Top 150 - 2009

This year's report was always going to be an interesting one. It is the first real bellwether of the sector since the credit crunch began to bite.

Unsurprisingly it shows a slowdown in growth since the heady days of 2007, but paints an encouraging picture, with overall spend still seeing double-figure growth in 2008.

This writer has consistently sounded optimistic about the UK PR industry despite the depressing economic climate. Public relations remains a growth business in spite of – maybe even because of – the recent downturn in the wider economy.

This fact is reflected in the tables overleaf, but it has also consistently been reflected in results from WPP, Interpublic Group,

Chime, Huntsworth and others. Indeed, most of the big marcoms groups report PR to be the best-performing of their marketing disciplines, with spend growing faster than that of advertising.

As usual the league table is hindered by the continued claim by many international group-owned agencies that they are unable to enter their figures as a result of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act. So once again we have estimated the figures for most of those consultancies in an attempt to give a more realistic view of the sector.

This year the Top 150 was oversubscribed and we must apologise to the dozens of agencies that did not make it into the table based on their PR fee income. This year, for the very first time, even those consultancies at the foot of the table were comfortably pulling in more than £1m in fees annually.

Yes, these are difficult times, but we should remember that few industries are performing as well as public relations. The agencies featured on the following pages are a testament to the UK’s thriving, and too often underrated, creative business community.


See the compete Top 150 here

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