2024 Digital Consultancies of the Year | PRovoke Media

2024 Digital Consultancies of the Year

The 2024 EMEA PR Consultancies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving more than 200 submissions and meetings with the best PR firms across the UK, Europe the Middle East and Africa. Analysis of each of the Winners and finalists across 20 geographic and specialist categories can be accessed via the navigation menu to the right or below. Winners are unveiled at the 2024 EMEA SABRE Awards, which take place in London on 17 April. Tickets and tables are available here.

You can find the 2024 SABRE Awards EMEA finalists here.

Finalists

BCW (WPP)

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BCW’s digital team in EMEA is practically a world-leading digital agency in its own right, with nearly 200 specialists across 13 markets in the region, covering digital strategy, creative, data and analytics, influencer, social media and paid media. The digital community is led by the Digital Innovation team, a borderless group of eight senior advisors, headed up by managing director Sama Al-Naib – one of our Innovator 25 for EMEA in 2023. The team’s ethos is “intelligent communications for maximum impact”, and it is committed to advancing BCW’s digital, data and intelligence solutions. This been underpinned over the past year with the launch of several initiatives, including Decipher, BCW’s impressive new AI offer, combining a predictive intelligence cognitive AI platform with corporate reputation and crisis counsel. Encouraging clients and colleagues to embrace the opportunities of generative AI and navigate pitfalls and regulatory changes around AI is also a big focus for the team.

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Across the EMEA region, BCW has digital specialists in the UK, Germany, France, the Middle East, Italy, Brussels, Spain, Finland, Swede, Switzerland, Norway and South Africa. 

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Overall, BCW had single digit growth across EMEA, but this rose closer to 20% for its top 25 clients in the region. The digital team works across a substantial proportion of BCW clients, including Warner Bros, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bombay Sapphire gin and Wimbledon.

aoy-people-iconPeople & Culture

Key digital hires in 2023 included BCW returner Solveig Veercamp as social and digital lead for EMEA, and Lorenzo Petracco was promoted to a new role as head of creative transformation for EMEA. Last year, the digital innovation team introduced the ‘Innovation Series’ of training sessions to increase generative AI proficiency across the agency, help teams use AI responsibly, transparently and ethically, and to encourage openness to evolution and change. Across the wider business, chief inclusion officer Carol Watson relocated to the UK and provides specialist and comprehensive DEI support to the EMEA region, including via Destination Inclusion, BCW's immersive DEI learning journey. Using employee experience platform Culture Amp, BCW introduced a new performance management, and the agency launched The Learning Hub to support learning and skills development. Partnering with Wellable, Let’s Move is BCW’s annual challenge to support the health and wellbeing of its people, and the Passport Programme enables people to work remotely from another country.

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

As well as Decipher, BCW’s digital team played a pivotal part in the development of a number of tools, including: the BCW Foresight dashboard to help public affairs and legal professionals navigate complex policy and legal data in a complex and fast-moving regulatory environment; the Influence Index of European policymakers; Know Your Opportunity, a tool that helps identify communications opportunities where search volume is high but content is low; and BCW Advocate, a celebrity and influencer talent offer. BCW earned 15 SABRE nominations; stand-out work from the digital team last year included using a suite of influencer tools to help Wimbledon’s sportswear brand, The Wimbledon Collection, expand into lifestyle fashion and reach and younger and more diverse audience, leading to a 30% uplift in retail sales. The team also worked with Warner Bros to hone comms strategy and messaging for its Discovery channels in South Africa, and with Motorola raised awareness of violence against women in surprising way on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by replacing Motorola’s logo on the shirts of AC Monza players with real crisis line messages from women for the football team’s Serie A match against Torino; the campaign went viral and earned 100% positive sentiment. 

Maja Pawinska Sims


Coolr (UK/Independent)

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In a fast two years, London digital agency Coolr grew from a start-up to a scale-up, with impressive growth in both revenue and team, expansion to the US, and striking a global partnership with TikTok. Adam Clyne, former EMEA digital chief at Weber Shandwick and LADbible COO, founded Coolr in 2017 on a mission to reinvent water cooler moments (hence the name) for the digital age by bringing together big agency thinking with the speed and agility of a social publishing platform. Coolr’s aim is to transform consumer brands as they navigate the social landscape and look for new ways to connect with their audiences. The agency lives and breathes digital and social and is completely plugged into popular culture; Coolr is often behind viral and trending campaigns that generate worldwide earned and editorial cut through. Last year it launched Coolr Studios, delivering a social-first, mobile-first approach designed to reach Gen Z news consumers. 

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Coolr is based in London and has opened a US operation in Los Angeles.

