 59,353, compared to an

average of pounds 69,444 for all agencies in the top 150.



Healthy growth of more than 25 per cent was recorded by 15 agencies.



The highest of these was Midnight Communications in Brighton, which grew

by 113 per cent during 1999. Other high-fliers who almost doubled their

income during the year were Charlton Communications in Oxford, which

recorded growth of 93 per cent to pounds 823,730, and PS Communications

Consultants, which had 91 per cent growth, giving it fee income of

pounds 625,000 for the year.



More agencies experienced a downturn in 1999, eight compared to four in

1998 - but none as serious as the drop in fee income of up to 20 per

cent experienced by two companies last year. One of the biggest drops in

income was for Marbles PR, which dropped by 12 per cent with fee income

of pounds 750,607 after resigning the Freeserve account due to

conflict.



Nine companies grew by five per cent or less, the same number as last

year, including Staniforth PR in Manchester, which only grew by one per

cent last year.



The counties closest to London were again the most well-represented in

the table, with 27 entries from Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire,

Oxfordshire, Essex and Middlesex. Other strong PR areas were in the

cities of Leeds, Manchester, and Birmingham, and Scotland also had a

good showing, with two of the top ten agencies - Beattie Media and

Barkers Public relations, based in Glasgow.



Beattie Media moved up from six in last year’s table to take third place

this year,with fee income growth of 43 per cent.





