Marketing League Tables: Public relations - PR leagues

PR can sustain its period of growth by mastering digital communications to service clients' complex needs.

The message from this month's Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) conference could not have been clearer: the potential for PR has never been greater - nor has the challenge. Delegates were told they were entering 'a brave new world of PR' as traditional media falter, and, according to speaker Sir Martin Sorrell, they were 'pushing on an open door'. But for all the enthusiasm, there can be no doubt that it will still take a lot of hard work to seize the moment.

The optimism has been fuelled by healthy growth in PR spend over the past 12 months. After a difficult few years following the turn of the millennium, confidence returned to the sector in 2004, and 2005 saw growing momentum. Just eight of the agencies in the league suffered a fall in fee income (with August.One, which suffered the biggest drop, doing so because it hived off its technology arm). 'The market has recovered quite significantly, and the first and second quarters of 2006 have been good,' confirms Sally Costerton, chief executive of Hill & Knowlton. 'The market is not booming, but it is much more positive than it was.'

Behind the overall growth figures lies an uneven market. Several categories are expanding rapidly, the fastest-growing being healthcare, where agencies routinely report double-digit growth, with finance and technology close behind. Other sectors may soon emerge - the Chartered Institute of Public Relations expects utilities to increase their PR spend by 35% a year over the next five years, for example.

In contrast, the well-established consumer PR sector has remained flat.

Additionally, the rise of public-sector work, one of the big growth areas of recent years, is expected to slow.

Yet the overall impression is of a sector that has a growing influence on client thinking. After a decade trying to prove its worth, PR has entered the boardroom. 'Chief executives are more communications-focused; public reputation is now acknowledged as a critical factor to success,' says Charles Watson, chief executive of Financial Dynamics. 'There is greater recognition of the importance of communications at a group level.'

As a result, the work PR consultancies are asked to do is changing. Caroline Page, deputy managing director of Cohn & Wolfe, whose clients include London Underground and O2, argues that many briefs involve much more than they used to. Internal communications, for example, is growing rapidly. 'Consumer work is a lot broader now,' she says. 'A lot of the campaigns involve stakeholders other than consumers. Brands are looking for a wider conversation.'

This is not just limited to traditional PR sectors. According to Tony Langham, chief executive of finance specialist Lansons Communications, 'co-ordinated corporate communications' is a growth area in his sector too. One of the drivers has been consolidation among clients. As companies get bigger, it becomes harder for them to align messages to staff, customers, shareholders, regulators and all the other target audiences they might have, which means specialist help must be brought in.

The challenge is that agencies may not have the skills to handle the different audiences. 'An agency may have excellent consumer know-how, but lack a strong internal communications team,' says Joan O'Connor, head of brand PR for Coca-Cola.

The need to service these requirements is one of the factors behind a busy mergers and acquisitions market. PR's return to healthy growth has enticed buyers back into the acquisitions market, and the discipline has become one of the most active in the marketing services sector. The biggest deal of 2005 was Huntsworth's merger with Incepta, followed by the disposal of its non-PR businesses. Financial Dynamics, Chime and Next Fifteen also made multiple purchases. As companies look to bolt on new skills or target an emerging client category, this consolidation is likely to continue.

Merger activity is a sign of agencies jockeying for position in a highly competitive marketplace. According to Alex Young, head of PR at the AAR, differentiation has become key, especially for medium-sized generalist agencies. 'Few consultancies, especially the ones in the middle of the market, will put a stake in the ground and say what they stand for,' she says.

One option is specialisation in a particular client category, but there are other avenues open to agencies. Golley Slater, for example, has built a national network of offices. Brands such as Weight Watchers, Spam and the Army are handled by its Newcastle office, a principal benefit of which is that it is cheaper than operating in London, therefore offering clients more for their money. But there are also demographic benefits - an office in Newcastle, for example, may be more in touch with the Army's target audience than one in London.

The network agencies, meanwhile, are able to offer global reach. Some have struggled to pick up domestic work, but at an international level there is less competition. This can be important in emerging sectors such as finance, healthcare and technology, where clients need to operate across borders. 'These are sectors where directors understand how to spend on a regional or even global basis,' says Colin Byrne, UK chief executive of Weber Shandwick. His agency's work this year has included a campaign for Intel to encourage internet use among the over-50s.

As public relations has risen up the corporate agenda, many companies have looked to strengthen their in-house teams. As a result, a growing number of clients - especially those in sectors that have used PR for some time - have an extremely sophisticated public relations department, altering the way they work with agencies. 'I am extremely sceptical when it comes to the value of a PR agency,' Peter Morgan, formerly at Weber Shandwick and now group communications director at BT, told delegates at the PRCA conference. 'For an agency to succeed it must identify what cannot be done in-house. Only those that manage to do so will get my budget.'

There are signs that more big-name clients are adopting this approach, using agencies only for unusual or specialist briefs. One of Hill & Knowlton's biggest successes last year was its work for the London 2012 Olympic bid.

The bid had a strong internal PR team, and turned to the agency for help at key tactical moments - for example, when the focus of the campaign shifted from its technical competence to the legacy it would leave.

One of the implications for agencies is that the development of client PR teams is sucking senior staff out of their industry. This has exacerbated an existing staff shortage to create a skills gap at middle to senior levels.

