UK Firms Lead Industry Growth
By Aarti Shah
UK-based firms dominated the fast movers with four firms ranking among the top 10 fastest growing around the globe.
For the second consecutive year, Newgate takes top spot as the fastest-growing PR firm, this year expanding by almost 150% to reach more than $13m in fee income. The consultancy is joined by other UK-based firms We Are Social (4th), Threepipe Communications (7th, after a merger with digital agency Blowfish Digital) and Hanover (10th).
Four US firms also make the top 10. PadillaCRT and Racepoint Global owe much of their growth to mergers, but Zeno Group and Highwire achieved their numbers organically. Sweden's Narva and Australia's PPR round out the top 10 fastest-growing PR firms in the world.
On a regional basis, China’s largest independent PR firm BlueFocus (BlueDigital) ranks second in Asia-Pacific, following a downward revision of its numbers since the tables were first published. Due to the differences in how some agencies classify revenue versus fee income, BlueFocus' fee income was incorrectly listed as $271m in the first iteration of the global ranking. This has since been corrected to $123.6m, which sees the China agency's ranking revised downward to 16th in the Top 250 table. The corrected figure covers fee income from the firm's BlueDigital operation, which includes public relations and digital marketing services, and the income from other subsidiaries of BlueFocus Communication Group is excluded. The new figure represents growth of more than 40%, compared to 2012.
Taking into account its reporting structure, it is unsurprising that even when breaking the rankings down by region, BlueFocus remains unparalleled as the largest agency of the group at $124 million. Its closest fast moving rivals across all regions were firms with less than $50 million in fees, among them: UK-based Lewis PR at $45 million, US-based Finn Partners at $44 million and US-based Zeno Group at $39.2 million.