TOP 50 CONSUMER LEAGUE TABLES: Brand vision - The bursting of the bubble had an interesting side-effect as traditional, offline companies woke up to what consumer PR could achieve

If 1999 was the year of the, then 2000 was the year of the

'dot.gone'. When the internet bubble burst, many people lost out, and

the PR sector was no exception.

But despite the internet's stockmarket losses and heavily publicised

closures, the figures for the year 2000 seem to indicate that, for the

consumer PR sector, the boom more than made up for the gloom. However,

it's still early days, and we will have to wait until next year's league

tables to see who really suffered and who clawed their losses back


Gill Brown, Band & Brown group managing director, admits that many

agencies are still paying for their mistakes:

'We did have problems with dot.coms who didn't get their second-round

funding, and we do still have small debts as a result, so I'm not

surprised that many of the niche PR agencies have really suffered.'

But like many in the marketing communications sector, Band & Brown has

learned much that will continue to be useful. 'We would be very wary of

working for a that's a start-up, but we're coming into our own

by talking with the traditional brands, such as the RAC, about their

online channels,' she says.

And the so-called old-economy brands, such as the RAC, are themselves

learning some useful lessons from the crash. Many of the

traditional consumer brands are beginning to look at what the cyber

brands achieved - in terms of awareness - with PR alone, and are setting

out to grab a piece of the action for themselves.

'One of the interesting things around dot.coms is that it has driven a

refocus on to media relations,' says Jill Rennie, Cohn & Wolfe director

(consumer division). 'Seeing what some of the dot.coms achieved in the

news agenda has forced the traditional sector clients to think again

about their media relations efforts and what they can achieve in other

areas, around sponsorships and events.'

A further benefit has been a bedding down of new media, where consumer

PROs and clients alike have taken the online world off its hi-tech

pedestal, and put it into a more accessible position as an additional -

and key - channel of communication.

Indeed, it is true to say that 2000 saw a change in attitude towards

consumer PR. It has been able to shrug off much of its reputation for

'puff' and prove that while it may know how to have a good time, its

underlying ethos is deadly serious. Of course, integral to this process

was the continued rise of the consumer sector, as well as the growth

experienced by the healthcare and technology sectors.

In an effort to reach out to these audiences, integration of PR

disciplines continued apace. In the face of client demand for greater

consumer input into their brands, many of the larger full-service PR

agencies either cross-sold or combined their communications offerings

into a formal proposition.

For example, Hill & Knowlton created a consumer technology division to

match its recently restructured consumer healthcare offering.

The medium-sized players, however, rose to the challenge by blending

their various skills areas on a case-by-case basis. 'Basically, we have

a system where each client sits in whichever division we think has the

best mix for them,' says Rennie. 'And each account has a core team that

draws in other expertise when necessary.'

This means that despite having a strong consumer focus, C&W clients such

as Orange and Samsung, for example, formally reside in the agency's

digital division. Traditional FMCG brands, such as Lever Faberge's

Domestos, belong to the agency's consumer division with input from the

healthcare division around generic messages relating to hygiene.

The most marked trend in the consumer market during the past year was

the rapid move towards industry consolidation, which has shown no sign

of abating in 2001. Most recently, Incepta has acquired The Red

Consultancy, the freshly formed Hatch Group has snapped up MacLaurin,

while Manchester-based Communique Public Relations has joined


The message coming loud and clear is that consumer PR counts - and the

fastest way to gain specialist expertise is to go out and buy it.

As Burson-Marsteller chief executive (UK) Allan Biggar says: 'The

formidable commercial success Communique has achieved in the areas of

guerrilla and experiential marketing, combined with the different sector

experience, will fast-track Burson-Marsteller's growth in marketing. It

will also add a new dynamic to the London agency.'

Communique managing director Paul Carroll adds that the deal sent out

some shock waves in the north-west. 'But ultimately, you can only go so

far yourself, then you need some help,' he adds.

