2017 PR Agency Fast Movers | Holmes Report
Charting the future of public relations

Global PR Agency Rankings 2017:

Rankings: Top 10 | Top 250 | Holding Groups/Networks 
Analysis: Global PR industry rebounds to 7%
Research: Global Communications Report

Fast Movers 2017    Global Top 250 PR Agency Rankings

Global


Unsurprisingly, perhaps, it is smaller firms that dominate the top of the Global Fast Mover ranking, led by new agencies Vested (US) and Matriochka Influences (France). Indeed, this year's Global growth ranking reflects a diverse group of agencies, China's CYTS-Linkage and the UK's Newgate rounding out the top four. There are also eye-catching performances from South Africa (Clockwork Media), India (Avian Media and Value360), the Czech Republic (PR.Konektor), the UK (W and M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment) and Australia (Red Agency), while the US retains its spot as the top global growth driver by contributing five firms to the top 15 including Praytell, Bulleit, Carmichael Lynch Relate and ReviveHealth.

Interestingly, compared to last year, there is no sector-specific skew among the fastest-growing agencies, coming as they do from a broad range of capabilities including consumer, corporate, technology and healthcare.


AgencyHQGrowth
(Constant Currency)
Fee Income 2016 ($)
1
VestedUSA316.9%3,560,000
2
Matriochka InfluencesFrance86.2%2,835,000
3
CYTS-LINKAGEChina79.9%18,123,494
4
Newgate CommunicationsUK63.0%48,608,857
5
PraytellUSA56.1%9,211,710
6
The Bulleit GroupUSA52.9%3,100,000
7
Clockwork MediaSouth Africa48.6%2,000,000
8
Avian Media Pvt LtdIndia45.7%4,270,000
9
Carmichael Lynch RelateUSA45.7%25,500,000
10
WUK43.6%7,170,900
11
PR.Konektor 42.1%1,360,518
12
M&C Saatchi Sport & EntertainmentUK42.1%17,466,000
13
Value 360 CommunicationsIndia41.6%3,627,512
14
Red AgencyAustralia40.8%5,048,706
15
ReviveHealthUSA39.7%14,015,000

Above $30M


Because rapid growth tends to favor boutiques, we again looked at the fastest-growing larger PR firms, with revenues of more than $30m. This year, M&A-hungry UK firm Newgate comes out on top. Indeed, acquisitions are a recurring theme behind the fastest-growing bigger players, with the UK's Four Communications Group and Hotwire both benefiting from agency purchases, along with Sweden's H&H Group (which includes Springtime and Jung among others) and the USA's W2O Group. The top 10 also showcases considerable geographic diversity, with Germany (Hering Schuppener), Canada (National PR) and Japan (Vector PR) all represented, along with traditionally strong markets like the US (Prosek Partners) and the UK (Huntsworth Health).  

As usual, independent agencies are favoured, although the presence of private equity (Four, W2O) cannot be discounted. Meanwhile, the top 10 also reflects plenty of breadth across diverse practices and industries, deflecting the notion that midsize firms are in any way challenged in today's global PR industry.


AgencyHQGrowth
(Constant Currency)
Fee Income 2015 ($)
1
Newgate CommunicationsUK63.0%48,608,857
2
Four Communications GroupUK39.0%39,822,192
3
HotwireUK35.5%31,702,340
4
H&H GroupSweden35.2%33,770,000
5
Hering SchuppenerGermany33.3%47,040,000
6
Res Publica (National PR)Canada30.0%78,000,000
7
Vector Inc.Japan29.3%106,000,000
8
W2O GroupUSA29.2%122,715,000
9
Prosek PartnersUSA29.0%31,488,000
10
Huntsworth HealthUK25.6%111,684,000

USA


A number of newer players make the ranking this year in the US, led financial player Vested, which only launched in 2015. Other boutique firms to outgrow the industry average include tech-focused players Praytell, Bulleit, Day One and Kiterocket, all of which benefit from the stronger returns afforded by their smaller size.

But there are midsize firms that are also delivering eye-catching growth. Minneapolis agency Carmichael Lynch Relate submitted a banner year under new leadership, while W2O Group benefited from new acquisitions that were powered by private equity ownership. And ReviveHealth, Spectrum (healthcare) and Prosek (corporate) demonstrated that challenging sectors are no barrier to impressive topline expansion. 


