THE TOP 150 UK PR CONSULTANCIES 1998: Top 50 Outside London - In an industry where ’globalisation’ has been the buzz word for the past year, PR agencies outside London are proving that local knowledge and geographical proximity still count

PR agencies outside London are proving they can no longer be passed off as the country cousins of agencies inside the capital. For the second year running, the top 50 agencies have been defined as those with a headquarters outside the perimeter of the M25, and they are flourishing - combined fee income rose by five per cent from pounds 88,065,021 in 1996 to pounds 92,022,241 in 1997.

PR agencies outside London are proving they can no longer be passed

off as the country cousins of agencies inside the capital. For the

second year running, the top 50 agencies have been defined as those with

a headquarters outside the perimeter of the M25, and they are

flourishing - combined fee income rose by five per cent from pounds

88,065,021 in 1996 to pounds 92,022,241 in 1997.



Only one agency, Golley Slater PR, experienced a slight downturn in

fortunes, compared with five agencies in last year’s report. Two

agencies, Brahm PR and Edson Evers and Associates remained static.



Jonathan Smith, managing director of Golley Slater PR Cardiff explains:

’In late 1996, Golley Slater merged with Twickenham-based CPS and so

there was something of a bedding down period in 1997. However, 1997 was

a very strong year for the advertising side of Golley Slater.’



Smith is forecasting healthy growth in 1998. ’Across the group we have

won three impressive clients in 1998 - Persimmon House Building Group,

computer company OT Group and BAA McArthur Glen - which we believe will

contribute to substantial growth.’



This year’s table is again dominated by Countrywide Porter Novelli,

which had a PR income in 1997 of pounds 17,039,032 - a seven per cent

increase on the previous year. Star-performing divisions for the

Banbury-based agency included healthcare and environmental

communications, which helped propel growth. Significant wins included

Halfords, McDonald’s and SmithKline Beecham.



Other top performers were Harvard PR and Harrison Cowley, which

experienced respective fee income growth of 20 and 13 per cent.



David Heal, chief executive of independent consultancy Harrison Cowley,

believes a headquarters outside London does not put prospective clients

off, in fact it can often work in the agency’s favour.



’Many companies welcome the support an agency located adjacent to their

headquarters can give,’ he says. Harrison Cowley, which has a network of

ten agencies in cities including Manchester, Belfast, Bristol and

Edinburgh works, for example, with St Ives in Bristol and BICC in

Manchester.



Heal adds that having a network of agencies throughout the UK has

allowed Harrison Cowley to successfully implement many nationally

co-ordinated programmes for clients, including BT, Comet, the National

Lottery and Barclays Bank. The agency has recently been appointed by

Rover to support its dealer network - an account which Heal is hoping to

grow.



Last year’s fastest growing consultancy outside London was

McCann-Erickson PR, which experienced a massive 78 per cent rise in its

fee income. McCann-Erickson PR is now part of Weber PR, which has

entered the table for the first time in second place.



However, even Weber’s own impressive 18 per cent year on year growth

could not outstrip that of Bath-based Splash Communications, which

experienced a 160 per cent growth in fee income from pounds 195,480 in

1996 to pounds 507,307 in 1997. In second place, with a 80 per cent

increase in fee income, was Northern Profile, followed by Norton and

Company with a 68 per cent growth in fee income.



Director of Splash Communications, Caroline Hole-Jones says the

highlights of 1997 were successfully pitching for the Clockwork Radio

account, a revolutionary wind-up radio, and launching the Concept Centre

in Milton Keynes for Millbrook Events.



’The bulk of our work is for national clients and the fact that we are

based outside London often works in our favour,’ she says. ’We have

quite a lot of business in the north and if we need to meet in London we

can be there in an hour which is often quicker than commuting inside

London.’





