THE TOP 150 PR CONSULTANCIES 2001: Top 150 Ups and downs - There were a few surprises at the top end of the table with acquisitions pushing some of the major networks ahead of rivals who nonetheless showed strong income growth. (1 of 2)

1. WEBER SHANDWICK UK - pounds 31,929,000

Following Interpublic's decision to create the 'biggest and best' PR

consultancy in the world, Shandwick International and The Weber Group

merged to create Weber Shandwick Worldwide.

The newly-created agency forms part of the McCann Worldgroup, a

communications empire covering advertising, media, events, branding, and

web solutions.

The consumer division was moved to London's Queen Street, which also

became the UK head office. 'Our strategy was to develop a consumer/

corporate team that was fully integrated, from both a client service and

a logistical point of view,' explains Lutz Meyer, chief executive


Fee income is up 11 per cent overall. 'We experienced strong growth in

fee income in 2000, largely as a result of organic client development

and growth in our key sectors such as technology, public affairs and

corporate PR,' says Meyer.

Major new business included Interbrew, BMW, Coca-Cola, London Luton

Airport, DfEE, Hitachi Europe, and HP Europe.

The agency also penetrated new sectors. These included change

management, headed by Dawn James hired from BAE Systems, social

responsibility, headed by Jo Naughton from the Prince's Trust,

litigation communication, headed by PA director Jon McLeod, and

education PR, headed by Jo Nove who joined from PA.

Existing clients placing more business included Unilever, Siemens,

Microsoft, Royal & SunAlliance and Binney & Smith.The biggest loss was

3i, which resigned following the departure of Shandwick chairman Lord


Several other senior figures left, including UK CEO Philip Dewhurst, who

has taken up a post at British Nuclear Fuels, deputy global CEO Michael

Murphy, Kristin Syltevik (technology), Claire Davidson (consumer) and

John Reynolds (financial).

Towards the end of the year the Welbeck consumer brand was integrated

into the main Weber Shandwick agency, to form a consumer/healthcare

division under Chris Genasi. The process of integrating the Weber and

Miller/Shandwick technology brands also commenced.

2. CITIGATE DEWE ROGERSON - pounds 31,562,608

Citigate Dewe Rogerson saw fee revenue up 18 per cent to pounds 31.5m

The agency principally handles financial and corporate PR and the figure

includes revenues from the main London agency, the Scottish and Northern

Ireland operations Smarts and PL PR, the online investor relations

company Marchcom and Key Communications since the date of


Richard Nichols, who was recently promoted to chief executive of parent

Incepta Group, said the rise reflected strong organic growth with a

strengthening of demand for financial and corporate services generally,

but also the impact of business coming to the UK as a result of the

success of overseas offices.

'We have developed a leadership position in many of the world's

financial PR markets and you are starting to see the impact of this

domestically. We are stimulating demand for London from more than 50

offices around the world,' he says.

Nichols says that the mix of the work is changing, with less focus on

the IPOs and M&A work and more at a corporate level in terms of simple

development of messages.

Among the wins were the world's third largest bank, Bank of America,

which appointed the agency to handle corporate PR and branding for its

European private equity arm, while high street shoe retailer and

manufacturer Clarks has appointed the agency alongside fashion PR outfit

Yellow Door.

Norfolk turkey farmer Bernard Matthews also took on the firm to oversee

all PR for his bid to take the listed company private; the John Lewis

Partnership appointed Citigate Smarts to help raise the profile of its

three stores in Scotland after a six-way pitch; and Sue Ryder Care hired

the company to work on the charity's upcoming relaunch.

Nichols says the agency has invested very strongly in online and new

media operations: 'We are seeing substantial opportunities coming

through - today it is hard to offer corporations an offline solution

only. We have housed our online expertise in Marchcom.' The agency won

business from a hatful of dot.coms during 2000, including,

internet portal LineOne and, which was at the time set to



'We have just had the most successful year in our history,' says Kevin

Murray, group chief executive at Bell Pottinger since October 2000.

The accounts submitted by the agency for the Top 150 show that fee

income grew by 24 per cent. According to Murray, revenue growth at Bell

Pottinger Communications was in excess of 40 per cent. 'This performance

is all the more spectacular given the strategic decision to separate

Good Relations from Bell Pottinger both in operating and reporting,'

adds Murray.

All the companies within the brand contributed to the growth. 'We

believe our success is attributable most of all to the results we

achieve for our clients,' says Murray.

During 2000, Bell Pottinger ESP was formed to target the entertainment,

sport and sponsorship market. Jon Tibbs was recruited from Hill &

Knowlton to head it up. IR Focus, an agency formed by City veterans

Chris Birks and Neville Harris, was bought in October to give the group

expertise in investor relations. Meanwhile Green Moon was rebranded as

Bell Pottinger Public Relations.

One of the biggest account wins was Emirates airline. The Engineering

Council asked the agency to advise on a reputation building programme,

while Bell Pottinger Financial won a brief from Abbey National on merger

plans with Bank of Scotland. Other six figure account wins included

Zimbabwe Democracy Trust, GlaxoSmithKline, Great Universal Stores,

Texaco, CGNU and KPMG. After two years Lucozade Energy was lost to H&K,

while Lucozade Sport was another casualty.