AgencyHQGrowth
(Constant Currency)
Fee Income 2016 ($)
1VestedUSA316.9%3,560,000
2PraytellUSA56.1%9,211,710
3The Bulleit GroupUSA52.9%3,100,000
4Carmichael Lynch RelateUSA45.7%25,500,000
5ReviveHealthUSA39.7%14,015,000
6Day One AgencyUSA37.5%6,038,323
7KiterocketUSA37.1%5,788,068
8SpectrumUSA34.8%20,000,000
9W2O GroupUSA29.2%122,715,000
10Prosek PartnersUSA29.0%31,488,000

Americas (Excluding USA)


Beyond the US, growth is noticeably slower, with the fastest-growing player (Costa Rica's Comunicación Corporativa Ketchum) clocking in at +28.5%. A number of Canadian firms outperformed the market, led by MSLGroup-owned North Strategic, a newer contender with strong digital and consumer capabilities, alongside industry stalwarts Tact Intelligence-conseil, Environics and Veritas. In Brazil, meanwhile, market leader FSB submits an impressive performance, as do RMA and Inpress. And perennial fast-grower Another Company, from Mexico, makes this list once again.


AgencyHQGrowth
(Constant Currency)
Fee Income 2016 ($)
1Comunicación Corporativa KetchumCosta Rica28.5%4,104,351
2North StrategicCanada22.1%10,212,000
3RMA ComunicacaoBrazil18.5%5,724,412
4Another CompanyMexico17.3%6,100,000
5FSB ComunicacoesBrazil17.2%76,338,478
6Tact Intelligence-conseilCanada14.0%4,413,093
7Environics CommunicationsCanada13.6%14,076,868
8Veritas CommunicationsCanada11.9%8,362,000
9Grupo InpressBrazil11.8%39,856,031

Europe


Reports of Europe's demise may be exaggerated, given the growth rates exhibited by the agencies on this list. France's Matriochka marks itself out as one of the region's brightest consultancies, bringing a cutting-edge digital approach to a difficult market. Corporate and financial heavyweight Newgate makes its fourth consecutive showing on this list, bolstered by global M&A. And UK consumer consultancy W, meanwhile, continues to dazzle with its business performance and increasingly global ambitions. 

Indeed, four of the top five hail for the UK, rounded out by perennial fast-grower M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, once again demonstrating its ability to blend consumer and lifestyle in multiple markets, and Four Communications, which benefits from several UK acquisitions. And another UK consumer firm — Hope & Glory — cracks the top ten too.

Beyond the UK, there are notable performances from less fashionable markets: Poland's Solski; Swiss corporate heavyweight Farner; Spain's Evercom and Swedish group H&H, which includes highly-rated consultancies Jung and Springtime.


AgencyHQGrowth
(Constant Currency)
Fee Income 2016 ($)
1
Matriochka Influences France 86.2% 2,835,000
2
Newgate Communications UK 63% 48,608,857
3
W UK 43.6% 7,170,900
4
M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment UK 42% 17,466,000
5
Four Communications Group UK 39% 39,822,192
6
Solski Communications Poland 37.4% 2,026,500
7
Farner Consulting Switzerland 36.9% 23,215,500
8
Hope&Glory UK 36.5% 5,710,719
9
Evercom Spain 36.3% 5,207,922
10
H&H Group Sweden 35.2%33,770,000

Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa


Despite missing the global networks that do not break out revenue numbers on a geographic, the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa ranking features a welcome number of consultancies that are outperforming the global industry average to a considerable extent, drawn from a range of markets across a highly diverse group of regions. There is a particularly strong showing from domestic Chinese firms, including CYTS-Linkage in top spot (+79.9%), along with GoodIdea Media and Kiwi Communications in 6th and 7th, respectively. 

India, meanwhile, supplies three firms in Avian Media, Value360 (who both crack the top 5) and market leader Adfactors, reflecting stronger returns in an important PR market. South Africa's Clockwork Media demonstrates that it's modern approach to content is paying off amid difficult economic conditions, while there are also eye-catching performances from Havas-owned consumer shop Red Agency in Australia; Japanese heavyweight Vector; and, Singapore tech darlings IN.FOM.


AgencyHQGrowth
(Constant Currency)
Fee Income 2016 ($)
1
CYTS-LINKAGEChina79.9%18,123,494
2
Clockwork MediaSouth Africa48.6%2,000,000
3
Avian Media Pvt LtdIndia45.7%4,270,000
4
Value 360 CommunicationsIndia41.6%3,627,512
5
Red AgencyAustralia38.9%5,048,706
6
GOODIDEA MEDIAChina40.0%7,000,000
7
Kiwi CommunicationsChina36.3%3,103,431
8
Vector Inc.Japan29.3%106,000,000
9
IN.FOM Pte LtdSingapore24.8%2,286,470
10
Adfactors PRIndia24.0%24,300,000


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