AGENCIES OUTSIDE LONDON 1-25

Rank Company                               Fee income (pounds)         %

97                                              97           96   growth

1    Countrywide Porter Novelli*        17,039,032   15,916,671        7

2    Weber PR Worldwide                 10,417,177    8,828,230       18

3    Harvard PR                          4,314,000    3,595,000       20

4    Key Communications*                 4,263,012    4,180,061        2

5    Brodeur A Plus*                     4,096,957    3,852,285        6

6    Harrison Cowley*                    3,801,066    3,355,278       13

7    The Argyll Consultancies*           2,717,083    2,284,743       19

8    Beattie Media                       2,450,000    1,927,108       27

9    Icas PR*                            2,103,991    1,768,060       19

10   Brahm PR*                           2,000,271    2,000,873        0

11   Barkers PR*                         1,997,164    1,803,630       11

12   The Mistral Group*                  1,912,812    1,831,858        4

13   Golley Slater PR                    1,912,534    2,031,795        6

14   Staniforth PR                       1,910,402    1,552,237       23

15   The Reputation Managers*            1,809,530    1,747,352        4

16   Communique PR                       1,761,079    1,472,212       20

17   Craigie Taylor International        1,625,252    1,302,262       25

18   Insight Marketing Communications    1,400,000    1,100,000       27

19   Sinclair Mason                      1,382,300    1,170,960       18

20   Strategic Alliance International    1,348,681    1,126,519       20

21   DPA Corporate Communications        1,215,648      928,635       31

22   Companycare Communications*         1,159,454    1,100,470        5

23   Berkeley PR                         1,072,280      805,774       33

24   Systems Publicity                   1,030,347      943,289        9

25   JBP Associates*                     1,006,006      857,554       17

26   Bryant Jackson Communciations         999,100      920,400        9

27   Quay West Communcations               988,700      927,480        7

28   De Facto Consultants                  963,153      698,017       38

29   Roger Staton Associates*              936,605      696,244       35

30   Ptarmigan Consultants                 804,414      684,269       18

31   Gordon Bruce Associates               732,000      704,000        4

32   Seal PR                               729,499      695,195        5

33   Elizabeth Hindmarch PR*               720,290      674,188        7

34   Edson Evers and Associates*           698,200      696,076        0

35   Springboard Marketing                 670,512      499,829       34

36   Marbles*                              664,957      545,187       22

37   Willoughby PR                         655,000      515,000       27

38   Northern Profile PR                   646,591      359,084       80

39   Myriad PR                             619,092      559,644       11

40   Storm Communications*                 603,309      500,796       20

41   Wyatt PR                              557,551      501,405       11

42   Norton and Company                    507,579      301,248       68

43   Splash Communications                 507,307      195,480      160

44   The Whiteoaks Consultancy*            506,718      346,719       46

45   Technical Publicity                   495,359      396,551       25

46   Audax Communications*                 480,498      377,053       27

47   Paskett PR1                           473,834            -        -

48   Priority Services*                    446,588      441,706        1

49   Mere Communications                   442,853      316,364       40

50   Peter Prowse Associates               426,454      305,856       39

Rank Company                       Turnover 97     Staff        Location

97                                   (pounds )   97    96

1    Countrywide Porter Novelli*   23,868,574   246   233           Oxon

2    Weber PR Worldwide            12,859,133   148   121         London

3    Harvard PR                     4,950,000    55    50      Middlesex

4    Key Communications*            4,750,000    58    65           Oxon

5    Brodeur A Plus*                5,704,118    67    73      Berkshire

6    Harrison Cowley*               5,132,887    89    77        Various

7    The Argyll Consultancies*      2,976,130    52    54         Surrey

8    Beattie Media                  2,450,000    42    25        Glasgow

9    Icas PR*                       2,722,050    41    34          Herts

10   Brahm PR*                      2,287,777    28    26          Leeds

11   Barkers PR*                    3,300,144    41    43  Glasgow/B’ham

12   The Mistral Group*             2,287,278    36    36         Oxford

13   Golley Slater PR               2,532,720    39    37        Cardiff

14   Staniforth PR                  3,096,402    39    34     Manchester

15   The Reputation Managers*       2,009,530    32    29  Milton Keynes

16   Communique PR                  2,450,229    30    28     Manchester

17   Craigie Taylor International   2,725,594    48    36         Surrey

18   Insight Marketing

     Communications                 1,800,000    23    19       Cheshire

19   Sinclair Mason                 2,383,274    19    23          Leeds

20   Strategic Alliance

     International                  1,427,091    18    16          Bucks

21   DPA Corporate Communications   1,555,800    18    16         Surrey

22   Companycare Communications*    1,685,578    24    26      Berkshire

23   Berkeley PR                    1,458,725    22    18      Berkshire

24   Systems Publicity              1,056,231    16    17          Essex

25   JBP Associates*                1,154,957    23    19        Bristol

26   Bryant Jackson Communciations  2,442,073    13    13         Surrey

27   Quay West Communcations        1,351,876    17    16          Essex

28   De Facto Consultants           3,615,980    22    10          Hants

29   Roger Staton Associates*       1,337,762    11    11          Bucks

30   Ptarmigan Consultants          1,348,679    19    17          Leeds

31   Gordon Bruce Associates        1,171,000    13    14          Bucks

32   Seal PR                        2,113,807    20    19     Birmingham

33   Elizabeth Hindmarch PR*        1,700,909    18    18      Berkshire

34   Edson Evers and Associates*    1,161,293    15    15       Stafford

35   Springboard Marketing          1,029,020    20    17           Kent

36   Marbles*                         771,321    13    12           Oxon

37   Willoughby PR                  1,190,000    22    17     Birmingham

38   Northern Profile PR              646,591    24    12      Newcastle

39   Myriad PR                      1,024,936    21    16 Cambridgeshire

40   Storm Communications*          1,159,993    14    13          Bucks

41   Wyatt PR                       2,236,685    11    10     Birmingham

42   Norton and Company             1,959,930     9     6   Lincolnshire

43   Splash Communications          1,343,131    12    10           Bath

44   The Whiteoaks Consultancy*       580,250    11     9         Surrey

45   Technical Publicity            4,707,990    14    11   Bedfordshire

46   Audax Communications*            582,879    15    12     Nottingham

47   Paskett PR1                      524,509    13     -          Derby

48   Priority Services*             1,272,404    12    12     Birmingham

49   Mere Communications              736,334    14    10       Cheshire

50   Peter Prowse Associates          552,430    11    10         Surrey



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