New names feature in audited Top 100 survey

More than a third of the groups listed in Design Week’s 2002 Top 100 are newcomers to the annual chart that ranks consultancies according to their UK design fee-income. Thirty-seven new names make their debut on the chart, including a number of consultancies based outside London.

WPP Group-owned Enterprise IG once more tops the chart with fee-income of £59.49m, up from £45.42m last year. But this increase includes fees from WPP stablemates Tutssels and the retail side of BDG McColl, which were absorbed into the Enterprise IG network last year.

Imagination again comes second, with fees up from £29m to almost £41m. Cordiant Communications Group-owned Fitch Worldwide meanwhile shoots into third position, with fees of £30.32m reported by its constituent groups, including Fitch London, PSD Fitch and BamberForsyth Fitch.

Despite an apparent hike in fees by groups at the top end of the charts, total fee-income across the Top 100 groups is down 16 per cent on last year, from £613.72m to £516.72m. The biggest players reported a 1 per cent rise in fees overall, while groups in the top half of the charts saw an 11 per cent drop. Smaller groups in the lower half of the charts meanwhile saw fees decline by 30 per cent overall.

Staff numbers were down 25 per cent – 2156 fewer than reported in last year’s trawl.

The Top 100 survey, charting design groups’ fortunes from January to December 2001, is based on a questionnaire published in Design Week. For the first time, consultancies were asked to provide an auditor’s statement verifying the data. The results were analysed with help from Amanda Merron of accountant Willott Kingston Smith.

Full results are published in The Top 100 Consultancy Survey supplement are available.

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