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Tuesday, 01 December 2015

The top 100 UK agencies – and how they stack up

November saw the publication of our annual UK industry review which, unlike previous years, dispensed with a league table and instead depicted the market in the style of David McCandless’s billion dollar gram. Having spent a good part of the year extolling the benefits and virtues of infographics, we thought it an appropriate route to take.

But of course, being researchers, many of our readers were itching to get a look at the full data table on which our infographic was based. So here it is: the list of the top 100 UK-based research agencies, ranked by turnover. Figures are in £m and those marked * are estimates.


1TNS Research International*160.000*166.000n/a
3Ipsos Mori127.742128.446128.109
4Millward Brown*105.000107.040115.015
5GfK NOP89.46187.84195.400
7AC Nielsen*80.00081.52383.432
8IMS Health Group*65.00064.40661.296
14IRI Infoscan38.000*34.00032.999
15Kantar Media35.84548.63647.621
16GfK Retail & Technology23.92422.07822.922
17Hall & Partners21.28920.49021.200
19Frost & Sullivan*20.00021.12223.335
20Insight Research Group19.58117.24217.976
21ICM Research Group19.35818.76617.789
22Harris Interactive18.34020.27721.913
23SPA Future Thinking17.400n/an/a
24Adelphi International Research17.16217.04815.733
25mmr Group17.12314.31712.284
27Double Helix Development16.43812.2229.590
28BDRC Continental16.24815.11815.699
30Hay Group Insight*15.000n/an/a
32The Research Partnership11.95112.4019.514
33ORC International11.94513.79613.793
35AGB Nielsen Media Research*11.00012.93910.615
36Gallup Organisation10.55510.24410.727
37Nunwood Group*10.35010.0169.318
38Business Research Group10.3007.0616.747
40Lorien Customer Focus9.6288.1829.250
41Maritz Research9.4968.6998.790
42Forrester Research*9.4009.3619.038
43GfK Kynetec9.2438.4886.910
44Experian Footfall9.04510.22410.305
45Markit Economics*9.000n/an/a
46Marketing Sciences8.2717.7598.846
48Added Value*8.1008.42910.493
49PWC International Survey Unit*8.000n/an/a
52Incite Marketing Planning7.4005.6563.257
53Truth Marketing Strategies7.1805.2904.015
54RS Consulting7.0597.8238.586
55Leapfrog Research & Planning6.9946.2387.527
56IFF Research6.9456.9986.987
57BMG Research6.7079.1388.458
58The Futures Company6.7006.7517.059
59Retail Eyes6.6706.1054.658
60Holden Pearmain Research6.6166.7417.408
61HPI Research6.4256.7039.185
64Network Research & Marketing6.1795.3675.372
65The Leadership Factor6.1005.8005.000
66Jigsaw Research6.0085.7384.957
67Conquest Research*5.9006.0856.256
68Optimisa Research5.7334.9215.385
70Promar International5.2044.2453.872
71Experian Hitwise5.1935.2023.209
72Incomes Data Services*5.1004.9135.713
73RL Polk5.0384.7085.463
74ABA Market Research5.0005.0004.009
75Grass Roots Group4.8006.1705.026
76Simpson Carpenter4.7065.2106.726
78Opinion Leader Research*4.4004.3076.926
79Freshminds Research4.2033.7603.780
80National Readership Surveys4.1384.0444.008
81Kadence UK4.1244.2023.890
82RSMB Television Research3.9404.3204.321
83Echo Research*3.900*3.7753.776
84Northstar Research Partners3.8263.1944.113
86GfK IFR3.676n/an/a
87Aequus Research3.6552.817*3.150
88Market Probe Europe*3.6003.7463.827
89Swift Research3.5383.0902.905
90The Planning Shop International3.5253.6383.592
91Virtual Surveys/Join the Dots3.5003.1243.380
92Steer Davies & Gleave*3.494*3.818*3.692
93CSM Europe*3.1503.2683.354
95Discovery Research3.0292.8322.575
96Strathlink/Link Consumer Strategies*3.0252.9712.221
9738th Floor3.010n/an/a
99JRA Research*2.9502.9142.745
100Brand Health International2.7294.0684.390


For analysis and interviews with the fastest growing agencies, click here.

How the information was compiled
Many information sources were used, including the financial and business press and related websites

  • Companies House has been the principal source of comparative data in the public domain but reporting dates vary within the year. Most are December but a few are as early as February and March
  • Annual reports of public companies
  • Private companies have in many cases supplied their turnover data directly to us, particularly if they file only modified accounts at Companies House. In a few cases these are round numbers rather than precise figures
  • For some companies turnover has been estimated, based on known turnover ranges in the Research Buyer’s Guide and other information
  • Many participants in the MRS Annual Survey of the industry agreed to the publication of their turnover
  • Figures relate to turnover by UK-based organisations regardless of the location of their ultimate ownership or of their clients
  • The top 100 includes only companies engaged in the collection, processing, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of information about markets and social issues
  • Companies that are wholly dedicated to data collection, panels and fieldwork are not included
  • It should also be remembered that there are many successful and reputable enterprises whose turnover is below the threshold for inclusion in the top 100. It remains a huge advantage of the UK industry that it continues to generate start-ups and new entrants, some of which have very high growth rates from a modest base and constitute compelling business development case studies

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