The one noticeable exception to this consolidation fever is Freud

Communications,which - while refusing to officially confirm or refute

the rumours - is believed to be negotiating a buy-out from its parent,

Omnicom-owned ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO.

A surprising move maybe, but one that the independent consumer

consultants see as potentially healthy, because it can be seen as

encouraging clients to put their brand before their consultancy.

'Clients need to select best-in-class agencies, not best in group

agencies,' says Jackie Cooper, co-partner of the UK's leading PR

consumer independent, Jackie Cooper PR. 'Bringing agencies on board just

because they are owned by a network ad agency - and almost regardless of

their talent and ability - is no good for the brand and no good for the

reputation of PR.'

But as the league table clearly demonstrates, consumer PR is a mixed

bag, with the big multinationals at one end, and the niche hi-tech or

lifestyle specialists at the other.

Despite only six per cent growth in this area, Hill & Knowlton remains

far and away the biggest consumer PR agency for 2000. But compared to

the picture last year, where more than pounds 3m separated it from its

nearest rival - Freud - the consumer PR landscape appears to levelling


'One of the big issues for us is potential client conflicts - which

makes achieving growth more challenging,' says H&K managing director

(brand marketing) Alison Eyles-Owen.

The boutiques, however, feel that they are able to provide a more

focused offering than their larger rivals. 'We differentiate our

offering from the big boys by being more specialist,' says Phipps

managing director Nick Hindle, whose agency spent 2000 strengthening its

food and drink expertise.

The problem for the niche independents, however, is that while they may

sometimes get the big brand name accounts - they often miss out on the

big budgets that normally come with them. However, those outside the

large multinational groups fight back by highlighting that the global

consumer brands still tend to be marketed differently in each

geographical territory.

In addition, many claim that their in-depth sector knowledge sets them

apart by giving them the ability to inform clients beyond the PR


Nexus Choat CEO (food & drink, healthcare and technology) Jim Horsley

explains: 'The issue is not just how to PR a brand. Increasingly,

clients are looking for a high level of brand knowledge, and people who

can have sensible conversations about how to build a brand and apply

strategic thinking to communications programmes.'

Accordingly, many consumer PR agencies have taken a leaf out of their

advertising colleagues' book to offer market intelligence as well as

planning and creative functions.

'We have a creative team because consumer work is changing as we

navigate upstream beyond PR, more into communications and marketing

strategy,' says Lexis co-chief executive Bill Jones. 'Now it's about

being consistent to a brand strategy, with a clear vision of what a

brand represents, while being able to challenge strategies and exploit


Likewise, a tougher marketplace means that clients have been forced to

be more courageous with their brands in order to obtain stand-out. To

this end, consumer PR agencies have sought to bring a certain amount of

glamour to their media relations activities.

Celebrity endorsements, sponsorships and viral marketing have become

more widely used tools in the consumer PR box. 'Things are really

exciting at the moment, with budgets shifting from advertising to PR as

clients look for creative supremacy,' says Freud Communications creative

director Paul Melody.

His agency works with clients such as Lever Faberge, whose male grooming

brand Lynx is involved with an annual dance music event. The brand also

recently set up Lynx barber shops in key locations in and around


'People talk about youth marketing, but more and more it's about

engaging audiences through real brand experiences, and ensuring that

ideas are as relevant, innovative and dynamic as they can possibly be,'

says Melody.

Of course, at the heart of all these developments is a fragmenting media

and fragmenting audiences, where more far-reaching communication

strategies are needed to deliver better targeting.

'One blanket message through a single media channel no longer achieves

cut through,' says Porter Novelli global head (consumer practice) Pippa

Evans. 'You need to be able to reach different segments of your audience

in an appropriate way, at an appropriate place and time, in their

relevant language.'

This continues to be especially pertinent in the valuable and elusive

youth market. But as audiences across the board develop a greater desire

for knowledge about the products and companies they buy into, so brands

and their PROs are rising to the challenge of establishing greater

interactivity and two-way dialogue with their consumers.