This is especially the case in rapidly growing categories, where there is a limited pool of experienced staff. Several consultancies are seeking to build their healthcare, financial and technology business to capitalise on growth in these areas. For example, Weber Shandwick's healthcare team jumped from 10 to 30 in the past 18 months. These extra staff are often poached from specialists, increasing salary costs and depressing margins.

So recruiting and retaining good-quality staff is now high on agencies' agenda. Lansons, for example, spent £100,000 taking its staff to Budapest for a weekend; the agency's staff churn rate, says Langham, is just 15%.

The long-term answer to this skills shortage is to train recruits to the industry. The question is what they should learn. Kevin Murray, chairman of Bell Pottinger, told the PRCA conference that his research, conducted among chief executives and communications directors, showed a desire for improved training. 'Most people we spoke to feel the level of training from trade bodies and the industry was not up to scratch,' he said.

The issue is whether the industry is equipped to handle the explosion of communications options. Public opposition to a company can be mobilised and disseminated quicker than ever before through digital channels. At the same time, blogs, podcasts and mobile phones offer additional ways to communicate with people that many within the PR industry simply do not yet understand.

PRCA managing director Kevin Barrow admits PR's record when it comes to online channels is patchy. 'Some agencies have embraced new channels, but many others continue to focus on traditional media coverage,' he says.

'The fact is that consumers source information from many places outside traditional media, and PR agencies have to keep up with that.'

Of the digital media techniques, blogging has generated most discussion in PR circles. There are already a number of cautionary tales from the US of how not to do it. For example, in 2004 bike-lock manufacturer Kryptonite was slow to respond to a series of blogs revealing how its locks could be picked, costing the company an estimated £5.3m.

And Wal-Mart was criticised earlier this year when postings defending the retail giant turned out to be written by an employee at its PR firm.

The growth of blogging has been one of the factors behind the increasing importance of internal communications. The internet has offered employees a forum to voice their grievances, so it has never been more important to keep staff on-side.

PR agencies are still getting to grips with exactly how blogs can be employed as a marketing tool. As Wal-Mart found, using them to seed stories and control opinion can be risky. But there are signs that well-run corporate blogs can make a company appear more transparent and boost its customer approval.

Another use is to find out exactly what people think. 'One area of blogging that the PR industry could be tapping into is its research potential,' says Sarah Robinson, managing director of Consolidated Communications, which last year won the American Express account. 'Blogs are an excellent source of information on consumers' views on the latest films or TV programmes, while the growth of photoblogs is beginning to deliver fascinating insights into how different consumer groups feel about the latest technology, clothes, holiday destinations and so on,' she adds.

The rise of digital channels has challenged PR to broaden itself as a discipline. Some agencies are seeking to expand into new areas. Launch Group, for example, has developed experiential and online divisions and has won work in both areas, overseeing Tesco's recent Race for Life and creating a viral campaign for Butlins.

Both disciplines are growing, and sit well with PR - experiential because it is an obvious extension of PR, and online because it is a media channel that provides another way to communicate with people. In both there is already a land-grab, as sector specialists vie with agencies from disciplines such as direct. 'A lot of PR companies still think too narrowly about PR,' says Jim Surguy, managing director of Results Business Consulting.

'The real threat is not that they don't understand new routes to market, but that agencies from other sectors will corner them first.'

The future of PR expounded so enthusiastically at the PRCA conference was a discipline offering clients experienced, thoughtful advisers to help them navigate the bewildering array of communications options. Unfortunately, there is no end of competition for that role. As traditional advertising falters, below-the-line and media agencies have also recognised an opportunity to take on a strategic function. This, then, is the challenge: proving that PR agencies are ready to take the lead.

THE SARBANES-OXLEY EFFECT

The US Sarbanes-Oxley Act restricts the financial information that firms with US operations can make public. This year, PR Week's Top 150, on which Marketing's PR leagues are based, ranked Sarbanes- Oxley-affected agencies using estimated figures, based on Companies House data, agency headcount and average industry growth rates. For consistency with Marketing's other leagues, we have entered Sarbanes-Oxley-affected agencies in the league on their latest Companies House data, provided by Willott Kingston Smith, but not ranked them. No financial information was available for Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe, Finsbury, Fleishman-Hillard, McCann-Erickson, MS&L or Ogilvy. Weber Shandwick and Golin Harris could not be included as the most recent data was for 2003.