4. HILL & KNOWLTON (UK) - pounds 28,934,000

'We saw high growth across all parts of the business during the

economy's bull run,' says Hill & Knowlton chief executive Marie Louise

Windeler, explaining the agency's 15 per cent increase in fee


In particular, Windeler says there was 'major expansion' of the agency's

netcoms division, and of its change and internal communications and

sponsorship capabilities.

H&K handled the launch of online recruitment site Stepstone and of B2B

site BuildOnline. Matthew Blakstad was appointed to head the netcoms

practice, and the practice was expanded worldwide under London-based

head Tony Burgess-Webb.

Internal communications income also increased significantly, with

international internal communications programmes for Novartis and Compaq

among the highlights.

On the sponsorship side, briefs were acquired from Eurobet, the Rugby

Football Union, Cow Parade and

There was strong growth across the existing client base, particularly in

international corporate work. Motorola became a global client, and there

was major expansion of the Boots account to include Crookes and Boots

Healthcare International. There were successful repitches for BT and GE

Capital, and Windeler says the agency suffered no major client


But there were some factors limiting growth. 'Scarcity of good recruits

limited our capacity for new business,' says Windeler.

The agency decided to place a major emphasis on creative thinking. 'We

brought creativity and new media to the fore with investments and

innovations that included recruitment, events, training, the appointment

of a creative director and a purpose- built creative greenhouse,' says


Peter Lawlor was appointed to the post of creative director, and there

were several other senior appointments. John Rivet became European

consumer practice head, Carolyn Grant UK marketing communications

practice leader, Peter Thomas director of the European practice, Sally

Costerton leader of the technology practice, and Andy Pharaoh managing

director of the public affairs division.

5. COUNTRYWIDE PORTER NOVELLI - pounds 20,905,626

2000 was principally a year of organic growth for Countrywide Porter

Novelli, as fee income rose by a steady ten per cent. The agency sold a

majority share in CPN Scotland to local management to give them an

incentive to grow local business. But specialist agency Fodor Wyllie was

bought to increase CPN's presence in the technology sector. 'The

combined effect of the two transactions was pretty much to balance out,'

says Porter Novelli Europe CEO Neil Backwith.

'We addressed a number of important issues within our business this

year. In particular, growth in technology, strengthening our healthcare

expertise, and continued development of our presence in the financial

services sector,' adds Backwith.

Backwith is particularly pleased with CPN's pitch to new business

conversion rate, which was 75 per cent: 'We decided in 2000 to focus on

doing fewer new business pitches, but each one better. We aimed to win a

greater proportion, and succeeded.'

High-profile wins included United Distillers & Vintners and Barclays

Business Banking. The International Cricket Council appointed the agency

to work on issues management.

CPN strengthened healthcare, recruiting Carolyn Brown as ethical

healthcare director. New clients included GlaxoSmithKline, which

appointed the agency on a consumer brand and issues programme for

Ribena. Novartis Pharmaceuticals asked CPN to work on a healthcare

programme for its Starlix brand.

6. BSMG WORLDWIDE (UK) - pounds 17,919,214

The acquisition of government affairs agency GJW and financial PR agency

Square Mile helped propel BSMG into the Top 5 with a whopping 82 per

cent increase in fee income.

'2000 was a watershed year for BSMG UK, in which we moved away from

being just a highly-respected medium player, to a large-sized one, to

become a major force in the UK market and one of the handful of

companies capable of supporting a multi-practice, multi-country

account,' says chairman Europe Tim Sutton.

The agency also benefited from the growth of BSMG Worldwide's global

network, particularly expansion in Europe. The addition of offices in

Edinburgh, Cardiff, Prague and Budapest following the acquisition of GJW

also helped.

The healthcare, corporate and technology practices in particular

benefited as GJW and Square Mile were brought on board.

New clients on the corporate and public affairs front included

Tubelines, a consortium bidding for work on the London Underground.

Other six figure account wins for the agency included SCA and US

Biotech. For existing client British Midland, BSMG worked on a high

profile rebranding programme.

There were some casualties. The Tea Council, a client for almost 30

years, decided to look for a fresh perspective. Other losses included

Premier Brands and Nuffield. During the year, chief executive Nan

Williams and director Steve Gebbett resigned and David Brain arrived

from Burson-Marsteller, where he ran the European marketing practice, to

become BSMG UK chief executive.

7. BURSON-MARSTELLER - pounds 17,187,000

'2000 was a year of major reconstruction for B-M in the UK,' says

London-based CEO Allan Biggar. A change of strategy saw B-M switch

profit and loss responsibility back to country heads. 'The restructuring

and re-organisation took time to implement. And change in strategic

spending by Unilever directly affected the UK office,' says Biggar,

explaining the agency's two per cent fall in fee income.

To help implement the new structure, B-M made several key hires. Alison

Holmes was taken from the BBC to become director of corporate strategy,

and Leon Choi from Banardo's to become director of issues


Simon Milton arrived from Biss Lancaster to become director of

e-commerce, while David Draper became director of healthcare, Jonathan

Steffen director of change management, and Fiona Couper integrated

communication and business development director.

The agency also established a corporate social responsibility unit

because of the growing importance of CSR issues in corporate reputation

and stakeholder relations.

To help compensate for the loss of Unilever, there were a number of

important client wins. Venture capitalist 3i handed the agency a global

corporate communications and media relations brief. New consumer clients

included Danone and Jim Beam Brands. On the technology front, wins

included 3com.