While all the industry discussion is of economic slowdown, and the PR

industry as a whole frets about the threat from other marketing

disciplines, consumer PR specialists appear to be fully armed, ready and

able for challenges ahead.


Rank Agency name Consumer PR Consumer PR

fee income fee income

00 99 00 99

1 1 Hill & Knowlton 9,056,342 8,555,580

2 2 Freud Communications1 7,484,716 5,016,290

3 7 Countrywide Porter Novelli 5,435,463 3,525,167

4 5 Ketchum 4,439,468 3,874,851

5 4 Biss Lancaster Euro RSCG2 4,287,045 4,165,768

6 8 Jackie Cooper Public Relations 4,061,824 3,523,403

7 6 Harrison Cowley 4,039,122 3,727,457

8 - Burson-Marsteller 3,953,010 -

9 - Weber Shandwick UK3 3,831,480 -

10 15 The Red Consultancy 3,045,889 2,208,673

11 11 Nexus Choat 2,851,520 2,719,980

12 16 Consolidated Communications 2,598,579 2,171,219

13 14 GCI/APCO4 2,442,300 -

14 17 Lexis Public Relations 2,305,905 2,076,271

15 9 Edelman Public Relations Worldwide 2,196,086 2,970,233

16 10 Cohn & Wolfe 2,018,134 2,839,164

17 44 Joe Public Relations 1,975,582 919,040

18 22 Grayling 1,951,026 1,670,879

19 30 Firefly Communications 1,769,001 1,356,500

20 42 Communique PR 1,728,790 1,044,945

21 23 Richmond Towers 1,653,000 1,637,800

22 13 BSMG Worldwide 1,612,729 2,455,292

23 20 Manning Selvage & Lee 1,510,320 1,813,140

24 12 MacLaurin 1,510,076 2,517,657

25 18 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 1,454,000 2,001,773

26 - Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide 1,344,448 -

27 - Golin/Harris 1,332,400 -

28 28 Staniforth Communications 1,309,909 1,377,860

29 32 BMA Communications 1,297,267 1,281,776

30 40 Fleishman-Hillard 1,220,940 1,118,303

31 - Phipps Public Relations 1,168,583 -

32 38 Camron Public Relations 1,156,588 1,163,596

33 32 The Shire Hall Group 1,123,040 1,180,600

34 41 The Communication Group 1,081,080 1,053,080

35 45 BGB & Associates 1,067,545 882,838

36 - Fishburn Hedges 1,060,554 -

37 43 Craigie Taylor 980,678 931,931

38 - Shine Communications 962,590 -

39 27 Band & Brown Communications 940,269 1,496,804

40 24 Holmes & Marchant Counsel 867,360 1,570,710

41 49 Darwall Smith Associates 860,353 786,742

42 39 Bite Communications 855,828 1,143,765

43 - Midas 830,642 -

44 50 Elizabeth Hindmarch 823,891 774,150

45 33 Munro & Forster Communications 803,256 1,265,776

46 - Nelson Bostock Communications 781,832 879,873

47 - Ptarmigan Consultants 776,423 -

48 - Colman Getty 767,859 -

49 - Grant Butler Coomber Group 756,516 -

50 - Talk Loud PR 753,392 -

Rank Agency name % Total PR % fee

growth income income

00 99 00

1 1 Hill & Knowlton 6 28,934,000 31

2 2 Freud Communications1 49 7,484,716 100

3 7 Countrywide Porter Novelli 54 20,905,626 26

4 5 Ketchum 15 10,570,163 42

5 4 Biss Lancaster Euro RSCG2 3 11,281,698 38

6 8 Jackie Cooper

Public Relations 15 4,061,824 100

7 6 Harrison Cowley 8 6,311,128 64

8 - Burson-Marsteller - 17,187,000 23

9 - Weber Shandwick UK3 - 31,929,000 12

10 15 The Red Consultancy 38 5,640,535 54

11 11 Nexus Choat 5 4,256,000 67

12 16 Consolidated Communications 20 5,197,157 50

13 14 GCI/APCO4 - 16,282,000 15

14 17 Lexis Public Relations 11 4,521,382 51

15 9 Edelman Public

Relations Worldwide -26 10,457,554 21

16 10 Cohn & Wolfe -29 8,408,892 24

17 44 Joe Public Relations 115 2,232,296 89

18 22 Grayling 17 9,290,600 21