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2023 was nothing short of an astounding hear for Coolr, whose revenue grew 63% (on the heels of 55% in 2022) and headcount doubled to more than 94. The firm won a record number of high-profile pitches including social agency of record for Samsung, the hotly contested Social AOR pitch for Lidl, AOR for Starbucks, Mitchells and Butler pubs portfolio including All Bar One. Coolr’s seventh year in business also saw the agency launch in the US, winning AOR remits for Lyft and Dolby, and expand its global partnership with TikTok. Other new business came from Floral Street, Gumtree, Heathrow, which joined existing clients Burger King, Deliveroo and Doritos. Coolr continued to grow its influencer offering delivering 150+ influencer activations for clients including Samsung, Dreams, Free Now & Lidl. The agency’ in-house 360-degree studio team of 20 continued to create everything from TikTok style formats to larger high-end pieces of content and created 450+ videos in 2023 alone.

aoy-people-iconPeople & Culture

Coolr’s fast-growing team come from diverse backgrounds spanning publishing, comms, content and tech (some of them social media influencers in their own right), united by the fact that they all live and breathe digital, and by the firm’s five core value: one team; think big/act small; wrestle and hug (it’s okay to disagree to get to the solution, but always come back together as one team); celebrate the wins, big and small; and don’t be a dick. Recognising that Coolr is in a significant growth phase, the agency has worked with HR consultants to help build deeper processes and systems, as well as inclusive recruiter Hidden and Taylor Bennett Foundation. Nearly one-third, 31%, of Coolr’s employees are from Black, Asian, or other minority ethnic groups, and 16% identifying as LGBTQIA+. In early 2023, the agency launched a DE&I committee, which has since led to the establishment of three Employee Resource Groups: Black at Coolr, LGBTQIA+ at Coolr, and Neurodiverse at Coolr. These groups serve as forums for ongoing dialogue, identifying areas for improvement, providing a safe space for personal experiences, and enacting meaningful changes. This commitment to diversity and inclusion is not just a part of our culture; it shapes both the employee experience and the work we produce.

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

Coolr’s work for big-name clients was front and center last year, achieving expansive reach — and scooping up a trove of industry awards. The agency’s TikTok collaborative campaign “Ode To Bakery” garnered a total of 20+ million impressions and its recent festive Lidl campaign with East 17’s Tony Mortimer had 47+million views. Coolr’s “Can You Send Me That” influencer activation with Samsung gained 4.5 million impressions across channels by posing the question: could AI or the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra create better content. Other notable work included Pete Davidson tweet for Lyft that drew 7+ million impressions and a Burger King campaign that turned  Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope into an unlikely twitter sensation.

Diana Marszalek


Clockwork (Independent)

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Founded in 2013 by ex-journalist Tom Manners and Nic Simmonds, Clockwork’s name might reference the Stanley Kubrick film, but this communications firm is rather more optimistic than that dystopian image might suggest. Winner of African Agency of the Year honours in three of the past seven years, thanks to a pioneering focus on digital, Clockwork celebrated its 10th anniversary last year by re-imagining its market positioning based on a vision of ‘honesty and effectiveness. That has been supported by new investments in martech, data and performance capabilities, alongside elevated creative capabilities — for a client base that spans technology, gaming, entertainment and financial services. 

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Clockwork’s 135 staffers are based largely in South Africa, while there is also a UK operation. 


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Clockwork reported robust financial returns in 2023, with fee income of £5.8m marking a significant increase of 23.4% compared to 2022. The firm’s client portfolio expanded with key additions such as Chery Group (Omoda and Jaecoo), BDO, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Redefine and Openserve, joining an existing roster that features Microsoft (Xbox), Standard Bank, Canon, Synlab, BMW, Meta, and Discovery. 

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After a decade in business, Clockwork co-created six key pillars with staff to reflect its current values and culture - partnering with emerging South African artists to bring these ideas to life across art, sculpture and installations at its Johannesburg office. As a South African agency, DEI is non-negotiable, evident in the firm’s dedication to maintaining its BBBEE Level 1 positioning into 2024. In addition to Manners and Simmonds, key leaders include new appointments  Jacques Shalom and Sergio Santos van Vuuren as chief creative officer and PR director, respectively, alongside client service director Mathabo Diale, business development director Dustin Carr and strategy director Daniela White. Marcus Reynolds is UK CEO, while co-UK CEO Richard Dutton departed. 

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Clockwork's thought leadership includes quarterly speaking events and ‘connect’ sessions with influencers and media leaders — along with a 2024 trends forecast. Among its notable campaigns were three Gold SABRE nominations for Xbox and Aware.org 

Arun Sudhaman

The 10 Group (UK/Independent) 

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Integrated marcomms and digital content agency The 10 Group’s features an eclectic mix of staffers — strategists, journalists, BAFTA-winning storytellers, creatives and social marketers — with the shared goal of creating digital-first initiatives “that inspire employees, attract customers and engage investors.” With a name that’s a nod to perfection — the ubiquitous perfect 10 — the group works with clients in tech like Vodafone and Sage to luxury brands such as Ralph Lauren. 