Healthcare enjoyed particularly strong growth from existing clients. The

agency was asked to launch several new drugs by AstraZeneca, worked on

diabetes and malaria programmes for GlaxoSmithKline, and a new woman's

health portal for Johnson & Johnson. Telecoms companies BT and Alcatel

also gave B-M more work, as did management consultancy Accenture.

8. GCI/APCO - pounds 16,282,000

These two agencies within the Grey group have a colaborative structure

and therefore file figures together. The combined figures show 39 per

cent growth to pounds 16.3m.

GCI grew 44 per cent during the year, mostly through organic growth but

also due to acquisition (two small agencies were bought). GCI CEO Adrian

Wheeler says: 'It was a stonking year for us. I was particularly pleased

about the senior people we have hired and the kind of clients that are

now hiring us.'

GCI London grew by 52 per cent in 2000 of which 18 per cent came from

acquisitions. GCI bought healthcare consultancy Maureen Cropper

Communications and Delaney PR in a tactical drive to gain ground in the

financial services market. Both were about pounds 500,000 in


The GCI London company made some big wins in the corporate area

including TMP Worldwide - the second largest recruitment consultant

business in world and owners of The agency was also

appointed by the government's Small Business Service to launch it and

there has now been a reappointment for a second year.

The year finished with GCI's European HQ moving to London from Germany,

and a restructure into three groups: GCI London, GCI Financial and GCI


APCO showed strong growth too, particularly in healthcare, aerospace,

financial services and defence.

Among its wins in 2000, APCO won the public affairs account for Swiss

drugs giant Roche and package holiday company Airtours. The public

affairs and corporate positioning brief was awarded after a three-way

pitch and although unconfirmed, fees are thought to be in the six-figure


MD Nick DeLuca says the company was seeing fruits of its policy of solid

organic expansion with increasing pan-European work from its offices in

Berlin, Rome and Geneva. In terms of the services the agency offers,

DeLuca says litigation support and dispute communications are growth


'Increasingly companies are ending up in tricky disputes and a lot of

work needs to be done in shaping the environment around those cases, in

terms of media and broader opinion formers. This is something you are

seeing more and more people thinking about in Europe,' he says.

9. FINANCIAL DYNAMICS - pounds 15,180,046

Financial Dynamics saw a 40 per cent increase in 2000 fee revenue to

pounds 15.2m. The agency specialises in handling M&As and IPOs across

Europe and aims to work for the 'hottest properties' in four sectors:

industrials (eg infrastructure and manufacturing), consumer industries,

technology media and telecoms (TMT), life sciences/chemicals and

financial. Teams working in these sectors are supported by units

specialising in IR, corp comms, assignments and emerging markets.

TMT was one of the biggest growth areas for the agency last year. For

example, it handled the biggest-ever contested takeover when Vodafone

took over German company Mannesmann in a pounds 109bn deal. During 2000,

FD also handled the Royal Bank of Scotland's contested acquisition of

NatWest and the merger between Commercial & General and the Norwich


During 2000, the headcount grew by 55 per cent. The agency has almost

150 staff in the UK, a quarter of whom are non-British.

Seventy per cent of FD's revenues typically come from retained business,

and it claims not been impacted by the City downturn.

The agency has been running for 14 years and became a wholly-owned

subsidiary of Cordiant Communication Group in August 2000 when the

Chicago-based venture house that owned the agency, Lighthouse, was


10. GOOD RELATIONS - pounds 13,124,000

Following the strategic decision by the Chime group to separate Good

Relations from Bell Pottinger for both operating and reporting purposes,

fee income at the agency rose by a very healthy 33 per cent to top the

pounds 13m mark.

The impressive rise in fee income was helped by some high profile

account wins. Good Relations was appointed by Nescafe in September on a

consumer and trade media brief to handle its entire range of drinks,

including all the instant coffee drinks and chilled coffee-flavoured

drink Nescafe Ice.

Travelex, the world's largest operator of airport currency exchange

services, hired Good Relations and sister agency Smithfield Financial on

a six figure integrated financial, consumer and business-to-business

brief to raise its profile.

The agency also picked up a brief for the Government's UK Online

initiative, working with cabinet office minister of state Ian McCartney,

to 'make the information poor the information rich'.

In July Good Relations was appointed on a project basis by LDA - the

London Development Agency - to advise Mayor Ken Livingstone's

development and regeneration body on its setting up.

Among the losses for the agency was Britannia Rescue, which after a

re-pitch in March, decided to appoint Polhill Communications.

Good Relations chairman and managing director Jeffrey Lyes has been

replaced by Trevor Morris as chairman and Annie Fossey as MD.


Euro RSCG Corporate Communications saw a 16 per cent rise in fee income

this year. In 2000, the agency restructured to place greater focus on

corporate, brands, plus health and lifestyle.

'We saw strong growth in corporate reputation work and branding

assignments for clients such as UTC, Corus, Eurofighter and KPMG

Consulting,' says Biss Lancaster Euro RSCG chairman Graham


'We also built a strong position with broadcast and media clients,

including Time magazine, BBC External Services, HomeChoice and TV Travel

Shop,' he adds.

A broadcast specialism was developed with other new clients including

the BBC World Service and Extreme Sports Channel.

Other new clients included the Jamaica Tourist Board, business travel

company BTI UK, GlaxoSmithKline and the WH Smith Book Awards. There was

also a marked increase in project income from existing clients.