19 30 Firefly Communications 30 7,076,003 25

20 42 Communique PR 65 2,881,316 60

21 23 Richmond Towers 1 4,350,000 38

22 13 BSMG Worldwide -34 17,919,214 9

23 20 Manning Selvage & Lee -17 4,872,000 31

24 12 MacLaurin -40 4,871,212 31

25 18 Citigate Dewe Rogerson -27 31,562,608 5

26 - Ogilvy Public

Relations Worldwide - 6,002,000 22

27 - Golin/Harris - 6,662,000 20

28 28 Staniforth Communications -5 2,910,909 45

29 32 BMA Communications 1 1,907,745 68

30 40 Fleishman-Hillard 9 6,426,000 19

31 - Phipps Public Relations - 1,230,087 95

32 38 Camron Public Relations -1 1,156,588 100

33 32 The Shire Hall Group -5 7,019,000 16

34 41 The Communication Group 3 4,158,000 26

35 45 BGB & Associates 21 1,940,990 55

36 - Fishburn Hedges - 8,158,111 13

37 43 Craigie Taylor 5 2,580,732 38

38 - Shine Communications - 962,590 100

39 27 Band & Brown Communications -37 4,701,345 20

40 24 Holmes & Marchant Counsel -45 1,807,000 48

41 49 Darwall Smith Associates 9 1,075,441 80

42 39 Bite Communications -25 3,539,403 24

43 - Midas - 830,642 100

44 50 Elizabeth Hindmarch 6 1,128,618 73

45 33 Munro & Forster

Communications -37 2,677,520 30

46 - Nelson Bostock

Communications -11 3,127,329 25

47 - Ptarmigan Consultants - 1,493,121 52

48 - Colman Getty - 1,096,941 70

49 - Grant Butler Coomber Group - 3,602,455 21

50 - Talk Loud PR - 753,392 100

Rank Agency name Staff Location

00 99

1 1 Hill & Knowlton 368 London

2 2 Freud Communications1 131 London

3 7 Countrywide Porter Novelli 264 London

4 5 Ketchum 151 London

5 4 Biss Lancaster Euro RSCG2 156 London

6 8 Jackie Cooper Public Relations 67 London

7 6 Harrison Cowley 114 Various

8 - Burson-Marsteller 194 London

9 - Weber Shandwick UK3 419 London

10 15 The Red Consultancy 87 London

11 11 Nexus Choat 75 London

12 16 Consolidated Communications 102 London

13 14 GCI/APCO4 231 London

14 17 Lexis Public Relations 74 London

15 9 Edelman Public Relations Worldwide 124 London

16 10 Cohn & Wolfe 98 London

17 44 Joe Public Relations 36 London

18 22 Grayling 115 London

19 30 Firefly Communications 113 London

20 42 Communique PR 36 Manchester

21 23 Richmond Towers 32 London

22 13 BSMG Worldwide 223 London

23 20 Manning Selvage & Lee 71 London

24 12 MacLaurin 73 London

25 18 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 308 London

26 - Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide 76 London

27 - Golin/Harris 87 London

28 28 Staniforth Communications 46 Manchester

29 32 BMA Communications 18 London

30 40 Fleishman-Hillard 76 London

31 - Phipps Public Relations 23 London

32 38 Camron Public Relations 26 London

33 32 The Shire Hall Group 86 London

34 41 The Communication Group 15 London

35 45 BGB & Associates 49 London

36 - Fishburn Hedges 76 London

37 43 Craigie Taylor 58 Surrey

38 - Shine Communications 22 London

39 27 Band & Brown Communications 79 London

40 24 Holmes & Marchant Counsel 24 London

41 49 Darwall Smith Associates 22 London

42 39 Bite Communications 54 London

43 - Midas 16 London

44 50 Elizabeth Hindmarch 30 London

45 33 Munro & Forster Communications 50 London

46 - Nelson Bostock Communications 48 London

47 - Ptarmigan Consultants 38 Leeds

48 - Colman Getty 17 London

49 - Grant Butler Coomber Group 57 Richmond

50 - Talk Loud PR 16 London

1 Includes Aurelia PR

2 Formerly Biss Lancaster

3 Formerly Shandwick International and Weber Worldwide

