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Top 30 London Advertising Agencies

Our top 30 London advertising agencies (in alphabetical order) – 2014…………………………..

Adam&EveDDB.¬†Communications agency. Adam&EveDDB was created from a merger between Adam & Eve and DDBLondon in 2012. Famed for its classic 1959 Volkswagen campaign, and in recent years, for ‚ÄėWhassup‚Äô, DDB was founded over half a century ago; one of its founders being the famous advertising executive Bill Bernbach. DDB is the most awarded agency in the Gunn report.

AMV BBDO.¬†Creative advertising and brand management agency. The agency behind Guinness’ great ads of recent times (i.e. The Surfer). AMV BBDO can claim to be the first in the industry in many areas, including: largest amount of clients in the UK and the biggest agency in the UK for the last 10 years. Some of its clients include: Guinness, BT, Adidas, Aviva, Sainsbury’s, Starbucks, Mercedes-Benz, Walkers, ¬†Heinz and others.

AKQA.¬†“Ideas and innovation company that specializes in creating digital services and products”. Established in 1995.¬†AKQA has won numerous top awards, including for Nike Training Club, most downloaded training app, also, Heineken Star Player. In 2011,¬†AKQA was named as the “most awarded digital agency” by the Gunn Report.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty. BBH has been behind some of the classic ads of the last two decades or so, in particular, the Levi laundrette ad, Vorsprung durch Technik (Audi), Johnny Walker and more. The company was formed in 1982.

Beattie McGuinness Bungay. Creative agency, covering both advertising and PR. Independent. BMB was up only a few years ago, but has taken off with a bang. Carling is, currently, one of its most important clients for which it has done much talked-about work. Other clients include: Microsoft, Samsung,  Virgin Money, Grolsch and others.

Cheil. A marketing agency covering: advertising, PR, digital marketing and more. It was founded in 1973 with HQ in South Korea. In 2011 Cheil won one Grand-prix and four Golds at Cannes Lions for its Tesco Homepuls campaign. And has won many Cannes Lions since. The agency is also reputed for its work in shopper marketing and sports marketing.

CHI & Partners. Chi & Partners was set up over 10 years ago as a traditional ad agency but has since shifted into being more integrated with digital. Current clients include: Anchor, Argos, British Gas, Burger King, Churchill, Nestle, Samsung, Talk Talk, The Times and others.

Dare.¬†Creative agency. Describes itself as ¬†being focused on “brand behaviour, first and foremost. Because our DNA is born of ‚Äėdigital‚Äô”. Clients include:¬†Aviva, Barclays, Barclaycard, BMW, ¬†Coca-Cola, EE, ¬†The Football Association, ¬†Post Office, Sainsbury’s, Sony, Vision Express, and others.

DLKW LOWE.¬†LOWE (founded 1899, with world famous campaigns for¬†Absolut, Birds Eye and Heinekenwas in the 1980′s under Sir Frank Lowe)¬†bought by DLKW in 2010. Clients include: Morrisons, E.ON, Persil, Domestos, WH Smith, The Daily Mirror, Knorr and others.

Fallon.¬†Fallon was founded in 1981, and as early as 1984 was named agency of the year by Advertising Age (and agency of the year in 2007 by Campaign). Fallon is renowned for its creative output, having won more important creative awards than any other advertising agency in the world. Some of its classic campaigns in recent years include: Sony Bravia ‘Balls’ and Cadbury’s Gorilla.

Grey London . A creative agency with advertising, digital, social, shopper, activation & production all under one roof. Started off in 1917 Рnow a part of the WWP Group. Some of its current clients include: Pringles, The Sun, Volvo, Lucozade, Vodofone and others.

Karmarama. Independently owned creative British advertising agency founded in 2000 (part of the Karma Communications Group formed in 2012, covering multiple marketing disciplines). Clients include: Costa, BBC, Honda, BT, Sony and others.

Krow. Krow was founded in 2005. Independent. The founders , who still run the agency, come from a mixture of creative, planning, sales and management backgrounds. Clients include: DFS, Paypal, Fiat, Virgin Trains, Natural History Museum, and others.

Havas¬†Worldwide London.¬†Formerly (after rebranding)¬†Euro RSCG. Havas is the 6th-largest global advertising and communications group worldwide. Clients include: Coca Cola, Evian, Citroen, Nike, Jack Daniel’s, EDF, Sony, Orange, and others.

JWT London.¬†JWT was founded in 1864. It has played a key role in the development of the modern advertising agency as we know it now, in particular, in account planning, copywriting and offering ‘full-service’ work. Current clients: HSBC, Nokia, Shell, Lego and others. In 2012, JWT sent a Kit Kat into space, giving a spacecrew a break.

Leo Burnett.¬†The Chicago-based advertising agency was founded by Leo Burnett back in the 1930s – Burnett being one of the best known advertising men of the 20th century. Clients: Samsung, Nintendo, Kellogg’s, Coca Cola, McDonalds, P&G, Fiat and others.

Ogilvy & Mather UK.¬†Ogilvy & Mather was (jointly) founded by David Ogilvy who played a central role in the building of many big brands during the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s, and in the development of modern advertising in general. Current clients include: Dove, Philips, IBM, Motorola, Pringles, British Airways and others.