AGENCIES OUTSIDE LONDON 1-25


Rank  Company                               Fee income (pounds)       %

                                                99            98  growth

1     Countrywide Porter Novelli*       19,584,259    17,912,610       9

2     Medical Action Communications      9,900,000     7,520,000      32

3     Beattie Media                      5,900,000     4,120,000      43

4     Harrison Cowley*                   5,402,112     4,849,411      11

5     Brodeur Worldwide*                 5,225,370     4,314,060      21

6     Harvard Public Relations           4,596,023     4,373,000       5

7     Grant Butler Coomber Group*        2,879,253     1,987,137      45

8     Staniforth Public Relations*       2,505,200     2,481,390       1

9     Craigie Taylor International       2,389,567     2,089,462      14

10    Barkers Public Relations*          2,209,215     2,223,875      -1

11    Golley Slater PR                   2,148,780     2,102,048       2

12    Brahm Public Relations             2,107,680     2,069,314       2

13    Communique Public Relations        2,089,890     1,414,055      48

14    DPA Corporate Communications       1,972,092     1,258,750      57

15    Le Fevre Communications            1,905,298     1,271,798      50

16    Companycare Communications*        1,824,981     1,464,696      25

17    Profile Public Relatioms           1,809,088     1,435,220      26

18    Noiseworks                         1,804,029     1,577,330      14

19    AD Communications*                 1,601,434     1,681,013      -5

20    Sinclair Mason                     1,518,076     1,466,126       4

21    Strategic Alliance International   1,506,635     1,354,670      11

22    Berkeley Public Relations          1,385,938     1,391,153    -0.4

23    Roger Staton Associates*           1,340,751       938,688      43

24    Lowe Fusion Healthcare             1,320,537     1,478,293     -11

25    Elizabeth Hindmarch

      Public Relations*                  1,138,456       753,655      51

26    Oast Communications                1,137,436       865,135      31

27    Quay West Communications           1,096,750     1,013,419       8

28    Warman And Bannister

      (Cambridge)*                       1,024,000       561,610      82

29    JBP Associates *                   1,013,578     1,146,780     -12

30    Ptarmigan Consultants*             1,001,111       874,480      14

31    Northern Profile                     899,370       723,240      24

32    Gordon Bruce Associates              889,000       749,000      19

33    EML                                  882,000       921,162      -4

34    Myriad Public Relations              878,817       844,850       4

35    Insight Group                        864,000       725,129      19

36    Seal Public Relations                862,964       805,268       7

37    The Whiteoaks Consultancy*           856,357       688,797      24

38    Splash Communications                847,820       846,861     0.1

39    Charlton Communications              823,730       426,467      93

40    Fodor Wyllie                         804,715       793,709       1

41    Stewart-Muir Communications          796,053       591,670      35

42    Wyatt International                  779,827       702,547      11

43    Willoughby Public Relations*         777,000       757,000       3

44    Marbles*                             750,607       852,166     -12

45    TTA Public Relations*                735,033       601,852      22

46    Vital Marketing                      705,551       512,404      38

47    Midnight Communications              687,989       323,670     113

48    Mere Communication                   662,865       533,187      24

49    PS Communications Consultants        625,000       328,000      91

50    IMS Public Relations                 607,347       396,959      53


Rank  Company                      Turnover 99    Staff    Location

                                      (pounds)   99   98

1     Countrywide Porter Novelli*   26,264,237  280  266   Oxfordshire

2     Medical Action

      Communications                17,830,000  126   92   Surrey

3     Beattie Media                  5,900,000   93   71   Glasgow

4     Harrison Cowley*               6,967,733   97  104   Various

5     Brodeur Worldwide*             6,443,796   84   72   Berkshire

6     Harvard Public Relations       5,218,972   61   56   Middlesex

7     Grant Butler Coomber Group*    3,720,185   54   37   Surrey

8     Staniforth Public Relations*   3,624,269   44   45   Manchester

9     Craigie Taylor International   4,468,402   51   50   Surrey

10    Barkers Public Relations*      3,099,922   41   44   Glasgow

11    Golley Slater PR               2,808,649   40   41   Cardiff

12    Brahm Public Relations         2,504,860   19   23   Leeds

13    Communique Public Relations    2,797,614   29   29   Manchester

14    DPA Corporate Communications   2,275,626   22   21   Surrey

15    Le Fevre Communications        2,450,739   26   20   Oxfordshire

16    Companycare Communications*    2,231,324   38   32   Berkshire

17    Profile Public Relatioms       2,181,224   28   24   Surrey

18    Noiseworks                     2,011,598   28   26   Berkshire

19    AD Communications*             3,972,350   21   21   Surrey

20    Sinclair Mason                 2,747,168   19   19   Leeds

21    Strategic Alliance Intl        1,605,732   19   18   Bucks

22    Berkeley Public Relations      1,766,227   28   25   Berkshire

23    Roger Staton Associates*       1,783,402   14   11   Bucks

24    Lowe Fusion Healthcare         1,982,469   19   24   Surrey

25    Elizabeth Hindmarch

      Public Relations*              2,278,902   25   22   Berkshire

26    Oast Communications            2,739,003   31   23   Kent

27    Quay West Communications       1,611,329   20   18   Essex

28    Warman And Bannister

      (Cambridge)*                   3,130,017   21   15   Cambridge

29    JBP Associates *               1,128,318   20   24   Bristol

30    Ptarmigan Consultants*         1,570,062   26   20   Leeds

31    Northern Profile                 899,370   30   26   Leeds

32    Gordon Bruce Associates        1,217,000   13   13   Bucks

33    EML                            1,312,370   21   20   Surrey

34    Myriad Public Relations        1,288,264   23   22   Cambridge

35    Insight Group                  1,009,316   20   19   Berkshire

36    Seal Public Relations          3,526,402   21   20   Birmingham

37    The Whiteoaks Consultancy*     1,088,470   19   15   Surrey

38    Splash Communications          1,333,536   18   17   Bath

39    Charlton Communications          990,572   24   12   Oxfordshire

40    Fodor Wyllie                   1,051,168   24   18   Surrey

41    Stewart-Muir Communications      803,986   13   12   Middlesex

42    Wyatt International            2,759,787   14   14   Birmingham

43    Willoughby Public Relations*   1,331,390   26   25   Birmingham

44    Marbles*                         953,773   14   17   Oxfordshire

45    TTA Public Relations*            925,516   20   17   Surrey

46    Vital Marketing                1,233,388   13   11   Warwickshire

47    Midnight Communications          700,058   19   10   East Sussex

48    Mere Communication             1,032,196   17   15   Cheshire

49    PS Communications Consultants    685,000   17   14   Edinburgh

50    IMS Public Relations             776,120   14   12   Wiltshire

All figures relate to the year ended 31 December 1999.

Fee income = PR fees + mark-up.

* Denotes PRCA membership.



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