4 Includes APCO in 2000 only

1. Hill & Knowlton pounds - 9,056,342

With six per cent fee income growth, Hill & Knowlton had a year of

consolidation and, for the second year running, claims top spot.

Alison Eyles-Owen, H&K brand marketing MD, puts this supremacy down to

her agency's ability to service its blue-chip client base, including

Kellogg's, BT and American Express. 'During the past three years, we've

retained 80 per cent of our top billing clients in marcoms and achieved

45 per cent organic growth in those top billing clients,' she says.

H&K offset losses from the downturn with project work and some

client wins including Boots, Eurobet, Norwegian Cod and Sonera Zed. The

agency also set up a consumer technology division, headed by Nick


Carolyn Grant was promoted to UK marketing communications practice head

and John Rivet became European practice head of marketing


2. Freud Communications - pounds 7,484,716

Fee income growth of almost 50 per cent last year paid dividends for

consumer specialist Freud.

Kate Lee joined the board from Icon to drive growth in film PR through

product placement and brand promotional partnerships. 'Her appointment

and the agency's brand promotional expertise has meant that this sector

has become a profitable development area,' says creative director Paul


While this move brought Universal Studios on to the agency's roster,

Freud also won a host of household name brands across its speciality

areas of FMCG, media and entertainment. These included M&Ms, Braun, Oral

B and Organics.

To drive organic growth in 2000, the agency behind the success of this

year's blockbuster film Bridget Jones's Diary, deepened its

relationships with existing clients, including Lever, Faberge, Nike and


Freud is rumoured to be in talks with parent company Abbott Mead Vickers

BBDO about a buy-back.

3. Countrywide Porter Novelli - pounds 5,435,463

2000 was a positive year for Countrywide Porter Novelli, says director

of consumer healthcare Pippa Evans. Indeed, with growth of 54 per cent,

the agency's consumer fee income leapt by around pounds 2m in 2000,

sending CPN up from seventh in the table.

In June, Guinness UDV appointed CPN its lead consumer PR agency for the

UK, bringing brands including Smirnoff and Bailey's Irish Cream into the

CPN fold.

Other client wins included Princes Foods and GM Card. 'Strategically,

we're pleased with the transfer of consumer skills into other

categories, especially healthcare and financial services,' says


Strong growth came from existing clients, most notably The Financial

Times, McDonald's, London Electricity and film and video specialist


6. Jackie Cooper PR - pounds 4,061,824

Jackie Cooper PR broke the pounds 4m fee income barrier in 2000.

The agency worked on high-profile consumer launches, including Sony

PlayStation 2, Coca-Cola's energy drink Burn, and Procter & Gamble

shampoo Circ.

In addition, JCPR picked up more established household names, including

a further three Coca-Cola brands (Alive, Oasis and Dr Pepper), plus

Whitbread Group-owned Costa Coffee.

There was also organic growth with Sara Lee Courtaulds complementing the

agency's long-standing Pretty Polly work, by handing over its Champion

Sportswear account. Scottish Courage awarded the agency the launch of

its Miller Genuine Draft ad campaign.

