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Agency ambitions remain high despite Brexit uncertainty

Published on Friday, 24th March 2017
A massive 90% of creative and digital agencies in the UK expect to increase their turnover in 2017 despite uncertainties over Brexit, the country’s largest agency survey has revealed.

The sixth annual BenchPress Report, created by leading accounting firm, The Wow Company, analyses data from influential owners at 471 British agencies in the creative, digital, media and marketing sectors, highlighting key statistics and trends.

Ahead of the triggering of Article 50 on 29th March, Brexit was a key theme in this year’s survey and while 84% of agency owners admitted opposing the UK’s impending departure from the European Union, plans to grow agencies across the country remain firmly on the table.

‘Brexit won’t break us’

While an overwhelming majority of agency owners would prefer to remain part of a single European market, more than half (52%) have yet to notice any knock-on effect on their businesses following a decisive public referendum in June 2016.

Indeed, less than a third of agencies (29%) have experienced clients cancelling projects as a result of uncertainty around Brexit, while 11% have instead recorded increases in overseas work as a result of the devaluing of the Pound.

Meanwhile, more than half of owners (55%) intend to increase their prices in 2017 – up from just 24% during the last recession – providing a buffer against any future impact of Brexit, while also funding agencies’ expansion plans.

A third of agencies plan to increase turnover by more than 26% in 2017

Of the agencies that expect to increase turnover in the face of wider economic uncertainty, a third are targeting growth in excess of 26% - and almost two thirds expect to increase revenues by 11% at the very least in 2017.

A boost for the UK job market?

As companies grow, the report suggests there could be positivity for the UK jobs market in 2017 – with two thirds of participating agencies stating their intention to recruit this year, strengthening their workforce by an average of 26%.

Peter Czapp, co-founder of The Wow Company, said: “The BenchPress Report provides a fascinating insight into agency life across a wide range of sectors in the UK.

“From what agencies actually look like and their journey as a business, to wider industry trends and statistics, it has become a valuable benchmarking resource for owners.

“Having that knowledge is particularly important as we approach Brexit and we’re committed to sharing best practice with agencies, helping them to stay ahead of the curve.”

Peter Czapp will be holding an Inside Track webinar on the results of the report on Wednesday 3rd May, including discussions on what the UK’s top-performing agencies are doing differently.

To book a place, please visit:

To download a copy of the BenchPress report, please visit: