Agency Business Agency Models

Discover the best-run indie agencies in Britain with the Independent Agency Census

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By Sam Bradley | Senior Reporter

May 26, 2022 | 4 min read

Despite the challenges of the last two years, global advertisers continue to flock to work with British agencies to drive their creative, sharpen their strategy and push their brands to the next level. But while the UK’s established agency networks offer scale, the country’s indie agencies bring unparalleled attitude and verve to the table.

Consider, for example, the acquisitions of the industry’s biggest indies M&C Saatchi and Engine by burgeoning agency group Next Fifteen, or the continued success of businesses such as Brainlabs, RocketMill or Space & Time in the face of competition from networks and consultancies.

To highlight the best-performing agencies in the industry, our research team has polled indie agencies and their clients to produce a new edition of the industry’s most comprehensive survey of the UK’s indie agency landscape.

indie agencies census graphic asset

The Drum has released a new edition of the Independent Agency Census / The Drum

The Drum’s crack researchers surveyed hundreds of indie agencies in the UK about how they fared amid the shockwaves of the pandemic and the state of their businesses now.

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We examined hard financial data including their turnover over the past year, revenue growth, gross profit and gross profit growth, while comparing those statistics with agency headcounts to reach an estimation of the most efficient and best-run indie agencies in the country.

Our team also combined original survey data from indie agency clients, revealing not just which are the healthiest businesses, but which agencies are most beloved by their brand partners.

The results of The Drum’s Independent Agencies Census can be found here, broken down by the relative size of each agency; we’ve also split off media agencies into a separate list, given their billings aren’t reasonably comparable to those of creative or digital shops.

If you’d like to know more about how to take part in our upcoming research projects, get in touch: research@thedrum.com.

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