There was extra online work for UTC and more for Corus on its corporate

design programme. Alliance & Leicester asked the agency to work on extra

marketing programmes and Cussons appointed it to handle PR for its Carex


The agency worked on briefs from Tetley,while Bausch & Lomb sought

support for its work in refractive eye surgery and contact lens


There were some high-profile account losses including Anchor and Trebor.

And, the agency lost two main board directors. Pippa Sands became MD of

radio broadcasting company Unique and Fiona Noble became MD of Bain Euro

RSCG, the group's PR consultancy in Dubai. Senior arrivals included

Brian Beech, who joined as MD of Leedex Euro RSCG (North).

12. CHIME ONLINE - pounds 10,741,000

Chime Online is the group of marketing and comms companies within Chime

Communications that specialises in new technologies and media.

It was set up in March 2000 with the acquisition of Harvard PR and

Macclesfield-based Insight Marketing and Communications to provide

clients with PR, web marketing, online advertising and direct digital


The two companies continue to operate independently, with some

competitive clients, but it is the combined figures of these two

companies that bring the revenues to pounds 10.7m.

CEO Nick Taylor (former Harvard MD) says that since its formation, Chime

Online has experienced significant growth and success, winning clients

including Cognos and Cisco.

Other clients include blue-chips such as National Semiconductor,

Computer Associates, Sony, Hewlett Packard and Logica.

'The revenues have increased some 50 to 60 per cent at each company in

the year. The growth has come from the boom in technology. There was a

lack of bandwidth in terms of quality consultancies who knew the tech

market well, so we were in the position of being able to pick and choose

the work,' says Taylor.

Insight's biggest growth area is currently technical analysis. The

agency has a handful of clients including Hewlett Packard, on behalf of

whom they target technical analysts such as the Gartner Group and Ovum.

Taylor sees that area growing at 100 per cent a year.

Taylor says the company's PR businesses 'constitute a balanced client

base, rich in infrastructure providers, e-business enablers and

technology innovators. As the technology market continues to evolve, we

are in a prime position to support any company that recognises that

getting the most out of the digital economy is now a business

imperative,' he adds.

13. KETCHUM - pounds 10,570,163

Ketchum saw fee revenues increase 20 per cent to pounds 10.6m during

2000. The agency says most growth came from new business generated in

three of the four practice areas: corporate, healthcare and


The company says the year was the one in which the various mergers of

recent years bore fruit. There was also increased referral business from

the Ketchum global network, especially in the healthcare and corporate

practices, and increased business from existing clients.

Additional revenue also came from the introduction of new services

during the year including sports marketing, financial services, and

public affairs. The agency won Chase Bank as a global client in the

financial area last year, and public affairs services have been taken by

a number of corporate clients.

Managing director Europe James Maxwell says: 'Our move now is to segment

further into specialisms within each group. Within corporate, the

process is well underway with public affairs and financial.'

Ketchum's management board was re-organised during the year with Jane

Boardman and Richard Aldwinckle becoming joint MDs. A further change was

the appointment of partner Jon Higgins, who joined from the San

Francisco office, as London CEO.


A broader range of services and a focus on higher level strategic

consultancy helped Edelman grow fee income by 16 per cent.

'Our added-value offerings in interactive services allowed us to deliver

broad-based support to clients,' says CEO Tari Hibbitt. 'Increasingly we

have noted that clients require stronger strategic and business-based

strategies that go beyond traditional PR.'

This stance attraced several major international corporations. Microsoft

asked Edelman to work on corporate communications and community


There was a corporate reputation and media relations brief from Arthur D

Little and a corporate communications and CEO support brief from the


The formation of Edelman BioScience attracted a raft of healthcare


The division specialises in medical education in a market the agency

believes has substantial growth potential. The new NGO/Stakeholders

Relations unit also helped bring in a wider range of business.

Edelman resigned its accounts with the Tobacco Manufacturers Alliance

and British American Racing because of the tobacco connection. Mobile

portal Breathe was also resigned when the agency won the BT Genie


The public affairs group was folded into the corporate communications

group. Head of public affairs Nick Archer left to join Ogilvy PR and

Stuart Smith joined from the National Audit Commission as head of

corporate communications. Ashton Coleman-Smith came from Hill & Knowlton

to be head of consumer marketing and deputy MD. Jeremy Browne came from

the Liberal Democrats to be public affairs account director.


Fee income at Medical Action Communications (MAC) rose just three per

cent after a 32 per cent increase the previous year.

MAC UK managing director Smita Desai says: 'The small growth was due to

several factors, largely reduced budgets for some mature-product

accounts and product licence delays for product launches and resulting

reduced spend.'

Desai admits: 'We took our eye off the ball with regards to new business

development and this affected our ability to grow.'

MAC refused to specify any new client wins, growth from existing clients

or client losses. However, the agency is known to include Pfizer and

Bristol-Myers Squibb among its big name pharmaceutical industry clients.

One high-profile win it did publicise was an account worth more than

pounds 1m in fees to promote AstraZeneca's asthma drug Pulmicort on a

global basis.

The departure of CEO Gary Hobbs last September led to several changes.

Chris O'Toole became MAC president, reporting to Robert Blink, Quintiles

Medical Communications chief executive officer.

16. COLLEGE HILL - pounds 9,830,934

College Hill's impressive 32 per cent increase in fee income was due in

no small part to growth from the retained client base, especially in the

technology and biotech sectors. The agency increased its work for

several clients in these sectors, including Robotic Technology, and

biogeneric pharmaceutical cell line producer GeneMedix.