TOP PR AGENCIES - 1-85

Company Fee income (pounds) Chng T'over 2005
2005 2004 (%) (pounds)
1 Bell Pottinger Group 41,588,000 37,421,000 11 115,139,000
2 Financial Dynamics 27,300,000 20,400,000 34 32,200,000
Hill & Knowlton* n/a 22,705,000 n/a n/a
3 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 19,068,721 15,749,868 21 22,784,521
4 Edelman 16,499,796 13,493,906 22 26,070,136
Ketchum* n/a 13,802,000 n/a n/a
Fishburn Hedges* n/a 12,767,000 n/a n/a
Freud Communications* n/a 10,624,811 n/a n/a
Porter Novelli* n/a 10,139,000 n/a n/a
5 Meditech Media 9,745,179 9,837,115 -1 14,802,836
6 College Hill 9,322,855 8,613,295 8 11,113,672
Associates
7 The Red Consultancy 8,890,104 8,654,815 3 14,337,088
8 Geronimo 8,875,700 2,928,742 203 10,442,000
Communications
The Maitland n/a 8,291,000 n/a n/a
Consultancy*
9 Grayling 7,522,821 6,854,700 10 16,262,649
10 Lansons 6,431,237 5,502,460 17 7,513,209
Communications
11 Harrison Cowley 6,307,217 4,942,282 28 7,680,763
GCI* n/a 6,196,529 n/a n/a
Buchanan n/a 6,115,000 n/a n/a
Communications*
12 Write Image 5,957,422 5,509,182 8 9,746,846
13 M:Communications 5,703,478 4,223,583 35 5,703,478
14 Lexis PR 5,665,000 4,678,888 21 8,600,000
15 Consolidated 5,583,390 4,820,035 16 6,936,807
Communications
Band & Brown* n/a 5,531,000 n/a n/a
16 The Big Partnership 5,258,303 3,894,200 35 5,331,195
17 Chandler Chicco Agency 5,176,573 3,307,868 56 4,291,068
Euro RSCG n/a 5,131,000 n/a n/a
Biss Lancaster*
18 Golley Slater PR 4,663,952 4,259,828 9 5,451,055
19 Bite Communications 4,633,498 4,191,202 11 5,305,344
20 Nelson Bostock 4,559,932 4,102,489 13 7,154,581
Communications
21 Camargue 4,348,646 3,848,360 12 5,411,462
Gavin Anderson* n/a 4,240,461 n/a n/a
22 Four Communications 4,093,790 3,166,591 29 12,772,416
23 Ruder Finn 4,059,102 3,716,712 9 5,231,865
24 Portfolio Group 3,994,475 4,461,781 -10 4,280,435
25 Munro & Forster 3,895,225 3,229,928 21 6,361,245
Communications
Staniforth n/a 3,750,000 n/a n/a
Communications*
26 Trimedia 3,697,900 3,529,464 5 5,775,273
Communications
27 Nexus Communications 3,620,000 3,601,000 1 5,695,000
Group
28 Cake 3,506,000 3,356,000 4 9,360,035
29 Firefly 3,502,266 3,419,262 2 4,466,321
30 Kaizo 3,424,760 3,427,700 0 4,110,616
31 Hotwire PR 3,377,103 2,097,109 61 4,944,218
Shire Health n/a 3,376,000 n/a n/a
International*
32 Exposure Promotions 3,326,250 2,892,456 15 13,120,086
33 PPS Group 3,243,719 3,214,609 1 3,577,699
34 Red Door 3,208,769 2,456,241 31 4,141,166
Communications
35 Waggener Edstrom 3,168,886 1,768,558 79 3,168,886
36 Penrose Financial 3,076,254 2,586,763 19 3,433,637
37 Brands 2 Life 2,918,375 2,267,357 29 2,918,375
38 AS Biss & Co 2,810,937 2,021,021 39 2,989,245
39 Ptarmigan Consultants 2,772,344 2,534,230 9 4,203,512
40 Shine Communications 2,771,060 2,089,462 33 4,484,831
41 Green Issues 2,765,000 2,064,000 34 3,039,000
Communications
42 Halpern 2,739,517 2,332,954 17 3,185,676
Pleon UK* n/a 2,693,831 n/a n/a
43 Cubitt Consulting 2,614,536 2,291,506 14 2,916,464
44 Galliard Healthcare 2,606,871 2,802,942 -7 5,016,864
Communications
45 Avenue HKM 2,476,745 2,300,267 8 3,756,405
46 Resolute 2,449,930 2,082,316 18 3,348,629
Communications
47 Brahm Public 2,366,880 2,360,634 0 4,877,015
Relations
48 Axicom 2,360,524 2,011,326 17 2,608,843
49 icas Public 2,358,000 2,056,000 15 4,056,000
Relations
50 August.one 2,307,166 3,925,415 -41 2,671,463
Communications
51 Frank Public 2,300,749 1,443,952 59 3,111,762
Relations
52 Medicom Group 2,239,000 2,095,300 7 2,765,000
APCO* n/a 2,133,372 n/a n/a
53 Text 100 2,104,715 1,963,689 7 2,489,840
International
54 BGB Communications 2,061,413 1,933,055 7 2,494,778
55 Colman Getty PR 2,022,363 1,904,335 6 2,172,363
56 Attenborough 1,979,397 2,063,118 -4 2,881,807
Associates
57 Virgo Health PR 1,891,652 1,308,443 45 2,761,989
58 Purple Public 1,859,116 1,646,574 13 2,227,419
Relations
59 Eulogy! 1,853,724 1,309,713 42 1,853,724
60 The Policy Partnership 1,852,699 1,535,409 21 653,149
61 Media Strategy 1,847,284 1,736,135 6 2,047,532
62 Rainier PR 1,841,055 1,320,011 39 1,903,004
63 EHPR 1,768,510 1,881,599 -6 2,868,368
64 The Television 1,707,922 1,501,950 14 1,804,494
Consultancy
65 AD Communications 1,699,758 1,682,391 1 n/a
66 William Murray PR 1,696,423 1,425,077 19 1,724,133
67 ECCO PR 1,670,783 1,639,102 2 2,417,294
68 Freshwater UK 1,641,943 820,499 100 2,717,760
69 Haslimann Taylor 1,640,572 1,631,688 1 2,198,326
70 Johnson King 1,627,782 1,324,220 23 1,485,508
71 Inferno Communications 1,617,553 469,377 245 1,782,115
72 Company Care 1,609,293 1,444,892 11 1,848,191
Communications
73 Taylor Herring 1,574,780 1,052,094 50 1,751,355
74 Republic 1,556,716 1,376,118 13 2,018,650
75 Berkeley PR 1,534,638 1,376,578 11 1,578,936
76 B2B Communications 1,521,468 1,670,449 -9 3,877,801
77 Seal Public 1,492,582 1,361,202 10 3,592,507
Relations
78 The ITPR Group 1,472,618 1,294,546 14 1,690,236
79 Jago Pearce 1,463,925 1,225,000 18 2,267,645
80 Brazen 1,450,620 996,587 46 2,010,305
81 Myriad PR 1,447,599 1,188,652 22 1,960,760
82 Camron PR 1,445,330 1,477,186 -2 1,896,510
83 The Whiteoaks 1,443,199 1,353,375 7 1,915,123
Consultancy
84 London Communications 1,420,743 1,144,858 24 1,486,817
Agency
85 Northbank Communication 1,400,325 963,050 45 1,924,120


Company Staff Clients Location
2005 2004 Retainer Project
1 Bell Pottinger Group 413 390 421 479 London
2 Financial Dynamics 163 102 396 194 London
Hill & Knowlton* 250 n/a n/a n/a London
3 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 120 127 299 5 London
4 Edelman 184 167 84 87 London
Ketchum* 140 n/a n/a n/a London
Fishburn Hedges* 127 n/a n/a n/a London
Freud Communications* 112 n/a n/a n/a London
Porter Novelli* 122 n/a n/a n/a London
5 Meditech Media 150 157 20 n/a London
6 College Hill 92 92 150 39 London
Associates
7 The Red Consultancy 111 114 84 56 London
8 Geronimo 107 41 48 52 London
Communications
The Maitland 32 n/a n/a n/a London
Consultancy*
9 Grayling 91 84 59 209 London
10 Lansons 80 65 87 30 London
Communications
11 Harrison Cowley 98 75 118 105 Manchester
GCI* 42 n/a n/a n/a London
Buchanan 41 n/a n/a n/a London
Communications*
12 Write Image 123 126 22 71 London
13 M:Communications 27 21 40 49 London
14 Lexis PR 84 69 36 20 London
15 Consolidated 87 88 46 40 London
Communications
Band & Brown* 84 n/a n/a n/a London
16 The Big Partnership 79 66 109 60 Glasgow
17 Chandler Chicco Agency 44 31 24 2 London
Euro RSCG 76 n/a n/a n/a London
Biss Lancaster*
18 Golley Slater PR 82 83 267 35 Cardiff
19 Bite Communications 68 61 48 21 London
20 Nelson Bostock 52 53 56 27 London
Communications
21 Camargue 54 50 52 101 London
Gavin Anderson* 33 n/a n/a n/a London
22 Four Communications 57 33 52 63 London
23 Ruder Finn 51 50 19 29 London
24 Portfolio Group 48 58 106 121 London
25 Munro & Forster 53 59 18 9 London
Communications
Staniforth 57 n/a n/a n/a London
Communications*
26 Trimedia 46 42 70 40 London
Communications
27 Nexus Communications 51 56 78 52 London
Group
28 Cake 53 63 16 31 London
29 Firefly 53 54 43 14 London
30 Kaizo 48 50 38 70 London
31 Hotwire PR 44 31 53 36 London
Shire Health 24 n/a n/a n/a London
International*
32 Exposure Promotions 74 84 108 n/a London
33 PPS Group 43 38 14 132 London
34 Red Door 31 27 n/a 21 London
Communications
35 Waggener Edstrom 40 27 4 10 London
36 Penrose Financial 35 30 37 21 London
37 Brands 2 Life 44 35 37 11 London
38 AS Biss & Co 27 27 47 29 London
39 Ptarmigan Consultants 56 52 28 10 Leeds
40 Shine Communications 39 35 24 14 London
41 Green Issues 36 24 n/a 140 Reading
Communications
42 Halpern 41 41 34 23 London
Pleon UK* 29 n/a n/a n/a London
43 Cubitt Consulting 18 18 51 n/a London
44 Galliard Healthcare 22 23 24 12 London
Communications
45 Avenue HKM 25 29 n/a 43 London
46 Resolute 35 25 16 6 London
Communications
47 Brahm Public 24 24 35 17 Leeds
Relations
48 Axicom 26 20 51 n/a London
49 icas Public 33 28 36 14 London
Relations
50 August.one 23 49 16 10 London
Communications
51 Frank Public 33 22 33 38 London
Relations
52 Medicom Group 22 21 10 8 Surrey
APCO* 40 n/a n/a n/a London
53 Text 100 45 41 30 6 London
International
54 BGB Communications 38 35 50 35 London
55 Colman Getty PR 28 26 56 72 London
56 Attenborough 31 33 32 10 London
Associates
57 Virgo Health PR 30 18 15 4 Surrey
58 Purple Public 31 2 n/a n/a London
Relations
59 Eulogy! 22 16 25 2 London
60 The Policy Partnership 11 10 15 18 London
61 Media Strategy 23 22 24 20 London
62 Rainier PR 21 14 33 20 London
63 EHPR 28 32 15 7 Berks
64 The Television 16 12 5 168 London
Consultancy
65 AD Communications 17 16 35 14 Surrey
66 William Murray PR 22 20 23 31 Surrey
67 ECCO PR 31 26 26 12 London
68 Freshwater UK 47 21 154 6 Cardiff
69 Haslimann Taylor 35 34 23 16 W Mids
70 Johnson King 25 21 20 12 London
71 Inferno Communications 25 7 7 n/a London
72 Company Care 27 25 45 16 Reading
Communications
73 Taylor Herring 26 17 21 37 London
74 Republic 24 24 28 11 London
75 Berkeley PR 26 30 41 25 Berks
76 B2B Communications 19 21 8 n/a Surrey
77 Seal Public 43 34 47 12 Birmingham
Relations
78 The ITPR Group 20 20 29 5 Surrey
79 Jago Pearce 21 21 14 5 Bucks
80 Brazen 29 27 30 10 Manchester
81 Myriad PR 23 18 54 n/a Cambs
82 Camron PR 27 26 24 4 London
83 The Whiteoaks 25 26 28 8 Surrey
Consultancy
84 London Communications 11 9 18 22 London
Agency
85 Northbank Communication 16 12 36 79 London


