Independent Agency Census Agencies Agency Models

How have smaller indie agencies fared in the wake of Covid?


By Sam Bradley, Journalist

May 31, 2022 | 3 min read

The Drum’s Independent Agencies Census, released this week, has revealed the best-performing indie agency businesses in Britain. Looking deeper into the results, we can see how small agencies – those with less than 50 staff – punch above their weight in the sector.

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The Drum’s Independent Agencies Census shows how smaller agencies have performed in the past year / The Drum

Analysis from The Drum shows that agencies with 50 or fewer staff took over £150m in revenue last year – an average increase of over 50% on their turnovers in 2020.

That suggests that smaller agencies, apparently vulnerable to economic shocks and waves, have performed well in the wake of the UK coronavirus pandemic.

Average revenue per head at agencies with fewer than 50 staff was £103,700, while teams at agencies with fewer than 25 staff were almost as efficient, bringing in £95,200 per head. For agencies in our sample with less than 50 staff, average turnover in 2021 was £2.5m.

A team of around 20 seemed to be the sweet spot for small agencies; our findings showed that Milestone Creative, MediaVision Interactive and Jargon PR enjoyed the highest turnover relative to their headcounts; each had between 22 and 20 team members. Among agencies with 26-50 employees, BBD Perfect Storm, Propellernet and Anything is Possible proved to be the best-run three, with a mean turnover per head of £223,000. Each saw revenue growth of over 55% in the last year.

Find out the state of the UK’s indie agency nation in The Drum’s Independent Agencies Census.

Independent Agency Census Agencies Agency Models

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