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.