M & C Saatchi. M & Saatchi was founded by Maurice and Charles Saatchi in 1995. Clients include: NatWest, Ribena, Network Rail and others.

McCann¬†McCann-Erickson was named ‘Global Agency of The Year’ by Adweek in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Work: TV, apps, documentaries and more. McCann was behind the¬†Mastercard campaign ‘There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there is Mastercard”.

Mother. Mother has been one of the fastest growing agencies of the last 10 years or so. Strong reputation for creativity. Clients: Halfords, Bertolli, Ikea, MoneySuperMarket, and others.

MWO.¬†Business solutions ageny ‚Äď ‚Äúhelp solve the business challenges faced by brands‚ÄĚ. Advertising, design & digital. Independent agency founded 19 years ago. Clients: AXA, Wickes, Swiftcover.com, Food Standard Agency and others.

RKCR/Y&R Full service, integrated creative agency. Clients: Bank of Scotland, Land Rover, M&S, BBC, Danone, Lloyds Bank, Vodafone, Revlon, Virgin Atlantic, Volvic, and others.

Publicis London.¬†Publicis was founded in 1972. Part of a larger worldwide group. Current clients include: United Biscuits, Confused.com, Renault, Nescafe, McVitie’s, P&G, Cadbury and others.

Saatchi & Saatchi¬†Saatchi & Saatchi was founded back in the 70s by Charles and Maurice Saatchi to reach legendary status a few years later with campaigns for the Conservative Party ‘Labour isn’t working’, British Airways, and Silkcut. Clients: Toyota, HSBC, EE, Guinness, T-Mobile, Visa, Carlsberg, and others.

St Lukes.¬†Advertising / branding ‚Äď brand consultancy and development. Clients include: Strongbow, Littlewoods, Very.co.uk, Heineken, Shop Direct, Vauxhall/Opel, and more.

Tag Worldwide¬†‚ÄúProcess Transformation experts‚ÄĚ ‚Äď integrated services and solutions in the brand services sector. Clients: Reebok, Zurich, Jaguar Land Rover, O2, and others.

TBWA London TBWA was founded in Paris in 1970, and opened its first office in London in 1973. It has a particular reputation for creativity, and is a popular destination of work for both copywriters and art directors. TBWA was was named by Advertising Agency in 2010 as Global Agency Network of the Decade. Clients include: Absolut Vodka, Adidas, Nissan, Apple, Aquafresh, GSK, and others.

VCCP.¬†Full service creative agency. Created in 2002. The agency behind¬†Aleksandr Orlov’s¬†comparethemarket.com meerkat campaign. Awards: Campaign Advertising Agency of the Year – 2013; Iab Creative Agency of the Year – 2013. Clients include: Asda, O2, easyJet, Ancestry.co.uk, and others.

WCRS. Advertising agency. WCRS was founded in 1979 but went underwent a major change in 2004 when it was 27 of its staff bought the agency back from its previous owners. Clients: B&Q, BMW, Bupa, Churchill, Santander, Sky, and others.

W + K London.¬†Wieden & Kennedy, one of the largest, independently-owned advertising agencies in the world, was set up in Oregon over 25 years ago. The agency behind Nike’s ‘Just do it’. AdAge¬†named Wieden+Kennedy agency of the year for 2010. In 2011¬†Fast Company named Wieden+Kennedy as one of the 50 most innovative companies. Clients: Tesco, Honda, Lurpak, Nike, Procter & Gamble, and others.

.

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 favourites: Albion, We Are Social and 4Creative

- We Are Social Рa niche, social media agency Рincluding  because of the importance of social media in general. 
- 4Creative Рa relatively small agency Рincluding because it won the UK’s only Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes Lions for Meet the Superhumans

.With thanks (assistance) to Will Humphrey

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7 Comments

  1. Not a lot of surprises in your list.

    Recessions tend to provoke the Advertising industry’s rising stars to launch their own agencies – usually bringing new business models to the market.

    Hopefully your 2011 Top 25 list will have a few new names based on exciting new developments in an industry struggling to remain relevant to big UK and International businesses.

    Having worked with 8 of your list (and worked at 3 of them) – I can safely say it is time this industry was shaken up.

  2. Thanks for your comment Graham,
    Good point. Yes, will have to follow closely now more than ever with everything that is going on / rapid developments taking place in digital media, and now in mobile marketing, in particular.

  3. Graham

    In your opinion, who are the up and coming stars?

  4. There are too many to mention, but as commerce and the branded world continue to bulge, so does the increase in agencies, and that then fuels competition and this is why there are so many good agencies trying to be different, but really they share the same ideologies. Thanks

  5. It’s a nice and comprehensive list of a-rated agencies here, but I have two things to point out – Anomaly London, St. Luke’s and Albion could also be included, and there is a typo in AKQA’s name :)

  6. Hey Graham!

    Helpful list! On a tangent, I’m actually a music promoter and wondering who I should be contacting (at agencies) with regards to music synching. We’ve got a database of up and coming and often unsigned music and this is a parallel step we’re intersted in taking.

    Any advice on departments or perhaps moreso, any particular agencies you’d suggest would be very helpful, presuming that aiming for the largest in our case, probably isn’t the way forward?!

    Thanks in advance…

  7. What would you consider the ten best advertising agencies in London?

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