Company
1 Bell Pottinger Group
Founded 1986. Subsidiary Chime Communications. Chairman Kevin
Murray. No clients disclosed. Member PRCA. www.chime.plc.uk
2 Financial Dynamics
Founded 1985. Subsidiary Financial Dynamics International. Chief
executive Charles Watson. Clients include Aviva, Welsh Development
Agency, Heineken International. www.fd.com
Hill & Knowlton*
Founded 1927. Subsidiary WPP. Chief executive Sally Costerton. No
clients disclosed. Member PRCA. www.hillandknowlton.co.uk
3 Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Founded 1987. Subsidiary Huntsworth. Chief executive Jonathan Clare.
No clients disclosed. www.citigatedewerogerson.com
4 Edelman
Founded 1967. Subsidiary Daniel J Edelman. Chief executive Stuart
Smith. Clients include Microsoft, Shell, Pfizer. Member PRCA.
www.edelman.com
Ketchum*
Founded 1923. Subsidiary Omnicom Group. Chief executive David
Gallagher. No clients disclosed. Member PRCA. www.ketchum.com
Fishburn Hedges*
Founded 1991. Subsidiary Omnicom Group. Chairman Neil Hedges. No
clients disclosed. www.fishburn-hedges.co.uk
Freud Communications*
Founded 1985. Subsidiary Publicis Groupe. Chairman Matthew Freud. No
clients disclosed. www.freud.com
Porter Novelli*
Founded 1972. Subsidiary Omnicom Group. Managing director Jean
Wyllie. No clients disclosed. Member PRCA. www.porternovelli.co.uk
5 Meditech Media
Founded 1986. Privately owned. Chief executive Dr Stephen Cameron.
Clients include F Hoffman-La Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers
Squibb. www.meditechmedia.com
6 College Hill Associates
Founded 1972. Privately owned. Chairman Alexander Sandberg. No
clients disclosed. Member PRCA. www.collegehill.com
7 The Red Consultancy
Founded 1994. Subsidiary Huntsworth. Chairman Mike Morgan. Clients
include Nokia, Johnson & Johnson, MSN. Member PRCA.
www.redconsultancy.co.uk
8 Geronimo Communications
Founded 2000. Subsidiary Tribal Group. Chief executive Karen Harris.
Clients include Department for Education & Skills, Department for
Work & Pensions. www.geronimocommunications.com
The Maitland Consultancy*
Founded 1994. Subsidiary Havas. Chairman Angus Maitland. No clients
disclosed. www.maitland.co.uk
9 Grayling
Founded 1981. Subsidiary Huntsworth. Chairman Nigel Kennedy. Clients
include Masterfoods, British Gas, BT. Member PRCA. www.grayling.com
10 Lansons Communications
Founded 1989. Privately owned. Chief executive Tony Langham. Clients
include Alliance & Leicester, Royal Bank of Scotland, Fidelity
Investments. Member PRCA. www.lansons.com
11 Harrison Cowley
Founded 1962. Subsidiary Huntsworth. Chief executive Paul Kelly.
Clients include Age Concern, COI, Land Rover. Member PRCA.
www.harrisoncowley.com
GCI*
Founded 1984. Subsidiary WPP. Chief executive Jonathan Shore. No
clients disclosed. Member PRCA. www.gciuk.com
Buchanan Communications*
Founded 1980. Subsidiary WPP. Chief executive Richard Oldworth. No
clients disclosed. www.buchanan.uk.com
12 Write Image
Founded 1988. Subsidiary Circus Group. Chief executive Steve Ellis.
No clients disclosed. www.write-image.com
13 M:Communications
Founded 2002. Privately owned. Founders Nick Miles, Hugh Morrison.
No clients disclosed. www.mcomgroup.com
14 Lexis PR
Founded 1992. Subsidiary Next Fifteen Communications. Chief
executive Hugh Birley. Clients include Unilever, Barclays, Domino's
Pizza. Member PRCA. www.lexispr.com
15 Consolidated Communications
Founded 1990. Privately owned. Managing director Sarah Robinson.
Clients include Buena Vista Home Entertainment, American Express,
Energy Savings Trust. Member PRCA. www.consol.co.uk
Band & Brown*
Founded 1991. Subsidiary Cossette Communications. Chairman Nick
Band. No clients disclosed. www.bbpr.com
16 The Big Partnership
Founded 2000. Privately owned. Director Alex Barr. Clients include
Scottish Enterprise, ScottishPower, Scottish Executive.
www.bigpartnership.co.uk
17 Chandler Chicco Agency
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Managing director Gail Cohen. Clients
include Allergan, UCB, Novartis. www.ccapr.com
Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster*
Founded 1978. Subsidiary Havas. Chairman Graham Lancaster. No
clients disclosed. Member PRCA. www.bisslancaster.com
18 Golley Slater PR
Founded 1959. Subsidiary Golley Slater Group. Chief executive
Christopher Lovell. Clients include Persimmon Homes, British Army,
Aggregate Industries. Member PRCA. www.golleyslater.co.uk
19 Bite Communications
Founded 1995. Subsidiary Next Fifteen Communications. Chairman Clive
Armitage. Clients include Samsung, Sun Microsystems, BT. Member
PRCA. www.bitepr.com
20 Nelson Bostock Communications
Founded 1987. Subsidiary Creston. Managing director Martin Bostock.
Clients include Canon, Toshiba, NEC. Member PRCA.
www.nelsonbostock.com
21 Camargue
Founded 1987. Privately owned. Chairman Andrew Litchfield. No
clients disclosed. www.camarguepr.com
Gavin Anderson*
Founded 1981. Subsidiary Omnicom Group. Chief executive Richard
Constant. No clients disclosed. www.gavinanderson.com
22 Four Communications
Founded 2001. Privately owned. Chief executive Nan Williams. Clients
include Gulf Air, Grant Thornton International, APACS.
www.fourcommunications.com
23 Ruder Finn
Founded 1992. Privately owned. Managing director John Preston.
Clients include Novartis, Pfizer, Ferring. www.ruderfinn.co.uk
24 Portfolio Group
Founded 1988. Privately owned. Director Sheila Gimson. Clients
include Promethean, Premier Farnell, Detica. Member PRCA.
www.portmet.co.uk
25 Munro & Forster Communications
Founded 1984. Privately owned. Managing director Julie Flexen.
Clients include AstraZeneca, Kellogg, Pfizer. Member PRCA.
www.munroforster.com
Staniforth Communications*
Founded 1978. Subsidiary Omnicom Group. Managing director Emma
Chadwick. No clients disclosed. www.staniforth.co.uk
26 Trimedia Communications
Founded 2000. Subsidiary Huntsworth. Chief executive Vikki Stace.
Clients include Diageo, COI, LogicaCMG. Member PRCA.
www.trimediauk.com
27 Nexus Communications Group
Founded 1975. Privately owned. Chief executive Jim Horsley. Clients
include BEIC, Patak's, Tea Council. Member PRCA. www.nexuspr.com
28 Cake
Founded 1989. Privately owned. Chairman Mike Mathieson. Clients
include Coors, Nintendo, Unilever. www.cakegroup.com
29 Firefly
Founded 1988. Privately owned. Managing director Mark Mellor.
Clients include Adobe, Avaya, Motorola. Member PRCA.
www.fireflycomms.com
30 Kaizo
Founded 1978. Privately owned. Chief executive Crispin Manners. No
clients disclosed. Member PRCA. www.kaizo.net
31 Hotwire PR
Founded 2000. Privately owned. Managing director Kristin Syltevik.
Clients include Research in Motion, Thus, Thales. www.hotwirepr.com
Shire Health International*
Founded 1986. Subsidiary WPP. Managing director Matt de Gruchy. No
clients disclosed. www.shirehealthlondon.com
32 Exposure Promotions
Founded 1993. Privately owned. Managing director Raoul Shah. Clients
include Diageo, InBev, Sony. www.exposure.net
33 PPS Group
Founded 1990. Privately owned. Chief executive Stephen Byfield.
Clients include Taylor Woodrow, Sainsbury's, Prologis Developments.
www.ppsgroup.co.uk
34 Red Door Communications
Founded 2000. Subsidiary Creston. Managing director Catherine Warne.
Clients include AstraZeneca, Bayer, Sanofi Pasteur MSD.
www.rdcomms.com
35 Waggener Edstrom
Founded 2001. Subsidiary Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. President
Claire Lematta. Clients include Microsoft, AMD UK, GE Healthcare.
www.waggeneredstrom.com
36 Penrose Financial
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Managing director Gay Collins.
Clients include State Street Corporation, Sanlam Financial Services
Group, AXA Investment Managers. www.penrose.co.uk
37 Brands 2 Life
Founded 2000. Privately owned. Co-founders Giles Fraser, Sarah
Scales. Clients include T-Mobile, Cisco Systems, Webex
Communications. www.brands2life.com
38 AS Biss & Co
Founded 1996. Subsidiary Engine Group. Chairman Adele Biss. No
clients disclosed. www.asbiss.com
39 Ptarmigan Consultants
Founded 1989. Privately owned. Managing director Gordon Forbes.
Clients include Waste Resources & Action Programme, National
Australia Group, Telewest. www.ptarmiganpr.co.uk
40 Shine Communications
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Managing director Rachel Bell.
Clients include Paramount, Heinz, Electronic Arts. Member PRCA.
www.shinecom.com
41 Green Issues Communications
Founded 1999. Privately owned. Managing director Tom Curtin. No