But there were also some major client wins. The world's largest

recruitment agency Adecco appointed College Hill to handle an

international marketing communications programme. The Government of

South Africa appointed the agency to advise on the country's

privatisation programme, which led to work on the first privatisation

for Telkom South Africa.

During the year, College Hill strengthened its IR and corporate

communications teams, recruiting several members of staff. 'The growth

of the IR and corporate teams recognises the growing demand from clients

for a broader, more closely integrated offer,' comments chairman, Alex


The IR team ran a series of international roadshows to develop client

relationships. And the Corporate Communications team boosted its client

base, notably with the Adecco account.

Retained fee income was boosted by project fees, including IPOs and M&A

support and other transaction work for Cordiant, Cobham, de Beers,

Lloyds of London, and Coca-Cola Beverages. Losses included some

dot.coms, plus Saatchi & Saatchi when it was acquired by French group

Publicis, and European broadcasting company Audiofina when it was bought

by Pearson Television.

During the year, the agency was restructured into 12 specialist

sector-focused groups, mapping the largest sectors in the FTSE 250.

These include insurance, telecoms, health, new media and technology, and

leisure and entertainment.

17. GRAYLING GROUP - pounds 9,290,600

Grayling Group has two key areas of activity - public relations and

public affairs, which comes under the Grayling Political Strategy

umbrella. The Group saw fee incomes rise six per cent to pounds 9.3m in

the last year.

Chief executive of the agency's UK PR business, Amanda Riddle, says

steady organic growth was largely behind the figures, and that it

continued the upward trend of the previous five years. During the year,

the agency picked up business from Microsoft, Unilever, Bestfoods,

Investors in People, Halifax, Radianz, Abbott and SCIO. Grayling

Political Strategy also picked up work for the Royal National Institute

for Deaf People following a five-way pitch last April. One loss involved

the Italian food-maker Sacla which signed up to Frank Public


One of the most important developments of the year was the restructure

that followed the takeover of the agency's former parent Lopex by the

international public relations/public affairs arm of Havas Advertising

Diversified Agencies Group.

This involved the appointment of Nigel Kennedy (Grayling London MD) as

chief executive of Grayling Group, Michael Burrell (Westminster Strategy

MD) as chairman of Grayling Political Strategy, Leighton Andrews as

Grayling Political Strategy chief executive, Peter Holden as Grayling

Healthcare chief executive and Riddle as chief executive of Grayling

Group's UK PR business. Riddle now has general reponsibility for

Grayling's PR operations in Nottingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Dublin,

Birmingham and Bristol.

Other developments during the year included a number of acquisitions

including Gilmore in Dublin, which has now been renamed Grayling

Gilmore, and Dunwoodie in New York. Last December Grayling also acquired

the specialist food and drink agency The PR Connection with MD Fiona

Campbell becoming a director of Grayling UK and reporting to Riddle. The

PR Connection, whose clients include Krug champagne and Nestle, had fee

income of over pounds 400,000.

Among the personnel changes, Grayling Political Strategy hired the

services of Welsh public affairs and political news veteran Glyn


18. COHN & WOLFE - pounds 8,408,892

'Our 33 per cent organic income growth in 2000 was a spectacular

performance from an already strong base,' enthuses Cohn & Wolfe managing

director Martin Ellis.

The creation of a digital division helped bring in fees of more than

pounds 1m. 'Our initial success with launching brands led us

into the creation of a dedicated digital division, concentrating on

m-commerce, interactive entertainment and technology infrastructure,

building on the expertise gained in the early interactive days but

capitalising on the new applications,' he explains.

New clients for the digital division included consumer electronics

company Samsung, which appointed the agency to work on corporate, trade,

consumer and B2B media relations while success with Orange Arrows

Formula 1 led to C&W being asked by Orange to work on UK corporate and

international PR programmes.

The development of a healthcare policy relations specialism helped bring

in more business. In the consumer arena, new clients included Superdrug,

Sky Tivo and Adidas. Having been named on Consignia's initial roster of

PR agencies, the agency won work on travel, banking and corporate


There were a small number of client losses. These included Reebok, for

unspecified reasons, and Deloitte Consulting due to a global realignment

of agencies.

The agency has continued to expand overseas, acquiring Kendo in Paris,

which was renamed Kendo Cohn & Wolfe. A Geneva office was opened at the

beginning of this year and director Victoria Dix was transferred there

to take up the reins. Fiona McMillan was promoted to board director,

while director Graham Fleet left to join IMG.

19. FISHBURN HEDGES - pounds 8,158,111

Fee income at Fishburn Hedges rose 21 per cent thanks to sustained

organic growth and some substantial new business wins early in the


'2000 was a great year for corporate communications,' says CEO, Neil

Hedges. 'The recognition that corporate brands need to be protected and

nourished rose up the boardroom agenda, and our primary focus on this

area paid handsome dividends.'

The corporate responsibility practice grew substantially, working for

clients including Shell and Unilever. The agency also gained an

increasing amount of public sector work. Winning a place on the DfEE's

PR roster led to various campaigns. There was also a greater volume of

work from the DETR. In December, FH won a brief from Transport for

London to communicate the Mayor's plans for congestion charging.

