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UK's top 100 indie agencies revealed in The Drum's 2019 Independent Agencies Census


By Sam Bradley, Journalist

November 20, 2019 | 4 min read

Jellyfish has retained its crown as the top indie agency in the UK in The Drum's Top 100 Independent Agencies ranking, published today.

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The Drum's Top 100 Independent Agencies have been revealed

The digital marketing shop takes top spot for the second-year running and is followed by Sideshow Group, Brainlabs, Leagas Delaney and George P Johnson in this year's Top 100 list of the nation's best-performing indie agencies.

Agencies earn their place in the Top 100 based on their business performance, as analysed in The Drum’s annual Independent Agencies Census, the most comprehensive study of its kind on UK marcomms firms.

Two years’ worth of financial figures from agencies across the country are crunched to compare their performance on a range of financial metrics including turnover, turnover per head and gross profit.

Top 10 independent agencies

1. Jellyfish

2. Sideshow Group

3. Brainlabs

4. Leagas Delaney

5. George P Johnson

6. BBD Perfect Storm

7. Push

8. Transmission

9. The Goat Agency

10. Dept

See the full Top 100 here

This year, 206 marcomms agencies, representing advertising, design, digital, PR and experiential marketing, submitted themselves to The Drum's expert research team.

The complete Independent Agencies Census digital report, available now to download, includes in-depth financial data on all of these agencies as well as rankings by staff size and region.

Client satisfaction scores from agency search service The Drum Recommends are also deployed in the report in order to highlight the agencies delivering business success for their customers as well as themselves.

Encouragingly for the independent agency landscape, some 80% of the agencies that participated in the 2019 Census experienced growth in turnover in the last year.

Cameron Clarke, deputy editor at The Drum, said: “The Census is the definitive barometer of agencies' financial performance and it was pleasing to see an increase in agencies participating in our rigorous research process this year.

“Overall, the signs for indie agencies are encouraging. Despite an uncertain economic outlook, and suggestions of clients witholding budgets, the vast majority of the agencies we studied have seen an increase in fee income year-on-year – a testament to their attractiveness and new business prowess. This industry needs a vibrant independent scene, so long may their success continue.”

The complete Independent Agencies Census report contains granular financial insights and like-for-like rankings for all agencies involved.

It also includes analysis on 13 independent media agencies, boasting a combined turnover of £333m, who have been examined in the same detail as their creative counterparts but ranked separately owing to the unique nature of their business.

You can get your copy of the Top 100 book and Independent Agencies Census report now from The Drum store.

If you're interested in taking part in next year's Independent Agencies Census, please contact Lauren McCreath via


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