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The 10 Group is based in the UK with both its head and production offices in London. The agency is also active in the US, Northern and Western Europe, the Middle East and China.

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2023 was very good to 10, which saw revenues rise an eye-catching 30% to £7.8 million.  Headcount rose from 29 to 47 to serve a rapidly expanding portfolio of clients. New business came from M&S, Polestar, Aira, Hyperoptic, Sage, UKSpace, Adarma Security, Nespresso UK and Clarios. The agency started the year with key clients Vodafone, Kensington Mortgages, IWC, BT, Centrica, Genpact, WSP, Mishcon de Reya, Wiley Edge and Confused.com.

aoy-people-iconPeople & Culture

Driven by the believe that culture is a work in progress, 10 created an employee-led culture committee to continually evaluate company culture and find new ways to make it more inclusive collaborate and fun. CEO Elaine Stern, who started 10 in 2010, had made diversity of all kinds core to business operations, and in turn has built an operation where you can find young adults working on strategy with 30-year industry veterans. All employees can receive training and development. Leaders supporting Stern include managing director, Eddie Hammerman and chief commercial officer James Myers.

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

Experts in their arenas, 10 leaders frequently show up in UK media. As a former broadcast journalist and media relations expert, Hammerman regularly discusses trends impacting the PR industry for the likes of  BBC Radio and The Guardian. Myers, meanwhile, has published articles on space travel PR. The agency hosted an event for senior PR and marketing leaders, called 10 Talks, looking at how to put marketing at the heart of business transformation. The year’s showcase work included partnering with Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice on a film that featuring families the nonprofit supports recounting the moment they learned their children were not well. The film was viewed over 60,000 times and was shared by celebrities such as Boy George, Rob Delaney and Tamzin Outhwaite, and by Tottenham Hotspur. It was instrumental to the success of Noah Ark’s fundraising campaign, which raised over £1.28m in 36 hours, significantly exceeding the fundraising target. 

Diana Marszalek

Third City (UK/Independent) 

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Gill Brown, Mark Lowe and Graz Belli created Third City 12 years ago, with a goal of creating an agency that distinguished itself by offering high-end creativity and business savvy. In the time since, the trio of owners have built a thriving business by bringing that idea to fruition, serving up corporate work with the creative flair increasingly necessary to garner attention and consumer work that includes managing brands under increased scrutiny. On the heels of achieving B Corp certification in 2022 and rolling out a new look and proposition, Comms for a New Economy, Third City has made its values part of its business plan, with the goal of having 25% of its work be purpose-driven and doing pro bono work worth 4% of its annual fee income.

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Third City serves clients from its London headquarters. 

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In refreshing its positioning last year, Third City committed to focusing on working with emerging tech-adjacent organisations and in areas related to sustainability. New clients included. New business came from Nespresso UK + Ireland, RED Driver Training, National Fostering Group, Gridserve, Find My Past, Smart Money People, Bitpanda, HSBC Zing and Clearpay, joining a client roster that already included Curaleaf, Bupa, Starling Bank, Vanquis, Credit Karma, TransUnion, Point A Hotels, King Edward VII's Hospital, The Donkey Sanctuary and G Network.

aoy-people-iconPeople & Culture

Third City’s commitment to combine profit with purpose is embedded into the company’s operations and culture. The firm is sharpening its focus on working with tech-adjacent organisations and sustainability as a means of achieving its goal of having purpose-led PR account for a quarter of its business and doing pro bono work worth 4% of its annual fee income. Third City is treating purpose as serious as profit, which pours into its dealings with colleagues, partners, communities and the environment, has garnered attentionProtecting employees’ mental health is a Third City priority, and the foundation of a dedicated program that covers wellness packages to inflationary salary increases. Every employee has the option of going part-time, and tailor their schedule around personal commitments. Third City has 93% employee retention rate.

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Third City’s focus on ESG was duly noted in 2023, when the agency won or was shortlisted more than 20 times for awards honoring purpose-led campaigns created for Zurich Youth Against Carbon Conference, Bupa’s Teen Minds, Credit Karma’s Gender Credit Gap, Starling Bank’s Make Money Equal and Fantasy Football. Pro bono work (selected by staff) supported the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Appeal, with three team members working weekend shifts to relieve the charity’s staff managing social media channels throughout the conflict; and creating with diversity & inclusion campaigner Daniel Peters  The Fashion Minority Report tackling lack of representation in the British fashion world. Other key efforts included launching the new Kia EV9, which focused on busting myths around electric vehicles with an attention-grabbing stunt. Third City partnered with Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) on a campaign aimed at stopping the illegal and inhumane donkey skin trade.

Diana Marszalek