Another practice reporting a strong year was internal communication,

which carried out global briefs for Shell and ICI Paints. Increasing M&A

and integration work included a programme for AXA Insurance following

its acquisition of Guardian Royal Exchange.

Further new clients included Abbey National's wealth management division

Inscape, Powergen and Relate.

Income from existing clients rose 20 per cent. Work for

PricewaterhouseCoopers grew substantially. BT and BT Cellnet also

increased their spend.

A reshuffle at Sainsbury's led to the loss of an important client.

Zurich Financial Services and Nuffield Hospitals were also lost when

these organisations changed their strategy and restructured.

During the year, two founding directors, Dale Fishburn and Andrew Boys,

retired, while two others, John Williams and Charles Downing took

part-time positions. A new management team was promoted entirely from


Marc Moninski became deputy chairman, Philippa Dale-Thomas and Ron

Finlay joint managing directors, and Simon Matthews assistant managing


20. FREUD COMMUNICATIONS - pounds 7,484,716

'The main factor delivering another successful year of growth was the

management team increasing the amount of new business, which in turn

increased both productivity and opportunities for creativity,' says

Freud Communications creative director Paul Melody. Fee income rose by

12 per cent.

The agency won a host of household name clients across its speciality

areas of FMCG and media and entertainment. New consumer clients included

Nike, M&Ms, Braun Oral B, Organics, and BT Get Out There.

The appointment to the Freud board of Kate Lee from Icon prompted

significant growth area in film PR. 'The UK film industry is enjoying

its most significant revival in the past few decades. The appointment of

Lee and the brand promotional expertise within the agency has meant that

this sector has become an exciting and profitable development area in

PR,' comments Melody.

Lee's arrival also led to fresh opportunities in product placement and

brand promotional partnerships. Freud was appointed by Universal Studios

to work on a range of projects to broker promotional deals between their

films and other brands. Another growth area for the agency was


The agency reports no major client losses, 'except a limited and

anticipated number of new media businesses that weren't able to secure

further funding'.

'Expanding and deepening relationships with existing clients such as

Lever, Faberge, Nike and BT has provided the agency with a solid

foundation to move forward into 2001,' says Melody.

At the time of going to press, Freud was in talks with AMV about a


21. FIREFLY COMMUNICATIONS - pounds 7,076,003

'With our specialism being the digital economy, we were in the fortunate

position that many new sectors moved into Firefly's territory,' says

director Mark Mellor, explaining the agency's 25 per cent growth in fee


'Our internet expertise is much sought after, enabling us to work

successfully with organisations in the retail, financial services,

travel and leisure sectors at the same time as exploiting our core

strength working for internet infrastructure players.'

New clients included internet security company Baltimore Technologies

and search engine portal AltaVista. Firefly handled the launch and

subsequent crisis management for the withdrawal of AltaVista's free

internet service.

The agency's internet expertise attracted companies from a wide range of

sectors. Firefly was able to foresee the bubble bursting and

became ruthless in its qualification of new business leads.

Two agencies were spun off last August. Carrot Communications focuses on

digital economy clients, while Freshtoast is a PR services company

specialising in internet press centres.

There were no senior departures, but Ben Hill was appointed to the

board, and Rick Merry became eBusiness director, overseeing the roll-out

of intranet and client-facing extranet services.

Early in 2000 Firefly opened its first overseas office, in Paris. A

Munich office is scheduled to open this summer.

22. THE SHIRE HALL GROUP - pounds 7,019,000

Healthcare specialist Shire Hall grew fee income by 18 per cent thanks

to some impressive new business wins and strong organic growth in

existing key accounts.

The agency handles PR and medical education programmes in the UK and,

increasingly, internationally. To provide a truly global international

offering and to be closer to the headquarters of many of the larger

pharmaceutical companies, Shire Hall set up a US office in New Jersey in


Increased activity in the development of new drug treatments meant a

solid flow of new briefs. The agency was asked to work on pre-launch

programmes by Novartis UK on Zelmac, AstraZeneca on Iressa, and Lundbeck

on Almogran.

Impressive client retention rates contributed to the agency's


Shire Hall Communications achieved a rate of 100 per cent, while new

media specialist unit 4D 92 per cent, and Shire Hall International 84

per cent.

The merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham led to the loss

of an account in the HIV area when the newly-formed entity decided to

discontinue investment. Shire Hall International also lost its account

with Philips when a product failed to come to fruition. Losses for 4D

included GlaxoSmithKline and Lotronex.

As part of its international expansion plans, Shire Hall developed its

internal media facilities into a Global Media Unit.

New appointments included Elen Davies as board director of Shire Hall

Communications, Antonia Betts as board director of Shire Hall

International and Emma Sergeant as MD of 4D. Peter Field, MD of SHI,

left the agency.

23. GOLIN/HARRIS - pounds 6,662,000

Following IPG's decision to develop Golin Harris as a European brand,

newly appointed European managing director Sue Farr has set about

building a European network via acquisition and organic growth.

The year 2000 saw the repositioning of Golin/Harris International

(formerly Paragon) and Golin/Harris Ludgate under the umbrella brand,

and a dramatic joint rise in income to more than pounds 6.5m, putting

the group at number 23 in the table.

The London office of Golin/Harris International picked up a major piece

of business with a six-figure win from Nintendo of Europe, to build the

corporate brand and handle PR across Europe. Lloyds TSB handed

Golin/Harris a consumer brand-building campaign, which included raising

awareness of sponsorship activity, as well as building on the bank's

advertising campaign.