'The biggest development was that we moved to fabulous new offices,'

says JCPR founding partner Robert Phillips. A personnel programme was

also brought in, including duvet days, flexible benefit packages and

extended maternity and paternity leave.

14. Lexis Public Relations - pounds 2,305,905

'An extremely good year,' is how Bill Jones, Lexis co-chief executive,

describes 2000. With around half of his agency's fee income generated by

consumer work, the year was highlighted by work on four major account

wins: Guinness, Powergen, KP Foods and Barclays.

Recent wins have included computer games company Codemasters and trade

body The Tea Council.

Work with KP's Hula Hoops and Skips continued - while midway through

2000, Barclays handed the agency its Barclaycard consumer account. Also

significant was the move from Biss Lancaster of head of consumer Fiona


The year was not without its upsets, most notably the loss of Superdrug,

which had been with Lexis since 1992. 'It was a shame to see it go,'

says Jones. 'But, when you've got through five or six marketing

directors, eventually you're bound to meet someone who wants to bring in

their own people.' Likewise when Guinness UDV decided to consolidate its

consumer PR into the one global agency, Porter Novelli, the agency waved

goodbye to Gordon's Gin and Smirnoff Black.

17. Joe Public Relations - pounds 1,975,582

Since being setup in October 1998, Joe Public Relations (JPR) has been a

major success story. Almost 90 per cent of the agency's fee income is

from consumer work, and in 2000 this rose by a staggering 115 per cent

to take JPR rocketing up the table.

'We benefited from the JPR brand-building of the previous 18 months,

whereby we were able to hire the best consultants, which attracted the

best brands,' says MD Matthew Wood.

In 2000, this pool of talent was augmented by the arrival of Kevin

Redfern, who joined as associate director from BSMG's youth division,


Account wins last year included Woolworth's, online auctioneer eBay and

The Carphone Warehouse. However, on the downside, Orange took its

business to Cohn & Wolfe, while Ask Jeeves UK was lost in a repitch.

As part of Wood's mission to expand the agency globally, founding agency

member Siobhan Aalders took the JPR brand stateside to set up office in

the hotbed of American consumer PR activity, New York. In addition, this

summer JPR has set up a seasonal office in Ibiza.

20. Communique Public Relations - pounds 1,728,790

Communique PR enjoyed fee income growth of 65 per cent in 2000, shooting

it 22 places up the rankings.

'We started to capitalise on our sector, results and evaluation,

strategic planning and creative execution,' says MD Paul Carroll. With

long-standing clients such as Boddingtons and Diadora, Communique was

also able to trade on its retail and FMCG expertise.

In April, the consultancy won toilet-tissue brand Nouvelle, and, in

July, picked up frozen pizza manufacturer Schwan's Europe. Other account

wins included confectioner Thornton's, and First Quench, whose retail

brands include Victoria Wine, Threshers, Wine Rack and Bottoms Up.

2001 began well, with cooker brand Aga and German confectioners

Coppenrath & Wiese joining the agency's fold.

The acquisition deal with Burson-Marsteller in May 2001 means that

things have changed at the top of the agency. But growth through

partnership is the plan and Communique will remain a stand-alone B-M

entity in the north-west of England.

22. BSMG Worldwide - pounds 1,612,729

The most significant development for BSMG Worldwide's consumer arm was

the acquisition of Lyons Waddell in May.

'This has helped us focus and strengthen our consumer offering and

helped build on our senior team,' says agency deputy chief executive

Pamela Fieldhouse.

Indeed, Lyons Waddell founder Jane Lyons is now BSMG consumer


Following the resignation of UK chief executive Nan Williams last year,

the consumer practice has been boosted in 2001 with the arrival of David


The agency's main consumer specialisations include consumer electronics,

lifestyle and home, health and beauty, plus food and beverages, with

clients ranging from SCA Hygiene Products and its Bodyform brand to

over-50's services provider Saga.