clients disclosed. www.greenissues.com
42 Halpern
Founded 1993. Privately owned. Managing director Jenny Halpern
Prince. Clients include Isolagen, Princess Cruises, Sainsbury's.
www.halpern.co.uk
Pleon UK*
Founded 2004. Subsidiary Omnicom Group. Chief executive Geoff
Beattie. No clients disclosed. Member PRCA. www.pleon.com
43 Cubitt Consulting
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Managing partners Brian Birkenhead,
Simon Brocklebank-Fowler. Clients include Altimo, Adecco, Liberata.
Member PRCA. www.cubitt.com
44 Galliard Healthcare Communications
Founded 2000. Privately owned. Chairman Marika Freris. No clients
disclosed. www.galliardhealth.com
45 Avenue HKM
Founded 2001. Subsidiary Huntsworth. Managing director Sandy
Thomson. Clients include Sanofi-Aventis, UCB, Coversyl.
www.avenuehkm.com
46 Resolute Communications
Founded 2002. Privately owned. Chief executive Anna Korving. No
clients disclosed. www.resolutecommunications.com
47 Brahm Public Relations
Founded 1983. Privately owned. Managing partner Phil Reed. Clients
include A4e, Yorkshire Forward, Pets At Home. www.brahmpr.com
48 Axicom
Founded 1994. Subsidiary Axicom Group. Chairman Julian Tanner.
Clients include Red Hat, VMware, iPass. Member PRCA. www.axicom.com
49 icas Public Relations
Founded 1978. Privately owned. Managing director Carl Courtney.
Clients include Crown, Lutron, ITL. Member PRCA. www.icas.co.uk
50 August.one Communications
Founded 1999. Subsidiary Next Fifteen Communications. Managing
director Sarah Howe. Clients include Microsoft, Total, Envirowise.
Member PRCA. www.augustone.com
51 Frank Public Relations
Founded 2000. Privately owned. Directors Graham Goodkind, Andrew
Bloch. Clients include Unilever, Hutchison 3G, Anheuser-Busch.
Member PRCA. www.frankpr.it
52 Medicom Group
Founded 2003. Privately owned. Chairman Martin Ellis. Clients
include Pfizer, NHS, Bristol-Myers Squibb. www.medicomgroup.com
APCO*
Founded 1995. Subsidiary APCO Worldwide. Managing director Simon
Miller. No clients disclosed. Member PRCA. www.apcouk.com
53 Text 100 International
Founded 1981. Subsidiary Next Fifteen Communications. Chairman
Aedhmar Hynes. Clients include IBM, ARM, Novell. Member PRCA.
www.text100.com
54 BGB Communications
Founded 1991. Privately owned. Managing director Debbie Hindle.
Clients include Wales Tourist Board. www.bgb.co.uk
55 Colman Getty PR
Founded 1987. Privately owned. Chief executive Dotti Irving. No
clients disclosed. www.colmangettypr.co.uk
56 Attenborough Associates
Founded 1970. Privately owned. Managing director Nick Attenborough.
Clients include Morphy Richards, Blockbuster, Additions.
www.attenborough.net
57 Virgo Health PR
Founded 2003. Privately owned. Joint managing directors Angie Wiles,
Sarah Matthew. Clients include GlaxoSmithKline, Roche Products, Eli
Lilly & Co. www.virgohealthpr.com
58 Purple Public Relations
Founded 1997. Privately owned. Director Fergus Lawlor. No clients
disclosed. www.purplepr.com
59 Eulogy!
Founded 1996. Privately owned. Managing director Adrian Brady.
Clients include Royal Mail, Virgin Radio, MUTV. Member PRCA.
www.eulogy.co.uk
60 The Policy Partnership
Founded 1996. Privately owned. Managing director Andrew Smith.
Clients include Yukos International, Embassy of the Kingdom of
Bahrain, Philip Morris. www.policypartnership.com
61 Media Strategy
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Managing director Charles Lewington.
Clients include Intelligent Finance, Capio Healthcare, Hutchison 3G.
www.mediastrategy.co.uk
62 Rainier PR
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Managing director Stephen Waddington.
Clients include NTL, StorageTek, Intervoice. www.rainierpr.co.uk
63 EHPR
Founded 1982. Subsidiary Huntsworth. Managing director Sarah Mole.
Clients include Procter & Gamble, ICI, Miele. Member PRCA.
www.ehpr.co.uk
64 The Television Consultancy
Founded 1998. Privately owned. Joint managing directors Elaine
Stern, Marc Leuw. Clients include National Lottery, Virgin Atlantic,
O2. www.tvconsulting.co.uk
65 AD Communications
Founded 1984. Privately owned. Managing director Richard Allen.
Clients include Kodak, EFI, Domino. Member PRCA. www.adcomms.co.uk
66 William Murray PR
