With 'new' disciplines like content marketing emerging all the time, as well as lots mergers and takeovers, the digital agency landscape is complex and ever-changing. 

This is shown by the starchart below, put together by Jack Hagley for Neil's Recruitment. It's also a canny piece of content marketing. 

You can see the chart below, and it's also worth checking out our Top 100 Digital Agencies report, a guide to the top agencies, with info on income, services and more. 

Unlike our Top 100 list, this starchart shows agencies by headcount. The bigger the star, the larger the team.  

Here's the chart, though you'll need to click on the image to take it all in....

Digital agency starchart 

What does the data represent? 

According to Founder Neil Middlemass: 

  • Orbits show agencies that are part of a group.
  • Planets are agencies.
  • Stars are agency groups. They show the aggregate size of the constituent planets in the group.
  • Inner-orbits are used to show group-level functions. 
  • Where the group owns business unrelated to media/advertising, we’ve shown it with a UFO next to it to indicate ‘not to scale’.
  • There are a few quirks in there: look around for a black hole, a planet surrounded by a meteor cluster and The Death Star (naturally).

Neil explains: 

The agency type was determined by their websites, as well as the hierarchal status and the date of founding. We took the UK headcount data from LinkedIn, which is the size of the planets. This year we phoned literally every agency on the chart to ratify all of the above information and to better understand the hierarchy/structure of the groups.

The timeline shows the founding date of the overall parent (so WPP in the case of Mediacom for example). It’s more relevant for the newer/start up companies.

Graham Charlton

Published 13 November, 2013 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (5)

Guy Redmond

Guy Redmond, Digital Marketing Engineer at Nestle

And cue the 1000+ comments of people nominating their agency... ;-)

over 4 years ago


James Hogan

Would be interesting to understand the inclusion criteria as there are - mentioning no names - some big(ish) names missing and some small(ish) agencies included...

over 4 years ago


Lauren Cooke

I agree, it would be good to know the inclusion criteria :)

over 4 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@James / Lauren

Hi - you can nominate your agency for inclusion in the next chart here: http://www.neilsrecruitment.co.uk/digital-agency-starchart-2013/

I know it can be difficult to be totally comprehensive when compiling these things.

We limited ours to the Top 100 agencies, and that was hard work in itself.

over 4 years ago

Neil Middlemass

Neil Middlemass, Director at Neil's Recruitment Company

Hi James, Hi Lauren

We put this together so I can help to answer the inclusion conundrum...

We're a recruitment agency and focus solely on digital acquisition marketing - this was originally put together (last year) to focus purely on that market (in London) and give an idea for scale and complexity. As we developed it, it made sense to include other agencies within the group to show the size of the parent, so we ended up expanding some groups to include other agencies - whether they were creative/design or communications or research.

When we published it before, other companies contacted us to have their company included and we've continued it on a voluntary inclusion basis. We're going to produce a 2.2 version shortly so happy to add any companies (acquisition marketing focussed or otherwise) you feel we should include.

Hope that helps


over 4 years ago

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