Golin/Harris Ludgate landed business for the University of Manchester's

Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST).

The consultancy poached Cardew and Co director Peter Gaze to expand its

financial division, and Jane Hurley to lead its technology division.

However a result of the merger, four senior director's left Ludgate's

public affairs division and went on to set up Cicero (see Ones to Watch,

p12), while Evans was brought in fresh from Steve Norris's mayoral

campaign office to head the public affairs offering.

24. FLEISHMAN-HILLARD - pounds 6,426,000

Flagged as 'one to watch' in last year's Top 150 report,

Fleishman-Hillard duly delivered by growing fee income by 78 per cent.

The acquisition of specialist healthcare agency CPR helped swell the

figures and grew by 42 per cent.

'When you double your business off a significant base in one year, you

have to have done something dramatically different and well. We

delivered for our people and our clients and they delivered for us,'

says Paul Blackburn, managing director in London, who took up his post

last spring.

The agency was restructured to allow significant involvement of all

employees in its management. The responsibilities of the main board were

changed to include only strategy, policy and culture. An operating board

was set up, comprising representatives from all levels of the agency, to

be responsible for its day-to-day running.

There was dramatic growth in all the agency's practice areas, with

technology leading the way, followed by consumer and then corporate.

Cross-practice working and pan-European or global programmes were also a


During the year, F-H developed an events management capability headed by

ex-Hollywood events expert Maimie Hume. Following the recruitment of

ex-ITN journalist Jonathan Hawker, a specialist broadcast media unit was

also built.

Other appointments included Roy Payne as European director of the

technology, media and telecoms practice and Jonathan Jordan as UK

director of the same practice. Charlene Lafontant was promoted to

director of the UK consumer marketing practice.

As part of an ongoing UK growth strategy, the agency merged with public

affairs agency GPC and acquired technology agency Herald in January


25. HARRISON COWLEY - pounds 6,311,128

Harrison Cowley increased its fee income by 17 per cent in 2000 thanks

mainly to more government/public sector and consumer brand work.

Winning a place on the Department for Education and Employment's roster

of agencies was an important step. The agency won its first DfEE project

shortly after its appointment to a campaign to encourage young people

from a wider range of backgrounds to consider university. It was also

appointed to handle the DfEE's National Training Awards.

There were high-profile account wins from Vladivar Vodka and premium

English ale Bombardier Beer. Royal Bank of Scotland briefed the agency

to work on a personal finance campaign for credit cards and Nuffield

Hospitals looked for support for its network of hospitals.

Restructuring at the agency saw the business divided into consumer and

corporate (B2B) divisions, with a business development unit on top of


'It has taken us considerable time and investment to hone our network

into something seamless that adds proximity and intimacy to campaigns

that really feed on that level of informed access. As a result, we have

found Harrison Cowley becoming increasingly attractive to government,'

says business development director Denise Mullen.

Linda Dodge was recruited as head of the new media division. Alan Twigg

was promoted from associate director to board director. Another

significant development was the setting up of an office in Sydney,

Australia. Harrison Cowley also became exclusive UK partner for the

IPREX worldwide PR network.

26. AUGUST.ONE COMMUNICATIONS - pounds 6,210,651

[TX] Spinning off from Text 100 in the summer of 1999, August. One

enjoyed its first year of trading in 2000. According to the agency's

estimates, annualised growth was 25 per cent.

UK managing director Tariq Khwaja says: 'We embarked on a strategy to

diversify beyond the technology sector and to broaden our range of

services to become a full-service consultancy. We had success on both


August.One structured its business into six centres of excellence: media

relations, public affairs, editorial, European services, analysts, and


Homebase handed it a corporate PR brief, and charity Mencap a government

affairs brief. SMG Radio Division asked August.One to work on government

affairs and regional media relations. In the technology sector, clients

included Dell and Bull Information Systems (now Integris). However,

growth was limited by the shake-out in the sector.

Katie Kemp, director of consulting, left to take a career break and

return to the US. Liz Nottingham was recruited to the board as HR

director, Fiona Callison became August.One Scotland general manager, and

Sophie Brooks became CEO in Sydney.

The agency opened a second office in Auckland last July. Hong Kong and

Paris offices have followed.

27. BRODEUR WORLDWIDE (UK) - pounds 6,112,397

The addition of several services helped fee income at Brodeur Worldwide

rise by 17 per cent. 'Brodeur has changed more in the last year than in

the previous five. We've evolved from principally a media relations

agency into a fully-fledged communications consultancy, working across

the communications spectrum and across continents. The specialist

services we have added now give us true differentiators in our sector,'

says CEO, Mike Copland.

Brodeur remained focused on the technology sector while creating various

new services for it. A corporate communications group was formed to work

on integrated programmes for major brands and employee communications

programmes. Brodeur Marketing was created to provide strategic business

consultancy. An analyst relations group was set up to address the

significant role that industry analysts play in the technology sector.

Another new offering was Brodeur Bfour, an integrated communications

service for early stage companies.

New clients came primarily from more stable technology sectors such as

telecommunications infrastructure companies. Cable & Wireless was the

most significant client win.

Brodeur's Interactive business handled increasing project work,

developing websites for companies. Several existing clients also asked

for more help with their positioning and messaging. The principal client

loss was Nortel Networks.