Throughout 2000, many of these brands looked to BSMG's expanded global

network and started investing in pan-European and global campaigns.

'That was a key area of growth, with UK and international brands

thinking more globally,' says Fieldhouse.

The agency also picked up clients, including Perkins Foods and more

recently, the contraceptive cap, Oves.

31. Phipps Public Relations - pounds 1,168,583

A new entry in the table, food, drink and lifestyle specialist Phipps PR

experienced a radical overhaul in 2000 that sent its fee income and

profits soaring.

Key figures in a new-look management team included MD Nick Hindle,

poached from Countrywide Porter Novelli, and Isobel Williams, who joined

last April as finance director from a property development company.

This was matched by a decision to develop Phipps' own brand and

business, by targeting the entertainment sector. Last summer, the agency

picked up work for film distributor Columbia Tristar - handling the

launch of box-office hit Stuart Little - while Sony Entertainment Robot,

handed the consultancy its artificial-intelligence pooch, AIBO.

Phipps also built on its core expertise in food and drink, winning

accounts for McDonald's-owned Aroma Cafes and Finlandia Vodka. In

addition, in October, the agency replaced its chairman of more than ten

years, Miriam Stoppard, with Scottish Power

corporate communications director Dominic Fry.

32. Camron Public Relations - pounds 1,156,588

Camron is a retail and lifestyle PR consultancy, specialising in the

home and everything that goes with it. 'Fifteen years ago, when we

decided on this niche, the home was the poor relation - now it's almost

overtaken fashion,' says Camron MD Judy Dobias.

Indeed, the growing interest in the home as a style statement means that

clients such as Marks & Spencer, for whom the agency has handled home

products for the past two-and-half years, are now looking to Camron for

input on luxury food products. Likewise, Selfridges has expanded the

agency's brief from interiors to include its food and wine halls.

The fee income figures show an ostensibly disappointing picture for the

agency in 2000. But, according to Dobias, the reality was a conscious

decision to reject the fashion sector. Last August, this resulted in

waving goodbye to the likes of optician Clulow David and lingerie

manufacturer Berlei.

While Camron works with clients across the mass market, it is the luxury

sector that is creating most excitement. This has been fuelled by the

addition of luxury specialist Anne Stabler, who joined the agency this

April as a part-time account director.

38. Shine Communications - pounds 962,590

Set up in January 1998, Shine's entire focus is consumer PR across five

areas: sport, youth, fashion, consumer lifestyle and media. After 129

per cent growth in 1999, last year was about bedding the business down.

'We wanted to focus on consolidation and investing in infrastructure,'

says Shine MD Rachel Bell.

Despite this, the agency achieved 70 per cent growth, of which half was

from new clients. The agency won Stella Artois, Murphy's Irish Stout and

handled BskyB's The Simpsons tour. Other new clients included The

Variety Club of Great Britain and the launch of watch manufacturer

Timex's range for FCUK.

The arrival of Edward de Bono as a client in 2000 led to Bell joining

forces with Saatchi & Saatchi, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young as part of a

high-powered business solutions consortium.

39. Band & Brown Communications - pounds 940,269

Band & Brown Communications, which celebrates its tenth anniversary next

month,dedicates a third of its business to consumer work.

In 2000, B&B acquired consumer specialist Larkspur Communications,

reportedly for almost pounds 2m.

This brought brands such as The Virgin Cosmetics company and One2One

into the B&B fold and led to the creation of sports sponsorship arm,


'We believed there was a gap in the way sports sponsorship was handled

and we wanted to deliver more editorial leverage on sponsorship deals

for clients,' says B&B group MD, Gill Brown.

Last autumn, Playmaker began working with clients such as Nationwide

Building Society on its football sponsorship.

Other account wins included Burton Biscuits and its Jammie Dodgers

brand, the Electronic Telegraph and youth digital TV channel, where it's


However, growth was also organic, with clients including Mills & Boon,

British Bakeries, Thomson Holidays and BBC Education all expanding their


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