Founded 1988. Privately owned. Managing director Jackie Cleveland.
Clients include Greene King, Procter & Gamble, Unilever.
www.williammurraypr.co.uk
67 ECCO PR
Founded 1987. Subsidiary ECCO International. Chief executive Sara
Render. Clients include Xerox, Zurich Municipal. Member PRCA.
www.kinrossrender.com
68 Freshwater UK
Founded 1997. Privately owned. Chief executive Steve Howell. Clients
include Amicus, Miller Homes, California Prune Board.
www.freshwater-uk.com
69 Haslimann Taylor
Founded 1987. Subsidiary Huntsworth. Managing director Bronwen
Eames. Clients include Taylor Woodrow Developments, Mitchells &
Butlers, Goodyear Dunlop. Member PRCA. www.haslimanntaylor.com
70 Johnson King
Founded 1992. Privately owned. Managing director Mike King. Clients
include Enterprise Ireland, Mirapoint, Packeteer. Member PRCA.
www.johnsonking.com
71 Inferno Communications
Founded 2003. Subsidiary Next Fifteen Communications. Managing
director Grant Currie. Clients include Microsoft, Computer
Associates, Northgate. www.infernopr.com
72 Company Care Communications
Founded 1985. Privately owned. Chairman Ian McCann. Clients include
EADS, GSM Association, Siemens. Member PRCA. www.companycare.com
73 Taylor Herring
Founded 2001. Privately owned. Joint managing directors Cath Taylor,
James Herring. Clients include UKTV, Flextech, Celador
International. www.taylorherring.com
74 Republic
Founded 1997. Privately owned. Joint managing directors Jane Howard,
Deborah Lewis. Clients include Kimberly-Clark, BMT, Enterprise
Rent-A-Car. Member PRCA. www.republicpr.com
75 Berkeley PR
Founded 1988. Privately owned. Chief executive Chris Hewitt. Clients
include Fast, Armstrong Laing, Ricoh. www.berkeleypr.co.uk
76 B2B Communications
Founded 2000. Privately owned. Chairman Jamie Bryant. Clients
include InBev, Meat and Livestock Commission, GlaxoSmithKline.
www.b2bcommunications.co.uk
77 Seal Public Relations
Founded 1983. Privately owned. Director Christopher Morris. Clients
include Punch Taverns, Mid Counties Co-Op, Western Wines. Member
PRCA. www.sealcommunications.co.uk
78 The ITPR Group
Founded 1990. Privately owned. Chairman Bob Dearsley. No clients
disclosed. www.itpr.co.uk
79 Jago Pearce
Founded 1999. Subsidiary Huntsworth. Managing director Mike Dixon.
No clients disclosed. www.jagopearce.com
80 Brazen
Founded 2001. Privately owned. Chairman Nina Wheeler. Clients
include Halewood International Marketing, T-Mobile, Hasbro. Member
PRCA. www.brazenpr.com
81 Myriad PR
Founded 1989. Privately owned. Managing director Steve Weaving.
Clients include SSL International, Hewitsons, Saffron Walden Herts &
Essex Building Society. Member PRCA. www.myriadpr.com
82 Camron PR
Founded 1981. Privately owned. Chief executive Judy Dobias. Clients
include The White Company, Swarovski, Twyford. www.camron.co.uk
83 The Whiteoaks Consultancy
Founded 1993. Privately owned. Chairman Bill Nichols. Clients
include Thomson, Front Range. www.whiteoaks.co.uk
84 London Communications Agency
Founded 1999. Privately owned. Managing director Robert Gordon
Clark. Clients include St George, Transport for London, Lee Valley
Regional Park Authority. www.londoncommunications.co.uk
85 Northbank Communication
Founded 1999. Privately owned. Chief executive Susan Charles.
Clients include Biacore, Oxford Biomedica, Cobra.
www.northbankcommunications.com

Source: PR Week.
Fee income includes non-UK business, turnover does not



TOP 5 FOR GROWTH - BIG AGENCIES

Company Fee income Fee income %
2005 (pounds) 2004 (pounds) change
Geronimo Communications 8,875,700 2,928,742 203
Waggener Edstrom 3,168,886 1,768,558 79
Hotwire PR 3,377,103 2,097,109 61
Chandler Chicco Agency 5,176,573 3,307,868 56
M:Communications 5,703,478 4,223,583 35

Source: PR Week
Note: does not include Sarbanes-Oxley-affected agencies



TOP 5 FOR GROWTH - SMALL AGENCIES

Company Fee income Fee income %
2005(pounds) 2004(pounds) change
1 Inferno Communications 1,617,553 469,377 245
2 Freshwater UK 1,641,943 820,499 100
3 Frank Public Relations 2,300,749 1,443,952 59
4 Taylor Herring 1,574,780 1,052,094 50
5 Brazen 1,450,620 996,587 46

Source: PR Week
Note: does not include Sarbanes-Oxley-affected agencies

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