Following the departure of Stan Woods as managing director, Andrea

Burton was appointed COO for the traditional business units, while

Jonathan Simnett became vice-chairman. Duncan Chapple joined as director

of the analyst relations group, and Christina Gage as managing director

of Brodeur Marketing UK.

28. OGILVY PR WORLDWIDE - pounds 6,002,000

Ogilvy PR Worldwide saw fee revenue grow 23 per cent to pounds 6m during

2000, and the staff increased from 63 to 76.

Despite the strong growth, managing director Donna Zurcher says much of

her focus has been on recruiting staff to build the agency for the

future. For example, the agency started a public affairs consultancy in

October and employed Nick Archer, previously director of public affairs

at Edelman Public Relations, to run it.

To head the technology practice, which Zurcher says accounts for 25 per

cent of the London office's total fees, the agency has employed Simon

Quarendon, former deputy chairman of Flagship Group. Meanwhile Charles

Butler, who worked in health and medical in the company's New York

office, has come over to head the London practice.

Other important new recruits included Howard De Souza, from Good

Relations who now heads the corporate practice, and Barbara McCall from

US Ventro Corporation who also comes into the corporate practice as a


The company now has teams in place and activity across health and

medical, marketing, corporate, public affairs and technology


New business won during the last year included Novartis and BT. Bad news

included the loss of parts of the IBM account, which had been held for

five years. The agency's role now only involves the financial management

of IBM's 42 agency roster across EMEA.

29. THE RED CONSULTANCY - pounds 5,640,535

The Red Consultancy, set up in October 1994 by Lesley Brend and David

Fuller from Shandwick Communications, has had a strong year with fee

income showing 40 per cent growth to pounds 5.6m.

The deal under which the agency was purchased by Incepta in March of

this year underlines the attractiveness of the agency's multi-sector

client portfolio and its recent success.

The agency's strategy was to work across all areas of the business

except public affairs and the City. Chairman Lesley Brend says this

approach, combined with the favourable economic climate helped the

agency to a strong year in 2000.

She says: 'It was a year of huge category growth in the industry and

there was a lot of opportunity around. We just stuck to our business

plan which was to be multi-sector. Being multi-sector means we do not

have an off-the-shelf approach. Each client is different and every

programme unique.'

New business won last year included a six-figure account from Glaxo

Wellcome and a six-figure account from Visa UK to raise awareness of

online security, Lucozade work for SmithKline Beecham, a two-year

account with the Singapore Tourism Board to help boost visitor numbers,

and business for retailer PC World.

Other new clients have included Johnson & Johnson, McDonalds, DHL,

Amazon, Lever Persil, Early Learning Centre, Strongbow and


Early this year, the agency was also asked by Microsoft to implement the

UK campaign for the pounds 330m European launch of its gaming console,


The agency will work alongside Manning, Selvage & Lee. The year also saw

the agency winning four awards at the PRCA 2000 Outstanding Consultancy


The purchase of the agency coincided with a number of structural


Board directors Andrew Baiden and Mike Morgan were made deputy MDs,

Brend became chairman from MD, and Fuller became MD from principal


The deal was worth an initial pounds 12m, with that figure possibly

doubling depending on how the agency performs for the next three years.

Under the arrangement the agency will retain its name and all staff will

receive shares.

- The 2001 Top 150 includes more brands and companies than ever before.

For this reason, the positions on the table, and the year-on-year moves

up and down it, are not directly comparable with last year. We have

therefore removed the up and down indicators from the copy

- 2000 was principally a year of organic growth for Countrywide Porter

Novelli, as fee income rose by a steady ten per cent

- Hill & Knowlton (UK) saw strong growth across the existing client

base, particularly in international corporate work

- Burson-Marsteller established a corporate social responsibility unit

because of the growing importance of CSR issues in corporate reputation

and stakeholder relations

- Since its formation in March 2000, Chime Online has experienced

significant growth and success, winning clients including Cognos and

Cisco. Other clients include blue-chips such as National Semiconductor,

Computer Associates, Sony, Hewlett Packard, Siemens and Logica

- Ketchum saw fee revenues increase 20 per cent to pounds 10.6m during

2000. The agency says most growth came from new business generated in

three of the four practice areas: corporate, healthcare and consumer

- College Hill's impressive 32 per cent increase in fee income was due

in no small part to growth from the retained client base, especially in

the technology and biotech sectors

- One of the most important developments of the year for the Grayling

Group was the restructure which followed the takeover of the agency's

former parent Lopex by the international public relations/public affairs

arm of Havas Advertising Diversified Agencies Group

- Fee income at Fishburn Hedges rose 21 per cent thanks to sustained

organic growth and some substantial new business wins early in the


- Fee income at Freud Communications rose by 12 per cent. The agency won

a host of household name clients across its speciality areas of FMCG

consumer goods, and media and entertainment

- Fleishman-Hillard restructured to allow significant involvement of all

employees in its management. The responsibilities of the main board were

changed to only include strategy, policy and culture. A new operating

board was set up, comprising representatives from all levels of the

agency, to be responsible for its day-to-day running

- The Red Consultancy, set up in October 1994 by Lesley Brend and David

Fuller from Shandwick Communications, has had a strong year with fee

income showing 40 per cent growth to pounds 5.6m. The deal under which

the agency was purchased by Incepta in March of this year underlines the

attractiveness of the agency's multi-sector client portfolio and its

recent success.

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